by Mark Asher
What’s not to love about a puppy or a kitten? They’re cute, endlessly playful, and impossible not to instantly become smitten with. But puppies and kittens are not the right fit for every pet owner who chooses to get one. An irresistible puppy today can become an enormous task to properly train tomorrow. For many people, there’s another choice that once given a chance becomes an ideal family member: a senior pet! In this article, we’ll give you ten reasons why you should consider adopting a loving, senior pet.
1. Rescuing Pets in Need
Millions of unwanted animals are euthanized every year in the United States, and most of these are adult and senior pets. It’s hard for older animals, who often look sad and forlorn, to compete with puppies and kittens that immediately grab the public’s attention. The truth is senior pets are loyal, loving pets that would be overjoyed for a new lease on life. And remember, by adopting a senior pet you’re saving a precious life from being destroyed.
2. What You See is What You Get
Adopting a senior dog or cat takes the guesswork out of the future. You won’t have to worry about them growing as big as a small horse, having long hair or short hair, or staying under the weight limit enforced by your apartment complex. Adopting a senior pet allows you to see and choose exactly the right fit for your lifestyle.
3. Senior Pets Come Pre-Trained
Aside from certain exceptions, the majority of senior pets at shelters already have good manners and basic obedience training. Many of these pets may already know the “Sit, Stay, Lay Down,” commands. Best of all, most of them are already house-broken or litterbox trained. This means less time potty training and more time to enjoy walks in the park.
4. Avoid the Grueling Teething Process & Aggressive Behavior Younger Pets Usually Have
Puppies and kittens are cute, curious creatures. They also go through the teething process, and they love to chew on everything! Young pets are notorious for tearing up shoes, pillows, toys, and anything else that tickles their fancy. Adopting a senior pet means that you won’t have to constantly keep an eye out for mischievous play.
5. Senior Pets are Lower Maintenance
Compared with puppies and kittens, senior pets require less time commitment, which makes them ideal for busy families and people who work long hours. They require less training and less supervision than a rambunctious puppy or kitten. Senior pets know the ropes, and they are a lot easier to care for than younger pets, perfect if you have time constraints, but still have the time and energy to commit to an animal.
6. An Abundance of Love
If you’ve ever rescued a senior pet, you know that they always seem to know how lucky they are. Older pets have an abundant amount of love to give, are always grateful for another chance for a new beginning, and never fail to show it. Senior pets can quickly transition to a new home and play a meaningful role in the life of their new owners.
7. Foster a Senior Pet
Puppies most often get adopted at a shelter or rescue within hours of being available. Senior dogs tend to spend more time before finding their way into someone’s heart. This means you can probably ask your local shelter or rescue if you can foster the senior pet you’re interested in before making a final commitment. This time together will give you important information on the temperament, personality, and needs of the pet you’re considering.
8. Avoid Upfront Pet Costs
While senior pets usually develop health issues sooner than younger ones, adopting a senior comes with a less initial outlay of money. If you adopt a puppy or kitten, you’ll have to pay for vaccinations beyond what the shelter or rescue offers and possibly a spay/neuter surgery. In addition to these costs, most adoption centers charge significantly less for a senior pet than they do an in-demand puppy or kitten.
9. Senior Pets Are Perfect for Senior Citizens
A senior citizen and a senior pet make a great fit. They can appreciate each other’s slower pace and provide one another much-needed companionship during their senior years. Most senior citizens aren’t able to have a younger dog with lots of needs, but they can care for a mellow dog that’s happy with a slow walk around the block.
10. Senior Pets Offer Years of Joy
Depending on the size, breed, and general health of your senior pet, he can have several more years to live. A seven-year-old dog might seem old, but larger dogs can live 10-15 years. Small dog breeds can live into their late teens, and even into their the early twenties. With a good veterinarian and the right pet insurance plan, your new addition can give you years of joy.
by Mark Asher