Are you thinking of adding a furry new member to your family? If you’re on the search for a new pet, why not consider a senior cat or dog? November is Adopt a Senior Pet Month, an event to bring some attention to the older pets that can often be stuck for months or even years in animal shelters, and to help these pets find their loving forever homes!
Anyone who has ever gone to a shelter to look at the available pets has inevitably found themselves gravitating to the adorable puppies and kittens. We often overlook the older pets there, but there are many great reasons to reconsider. With senior pets, what you see is what you get. No guesstimating how big that puppy is eventually going to get, or how aloof that kitten will turn out to be. Adopting a pet as an adult allows you to get a great handle on what their personality is, and even what some of their required care may be, such as what kind of grooming may be necessary.
Every pet is a serious commitment and a lot of work, but senior pets are often more low-maintenance than younger pets. Young pets require huge amounts of time, energy, and consistent training to make them happy and well-adjusted members of your family. Many senior pets have already been in a previous home, and likely know basic commands. Even if they don’t, it turns out that you CAN teach an old dog (or cat!) new tricks. Older pets have longer attention spans and better impulse control, which leads to more productive training sessions. You’ll also more than likely get to avoid the stress of house training your new pet, and who doesn’t like being less stressed?
Senior pets are not without their own challenges, of course. They can be at a higher risk of developing certain health issues, which is why it’s so important to get regular preventative care done here at My Zoo Animal Hospital. For all cats and dogs six years and older, we recommend having bloodwork done along with your pet’s exam and vaccinations every year, as well as regular dental cleanings.
The best reason to adopt a senior pet is that you may be saving a life. Sadly, senior pets in animal shelters are more likely to be euthanized than their younger counterparts. Even if they are not euthanized, they may be facing the harsh reality of living out the rest of their years in a shelter. Animal shelters do all they can to take great care of the pets under their watch, but they’re no substitute for a loving family and home. Many breeds of cats and dogs can live well into their teens, and these pets have so much love to give. They will be content to be your loyal companion, living out their golden years relaxing by your side.
If you have a senior pet story, please feel free to share it with us. The next time you come to visit us here at My Zoo, mention this blog and get a free bandana!