So, you’re thinking about adding a new furry member to your family. You’ve weighed the pros and cons and are ready to make the commitment. But one thing most people don’t think about is how old of a dog or cat will you adopt? Most don’t think about it and assume they will adopt a puppy or kitten. But, as we celebrate National Adopt A Senior Pet Month, we want to provide some benefits to adopting an older dog or cat.
SENIOR PETS SHOW THEIR UNCONDITIONAL LOVE
We don’t think about how older pets are usually found lost, their owner has passed away, their family moved to a new non-pet-friendly location or have been rescued from an abusive environment. They end up in kennels where they are afraid, anxious, and longingly wait to find the love of a forever home. While the thought of having a puppy or kitten is exciting, many older animals bring just as much love, joy and excitement to a home.
OLDER PETS ALREADY HAVE MANNERS
Many older pets are already house-trained which saves a number of hours and waking nights teaching Fido to let you know when (s)he has to go outside, or Kitty how to use the litterbox. Granted, it may not be instant, but it’s a matter of hours or one or two days as opposed to weeks.
They may have also received obedience training and already understand basic commands such as sit, stay, down, and come.
SENIOR PETS ARE LESS DESTRUCTIVE
It’s a given – puppies and kittens love to seek-and-destroy. They are curious, learning, and developing. Senior pets are well past that. Once they are acclimated with their new environment, they’ll only be interested in you and having your time. You’ll save a few pairs of shoes, furniture,
carpets, wooden floors…
Senior pets are more focused than puppies and kittens, so when you teach them new tricks (or the new rules of the house), they’re more apt to pick it up quickly. Again, this gives you more time to enjoy your new family member and have fun with him/her!
WHAT YOU SEE IS WHAT YOU GET
How many times have you heard, “Oh my puppy won’t be too big. Only about 20-30 pounds.” Then one day…your fur baby is almost as tall as your toddler! When adopting an older pet, you already know their size and can adopt based on what would work best for you and their new environment.
GREAT COMPANIONS FOR SENIOR HUMANS
Just as humans get lonely as they grow older, so do animals. So what better way to give each unconditional love, purpose, and companionship than to partner an older/senior dog or cat with a senior citizen. The added bonus is that animals have a strong sense of loyalty and protection for their humans.
Yes, as with humans, older pets do begin to face health issues but with proper wellness care and the advances in veterinary medicine, a senior pet can live many years and bring the same joy, love, loyalty any pet would bring to you and your home.
If you are interested in adopting a senior pet, please visit the Animal Protection Society of Durham or your local rescue.