November is the month of gratitude, family reunions, and turkey consumption but did you know it’s also Senior Pet Month? According to nationaltoday.com, “The ASPCA and petfinder.com founded Adopt a Senior Pet Month to help improve the perception surrounding senior pets.” Their goal was to celebrate senior animals as excellent options for those looking to adopt a new pet. As professional pet sitters, we work with lots of seniors. We’re here to tell you that adopting a senior pet is almost always a good idea.
Adopting a Senior Pet: Always Full of Life & Love
There are a lot of myths surrounding senior pets. We shared a blog about these myths last November. In it, we remind pet lovers that many of the preconceived notions surrounding senior pets are wrong.
To begin with, smaller breeds aren’t considered “seniors” until after age 10. That makes smaller breed seniors a great option for those who are looking for a longtime companion. Large and extra-large breeds are referred to as seniors earlier in life because of their size and genetics. In most cases, however, all senior rescues have lots of life left in them and lots of love to give.
In addition to bringing joy into their new homes, senior pets are easier to select. What you see is usually what you get with a senior. Senior pets come with fewer surprises in terms of temperament, exercise needs, and behavior.
Adopting a Senior Pet: Likely Less Naughy
Pets usually outgrow naughty puppy and kitty behaviors such as chewing and jumping by the time they reach age 5. Their energy levels and exercise needs usually drop too. They enjoy snuggling on the couch and are happy to lay low on a rainy weekend.
Additionally, senior pets often live with fosters before they are adopted. Their fosters recognize their challenges before adopting them out into the community. Shelters and rescues will work with their seniors to ensure that they are ready to return to a home environment. Organizations are also careful to select the right family for their senior adoptables. Their job is to ensure that senior pet’s last years are lived to the fullest: in the right home and with the right family.
Adopting a Senior Pet: Usually Potty Trained
In most cases, you can be confident that the pet you adopt is potty trained. They are usually accustomed to living in a home and know where to do their business. Many of them had a history as a beloved pet before their luck changed.
With a puppy or kitten, there is a lot of training to do, namely potty training. If you adopt a senior, you’ll know where they are in their potty training process – usually expert level. You can base your adoption decision on that information along with temperament, medical history, etc.
Adopting a Senior Pet: Often Owner Surrenders
Many families’ lives change. Some are forced to make the heartbreaking decision to give up their pets through no fault of their own. At Shoreline Happy Paws, we believe that there are instances when rehoming a pet is best for all involved. Whether it’s the death of a pet parent, illness, injury, financial strains, severe allergies, etc., they deserve a second chance.
In most cases, families surrendering senior pets have shared years of memories with them. They pack up their belongings with tears in their eyes and hand them over to organizations they trust. With a little research and a lot of love, you can find the perfect companion in a previously surrendered pet.
As professional pet sitters and dog walkers, we are privy to our clients’ pet adoption stories. We love to see newer pet parents adopting senior pets over puppies and kittens. When adopting seniors, there is less of a learning curve, which can be a great entry to pet parenting. We also love to see families with older children adopting seniors. Because families can have a lot on their plate, bringing home a puppy or kitten is not always feasible. Senior pets allow these families to enjoy the companionship of a pet without the work. The time and commitment involved in a puppy and kitten may not be required.
As we said above, our team works with lots of seniors. We have seen that adopting a senior pet is almost always a good idea. The only exception to that rule is families with young children. Senior pets may or may not have experience around children. For this reason, it’s best to discuss your kids’ ages with your rescue or shelter before committing to a pet.
Adopting a Senior Pet: Care in the CT Shoreline
Shoreline Happy Paws offers dog walking, pet sitting, and dog hiking adventures in the following areas of the Connecticut Shoreline:
- Old Saybrook
- Essex, Ivoryton & Centerbrook
- Deep River
- Old Lyme
- East Lyme
Certain Areas and Limited Service Hours in:
- Lyme and Madison
- Waterford, New London, Groton
- Uncasville, Gales Ferry, Mystic, Noank
Adopting senior pets may be exactly what you need. We hope you’ve found this blog helpful in your pet adoption journey.