Senior animals are smart, loving, gentle companions; but unfortunately, they are not immune to homelessness. Older dogs and cats can be overlooked in shelters because they are thought to have “behavioral problems.” In reality, many senior dogs lose their homes to unforeseen circumstances and are in fact lovely, well-behaved pets who have been surrendered through no fault of their own.
Senior pets have a much more difficult time finding forever homes than younger dogs and cats do. Many adopters come in looking for puppies or kittens, not knowing the benefits of adopting an older pet. November is Adopt a Senior Pet month, so we are giving you 5 reasons why you should consider adding an older cat or dog to your home.
1. Adopting a senior pet will very likely save its life. When shelters become overcrowded, older animals are the first to be euthanized simple due to their age.
2. Senior animals don’t have rambunctious puppy/kitten energy. Puppies and kittens, while cuddly and adorable, require a lot of attention, training, and cleaning. Senior cats are already litter trained, and senior dogs are often housebroken and trained basic commands: both of which can take months to teach a new puppy.
3. You CAN teach old dogs new tricks. Don’t believe the old myth! Older dogs are just as receptive to new commands. In fact, senior dogs have a greater attention span than puppies, which makes them easier to train.
4. Senior pets know that they’ve been saved. It is frequently reported that older dogs and cats seem to know that they have been given a second chance. Animals that have been uprooted from their happy homes or have had a difficult start in life are far more likely to bond very deeply with their new people.
5. You can adopt a purebred. If you know a certain breed fits well into your lifestyle, purebred puppies or kittens can be expensive to buy and difficult to locate in shelters. There are many rescues that cater to senior dogs and cats of specific breeds.