November is “Adopt a Senior Dog Month” and we at Pet-Peeps think that is great! More and more people are realizing that shelter pets make the best kind. Unfortunately, many people entering a shelter head straight for the puppies, kittens and young-adult cats and dogs. They don’t even consider adoption of an older pet.
Adopting a “senior” pet should not be overlooked. There are so many reasons that bringing home a senior pet is just as good, if not better than adopting a puppy or kitten.
Avoid high initial costs of adopting a kitten or puppy
When you adopt a kitten or puppy, they require spay/neuter surgery, and a whole series of exams and vaccinations to ensure a healthy start. Their immune systems are not as developed as older pets, so they are more susceptible to infections.
Older pets still require yearly exams and vaccines, but you will skip the extra expense of these types of visits. Older pets typically have lower adoption fees as well.
No housebreaking or crate training
Older dogs and cats are already housebroken. Senior kitties know how to use the litterbox. You will not need to spend months crate training a puppy, or cleaning up daily ‘accidents’ on the carpet.
Less active = less exercising requirements
You will not need to devote as much time exercising your senior pet. Older pets tend to sleep more and be less active than their younger counterparts. Senior dogs are more likely to enjoy a leisurely stroll than a high-energy hike. Your senior kitty will be content to curl up in your lap, instead of getting herself into trouble.
Senior kitties are less likely to eat strings and hair ties, or shred your sofa. Older dogs are a lot less likely to chew up your furniture or eat your favorite pair of slippers.
Adopting a puppy or kitten, especially of a mixed breed, makes it difficult to predict how big they will grow. Some cats and dogs undergo personality changes during their adolescence, some of which are undesirable. A senior pet will not get any bigger, and his personality is unlikely to change.
Senior to senior programs
Many shelters have “senior to senior” programs that are permanently in place or offered on a limited basis. These pair older people with older pets and usually offer significant discounts on the adoption fees. Some shelters also offer other benefits such as grooming, exams and routine labwork for free or at a discounted price.
You will get a warm and fuzzy feeling from saving a life
To conserve resources, some shelters unfortunately have to euthanize perfectly healthy senior pets to make room for younger, more adoptable pets. Many shelters are now no-kill or low-kill, meaning that a pet can potentially be housed there for years until they are finally adopted. Bringing home a senior pet gives you the satisfaction of saving a dog or cat from unnecessary euthanasia, or from spending its golden years in the cold, sterile environment of a shelter.
If you are thinking about adoption, you are urged to consider the benefits of bringing home a senior dog or cat. Your senior pet will know that they were ‘saved’, and will thank you for it by providing you with years of companionship and unconditional love.