Yes, it is hard to resist all the cuteness that comes with small kittens and puppies, but a lot of work comes with owning and training younger animals. In animal shelter settings, senior pets get overlooked all the time, but these animals are just as deserving and sometimes do even better in a home than some of their younger counterparts. In honor of November being Adopt a Senior Pet Month, here are just a few reasons why you should consider giving an older pet a forever home.
Older pets come with no surprises
Adult animals have already grown into their size, shape and personality. There is no guessing with how big they will get or how they will act when they are older because what you see is what you’re going to get.
Senior pets make wonderful companions for elderly
Senior pets love the easy life! Many senior adults find that having calmer pets around them can be comforting. They look for animals that understand them and move through life at a slower pace. Older animals aren’t filled with an overabundance of energy to burn and prefer a more relaxed and easy-going atmosphere, which can be a perfect match for an older adult.
Older pets can adjust to human schedules
Since most senior pets have already been socialized with humans, they understand the idea of a routine schedule. They may not have as many issues with separation anxiety and can more easily comprehend that humans sometimes go out for a while, but they always come back. Typically, they are also easier to adjust to new routines and schedules in your life.
Senior pets have manners
Typically, older dogs and cats have already lived in a home setting for a period in their lives and have been socialized with humans. This may be good news for your shoes, furniture and floors. Since they most likely have had some sort of training, many know basic commands or have been potty-trained, which can relieve some unneeded stress that may come from introducing them into a new home.
Older pets are less destructive
If you are looking for a relaxed and calm animal then a senior pet is perfect for you! Typically, older pets are past the search-and-destroy stage that many younger animals go through. They have learned that shoes are made for walking and that bones are made for chewing.
Senior pets are still trainable
Despite the saying, you can in fact teach an old dog new tricks. Older dogs have longer attention spans than puppies, which can actually make them easier to train in the long run.
Do you have a question for Brian? E-mail him at AskBrian@hsdayton.org. Brian Weltge is the President and CEO of the Humane Society of Greater Dayton. The Humane Society is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization dedicated to building loving relationships between people and pets. Founded 112 years ago, it is the largest and most established “no-kill” animal welfare agency in the area. It focuses on pet adoptions, eliminating pet overpopulation, providing education and ensuring the humane treatment of animals. For more information about the Humane Society of Greater Dayton, call 937- 268-PETS (7387) or visit www.hsdayton.org.