Senior pets are often at the shelter longer and they are often passed over for younger, more energetic pets. In honor of National Adopt-a-Senior-Pet Month, we’d like to offer these 10 reasons why adopting a senior pet is a great idea!
1. What You See Is What You Get. Important traits have already emerged, such as their full-grown size, personality and grooming requirements. All this information makes it easier to pick the right pet and forge that instant love connection that will last a lifetime.
2. Easy to Train. You can teach an old pet new tricks! Senior pets have the attention span and impulse control that makes them easier to train than their youthful counterparts. A senior pet may very well already know basic household etiquette.
3. They’re Not a 24-7 Job. Grownup pets don’t require the constant monitoring that youngsters do, leaving you with more freedom to do your own thing. If you have young children, or just value your “me time,” this is definitely a bonus.
4. They Settle in Quickly. Older pets have been around the block and already learned what it takes to get along with others and become part of the family.
5. Fewer Messes. Your floors, shoes and furniture will thank you for adopting a senior pet! Older pets are likely to already be housetrained — and even if they’re not, they have the physical and mental abilities to pick it up really fast (unlike puppies). In particular, senior cats are often already litter trained and are less likely to “forget” where the box is. With their teething years far behind them, senior dogs also are much less likely to be destructive chewers. Senior cats often know that scratching posts (not furniture) are for scratching and toys (not hands or feet) are for biting.
6. You Won’t Bite Off More Than You Can Chew. There are those who yearn for a pet companion of their own, but hold back because they worry what might happen in their lives in the years to come. And they are wise to do so — a youngster can be anywhere from an 8- to 20-year responsibility, which is not appropriate for the very elderly or those with certain long-term future plans. Providing a loving home for a pet in her golden years is not a less serious commitment, but it can be a shorter one.
7. Seniors are Super-Loving. One of the cool parts of our job is reading stories from people just like you who have opted to adopt. The emails we get from pet parents with senior animals seem to all contain beautiful, heartfelt descriptions of the love these pets give you. It’s an instant bond that cannot be topped!
8. They Enjoy Easy Livin’. Please consider an animal retiree rather than a high-energy young pet who will run you ragged. Not that older dogs don’t require any exercise or older cats don’t like a little playtime every now and then, but they’re not going to need, or want, to run a marathon every day. Plus, they make great napping buddies!
9. Save a Life, Be a Hero. At shelters, older pets are often the last to be adopted and the first to be euthanized. Saving an animal’s life offers an unparalleled emotional return on your investment, and you’ll feel the rewards every day you spend together.
10. They’re Cute. Need we say more?