If you’re thinking of adopting a pet from your local animal shelter, we’d like to start by thanking you. And in the spirit of Adopt a Senior Pet Month, we’d like to ask you to consider some of the advantages of adopting an older cat or dog.
Far too often, senior cats and dogs are overlooked in shelters as families look for a pet they can raise and have for a long time. But older cats and dogs make great pets for many reasons.
Here are 5 great reasons to adopt a senior pet:
- They usually have some training
Older pets usually come potty-trained and dogs can understand basic commands like sit and stay. You’ll save a lot of time and energy that you’d normally need to spend on training; instead, you can skip right to the fun stuff like playing fetch and going for walks (without having to leash train!). And if you want to teach an old dog new tricks, you can! In fact, older dogs typically have a greater attention span than a puppy, which makes training them a lot easier.
- They’re usually much calmer
Older pets have already gone through their need-to-burn-off-energy-like-there’s-no-tomorrow stage. They typically have a much more relaxed demeanor and an established character, so you’ll have a good idea of how they’ll fit into your home and lifestyle.
Lower energy levels are often a great match for families with really young children, for senior adults who may not have the energy to attend to a busy puppy or kitten, and for families who just want a pet to relax with.
- They’re usually less destructive
Senior pets are not necessarily “problem pets” – they lose their homes for a variety of reasons, usually having nothing to do with their behavior or personality. They’re typically less destructive than younger pets because they’re past the search-and-destroy phase. Since they have all of their adult teeth, they’re less likely to chew your favorite (fill in the blank). And with that house-training we mentioned, they’re less likely to mess on your floors and furniture.
- What you see is what you get
Because they’re already full grown, you won’t be surprised by their size, their coat, their personality and the level of care they might need.
- You’d be a life saver
An unfortunate reality is that older animals are often the last to be adopted and the first to be euthanized as shelters become overcrowded. By adopting a senior cat or dog, you’re not only giving it a better life, you’re also saving its life.