When people consider adopting a pet, they automatically think of young puppies and kittens. However, many older pets in shelters and rescues are just waiting for their new fur-ever home. Senior pets make great companions, and there are several reasons why you should consider adopting one. There are so many benefits of old pet adoption, dispelling myths that often keep people from giving these animals a second chance.
The Unfortunate Truth
Unfortunately, senior pets are usually the last ones to be adopted from shelters. Most never find homes and spend the rest of their days cooped up in a small kennel. Since they're not adopted as quickly as other animals, they risk being euthanized.
The Misconception of Senior Pets
A widely-held belief about older animals in shelters is that they were abandoned due to their destructive or bad behavior. However, this couldn't be farther from the truth. There are many reasons a pet would end up in a shelter, such as changing home circumstances, financial restrictions, death, or relocation of their owner. Many of these senior pets were once someone's faithful companions.
Benefits of Adopting a Senior Pet
Though younger pets are often more adorable, they also require significantly more attention and energy to keep up with. On the other hand, senior pets tend to be much more adaptable and can easily slot into most lifestyles with a bit of love.
One of the most significant benefits of adopting a senior pet is that they are typically already trained. They know basic commands like sit, stay, come, and down and are usually housetrained. This can be a significant relief for first-time pet owners or those who do not have the time to invest in training a younger animal.
Personality is Already Known
Another benefit of senior pet adoption is that you will generally know what you're getting in terms of personality and energy level. With a younger pets, predicting how they will turn out as they grow up can be challenging. Will they be calm or active? Will they be good with children or other animals? With a senior pet, the shelter will have a good idea of its personality and can adopt it accordingly.
Challenges of Adopting a Senior Pet
Of course, some challenges come along with senior pet adoption. Older animals may have more health problems than younger ones and may not have as many years left to enjoy their new home. However, this is often offset by the fact that senior pets are typically already spayed or neutered and thus do not require the additional expense of this procedure.
Ways to Celebrate Adopting a Senior Pet Month
If you are considering adopting a senior pet, be sure to speak with your veterinarian about any potential health concerns and to get an estimate of how much time your new furry friend may have left. Senior pets can make beautiful additions to any family with extra care and attention.
Encourage Senior Pet Adoption
If you are unable to adopt right now, no worries! Talk to people about adopting senior pets. If anyone in your friends and family plans to adopt a pet, encourage them to adopt older animals in desperate need of a home.
Volunteer at Your Local Shelter
Financial restrictions, long working hours, or sometimes even unfriendly living spaces can shatter our dreams of having a loving pet in our homes. Thankfully, there is more than one way to show your love for animals, so volunteer at a local pet shelter and help out any way you can.
Senior pets make great additions to any family. One of the best things about them is that they are already housetrained and past the destructive puppy/kitten stage. They also have usually mellowed out by this time in their lives and make calm, loyal companions. Although their hearts may be full of love, older pets often have a more challenging time being adopted because people tend to want younger animals. This is especially true during "puppy and kitten season," when shelters and rescues see an influx of young animals coming through their doors. We hope that by sharing some of the benefits of adopting a senior pet, we might persuade you to consider one next time you want to adopt. And if you've already adopted a senior pet, help us celebrate Adopt a Senior Pet Month by sharing your story with us @vitalpetlife!