An aging black and white dog smiles in the sunshine

Senior pets end up in animal shelters for many reasons, usually having to do with some unexpected life change. But whether due to military deployment, divorce, death of an owner, or a move, millions of senior pets wait at shelters for their forever homes.

Sure, puppies and kittens are cute, but adopting a senior pet has its own advantages. Senior pets are usually house trained, calmer than their younger counterparts, and have plenty of love to give. Since November is National Adopt a Senior Pet Month, we could think of no better time to highlight these sweet seniors! 

It’s a Wonderful Life!

If we have piqued your interest in senior pets, or you know of someone who might benefit from a senior pet’s companionship, here’s a short list to consider. 

Heart to heart. Senior pets have often known a warm and loving home in their past, and are grateful to come into another inviting home. They often seem to understand that they were “saved” and will be only too happy to become your devoted friend. 

Limited training. Senior pets often come into shelters due to the death of their previous owner. Many senior pets have housetraining or litter box training under their belt, and also have completed obedience training that only needs a little tune up. That said, even older pets can learn new things, and often have a calm enthusiasm for learning new things. 

You get what you get. Younger pets are still developing their personality traits, and you may not know their true nature until they are fully grown. Senior pets have an established temperament, and it’s easier to see their personality right away. In addition, the shelter may have their entire medical history available for your review. 

Managing expectations. Although every pet is an individual, after basic needs are met, senior pets tend to be much more self sufficient than younger animals. They are often used to providing quiet companionship and may be completely happy just being near you. 

Good For All

Numerous studies have shown that adopting a pet has incredible benefits for senior citizens. Caring for a pet lowers blood pressure, reduces stress, and can add purpose to a senior’s days. When older folks adopt a senior pet, they are given the chance to socialize with others and become more physically active, without the added maintenance and training that younger animals require. 

Senior Life Stage

Cats and dogs are generally considered to be senior pets around the age of 7. Some pet owners may be worried that adopting a senior pet means their pet may not live as long as a younger pet. That’s one reason we advocate for senior wellness care and early detection of disease. With proper care and nutrition, your senior pet can easily live another 5 -10 years, happy by your side. 

Adopt A Senior Pet This November! 

Adopting any pet is a big responsibility, but if you choose to adopt a senior pet, you’ll be in good company. The national movember toward helping senior pets find loving, forever homes is a worthy cause and one that Animal Family Veterinary Care is proud to be a part of.

If you have any questions about senior pet care,  adopting a senior pet, or want to bring your senior pet in for a visit, please give us a call. We can’t wait to meet your new friend!