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Nov
16
2015

Adopt a Senior Pet Month

by Dr. Shelby

November is Adopt a Senior Pet Month, and it’s a great time to consider adopting a new, older pet. Older pets have a tendency to sit much longer in shelters, and really, for no good reason. There are a number of benefits to adopting a senior pet!

  1. Senior pets have better manners than kittens and puppies. In general, senior cats and dogs are better behaved. Dogs often already know some basic commands like sit, stay, and down. And fortunately, both dogs and cats are often already housebroken! Dogs will acclimate to the new routine of going outdoors at your house in just a matter of days, and cats will often take right to the litter box as soon as they’ve been introduced to it.li
  2. Senior pets tend to be more respectful of your home, your rules, and your belongings. You have less to worry about with your favorite pair of shoes or those curtains you love in the living room.
  3. You know what you’re getting. It’s clear from the start what your senior dog or cat is going to be. You already know his size, his weight, or even his breed. There are no surprises like you’d get with that 3 month old puppy that’s supposedly a Beagle mix but turns out to be a Labrador!li
  4. You often know the personality of your pet right at the start. At shelters, this can be hard to assess when it comes to a senior cat, depending on the shelter and the amount of quiet time you’ll be able to have interacting with them. However, senior cats in foster homes often show exactly how they will be. However, in most cases, you’ll know from the history given by the owner to the shelter what you’re getting in terms of personality.
  5. Senior pets are low-key and relaxing to hang out with. They generally have less hyper energy, are more content to relax, and just want to spend time lounging around instead of playing. They make great companions for busy professionals or senior people as well for that very reason.

Perhaps most importantly, you can feel good about giving a home to a pet that otherwise wouldn’t have one. Senior pets are often the first to be euthanized in kill shelters. They are overlooked and spend years just waiting, often in a cage, at no-kill shelters.

Not only can you feel good about giving a senior pet a home, but you’ll have the pet’s eternal gratitude. Seniors tend to bond more quickly to their new humans because, somehow, they seem to “know” that you’ve given them a home when no one else would. You’ll be a hero, and your new senior pet will show you the love, appreciation, and devotion you deserve for being their hero!