When families begin the search for a new four legged companion, the cute bouncy puppies and fuzzy kittens usually take center stage. Because of this, senior pets in shelters across the U.S. are reported to be the least likely to ever find new homes. Adopting an older dog or cat has many benefits that prospective new pet owners may not know about.
10 GREAT REASONS TO OPEN YOUR HEART TO A SENIOR PET
1. Older dogs have manners — Unlike puppies, many grown-up dogs have spent years living with a family and being socialized to life with people. They also may have received obedience training and can respond to commands such as “sit”, “stay” and “down”. Many are already house-trained and instead of sleepless nights, it only takes a matter of hours to help them learn the potty rules in their new home.
2. Senior pets are less destructive — Anyone who has survived the “piranha puppy” stage of teething knows how frustrating it is. Most older adoptive pets are well past the search-and-destroy phase. This means your favorite pairs of shoes will be safer! Chances are your senior kitty has no urge to climb the Christmas tree or overturn your potted plant.
3. What you see is what you get — A senior pet holds no surprises as to how big he/she might get, what color his/her adult coat might be, or whether his/her hips will be healthy. Senior pets come to you with their own history, which makes their future much more predictable than that of an 8 week old puppy or kitten.
4. You CAN teach an old dog new tricks — Puppies and kittens have an attention span of approximately 3 seconds…adult pets on the other hand can focus on the task at hand. Older dogs are more attentive than puppies, and more eager to please their humans.
5. You can “custom order” your senior pet — If you are looking for a short-haired cat, for example, or a kitty with no history of dental disease, you can search until you find an older pet with exactly those attributes. If you already have a cat and need your adoptive dog to get along with cats, you have a much better chance of finding and older adoptive dog who is a perfect companion for your family.
6. You can adopt a purebred pet if you want — If you really love a certain breed of dog or cat, chances are there is a breed rescue club that can point you in the direction of older purebred pets in need of homes.
7. Senior pets are great company for senior citizens — Many elderly people find the calm presence of an older pet very comforting.
8. Older pets are relaxing to hang out with — Senior dogs and cats have all the basics down and aren’t full of energy to burn. Because you are not constantly chasing around or cleaning up after your older pet, you have a lot more time to spend finding fun things to do or just relaxing together.
9. Adopted senior pets are grateful for your kindness — Many new owners form a close bond very quickly with a senior dog or cat simply because the pet shows them a level of attention and devotion that is unique to older adopted animals.
10. You can be a hero to a very deserving dog or cat — Almost without exception, people who adopt older animals feel a special sense of pride and purpose in opening their homes and hearts to a hard-to-place pet. It is a way we can pay it forward to these special pets who give us their unconditional love.