Should you consider adopting a senior pet? The answer is a resounding YES! November is Adopt A Senior Pet Month, so let’s look at some of the reasons why you should at least consider adopting a senior pet.
Senior pets lose their homes for a variety of reasons, and most have nothing to do with their behavior. Their families may have experienced hardship or loss of a home. Sometimes, senior pets have lost their people due to the death of their guardian, or they’ve had to move to a senior care facility or other accommodations that don’t allow pets. Worst of all, some people simply give up their animals because they just don’t want them anymore. No matter how you look at it, it’s heartbreaking.
Reasons to Adopt a Senior Pet
Senior pets need homes just like puppies or kittens. Older animals in shelters or rescues are less likely to be adopted, and more likely to be euthanized.
Senior pets are usually fully house trained and know basic commands. And yes, you can teach an old dog new tricks. Senior pets have a longer attention span than younger animals, and can learn all sorts of new tricks and commands.
Senior pets are less rambunctious than puppies or kittens, so they make wonderful companions for people of all ages, especially senior citizens. They’re calmer, and usually have fewer destructive tendencies than their puppy and kitten counterparts who love to chew everything within their reach while they’re teething.
Finally – you’ll be saving a life. You might be surprised at how much love and joy you’ll get from adopting a senior pet. While they may miss their former family, they can and will bond with new people, and can make wonderful companions for the rest of their days.
June is the American Humane Society’s Adopt a Cat month and the ASPCA’s Adopt a Shelter Cat month, so if you’ve been thinking about adding a feline friend (or two) to your family, hooray! There are thousands of beautiful cats of all ages in shelters – all are just waiting for a good home.
If it’s been a while since you adopted a new cat, it’s also a great time to review tips that can help east the stress of bringing a new kitty into your home. Cats are territorial animals, so they’re most likely going to be confused and scared until they settle in. It’s definitely a process, but it’s well worth the effort.
Here are a few tips for helping new kitties settle in:
Consider Adopting Two: If you don’t already have a cat at home, oddly enough you’ll find things to be easier if you adopt a pair. Obviously, it’s important that they get along – with the shelter full of Spring litters, finding bonded pairs is much easier. Cats need stimulation and exercise, and having two provides exactly that – someone to play with when you’re not around. Trust us, they’ll provide plenty of laughs and love for you along the way.
Provide a Safe, Confined Space: New kitties need safe space like a laundry room, spare bedroom or bathroom to live in while they’re adjusting to their new surroundings. A cozy bed, cardboard box or cat carrier can provide a sense of safety for your new friend, but remember, your kitty needs to be able to stand up and turn around easily. Give them access to plenty of food, fresh water and a clean litter box with an inch or two of litter inside their room , but be sure to keep the litter box away from their food. Nobody wants to have dinner next to their toilet, no matter how clean it’s kept.
Patience is Key: It might take a week or two for your new cat or kitten to feel safe enough to come out and explore. if you have other pets in the home, keep them separated from the newcomer and introduce them slowly. They will be very aware of each other’s presence – a baby gate can help keep boundaries intact.Don’t push things. Always keep dogs leashed when they’re meeting the newest family member. Correct them immediately with a command like “Sit!” or “Stay!” if they show any signs of jealousy or threatening behavior. Be extra careful with small children – they can get overexcited and squeeze or pet too roughly, causing the cat to struggle, scratch or bite out of fear.
Book a Wellness Visit: Your vet will carefully examine your new pet, give them any vaccinations, and advise you on good preventive care routine, including regular dental cleanings. We would be honored to help you keep your new pet healthy and happy longer. Find an AZPetVet location near you. Be sure to ask about our new kitten packages and FREE Vaccines for Life program!
November is Adopt a Senior Dog Month, so we thought it might be helpful to go over some of the reasons you should consider adopting an older pet.
Statistics show that once a pet reaches the age of five, their age becomes a huge barrier to adoption. The older the animal, the higher the chance they will be euthanized quickly, because of overcrowding, as well as the time it takes to place them in a good home.
Older pets lose their homes and families for a variety of reasons. While many people believe there must be something wrong with the pet, like health or behavior issues, most often, it’s problems with the owner’s life – illness or death, financial challenges, allergies, changes to work schedules or moving to a new residence.
On the brighter side, senior pets make wonderful companions for families and senior citizens. They’re also a great choice for those who don’t have the time or patience to train and raise a young animal. This is especially true for dogs, who require house training, obedience classes, socialization, and regular exercise. Another advantage of adopting an older dog is that you won’t be surprised by how big they get – they’re done growing.
While older pets may be stressed and confused by the transition from their home to the shelter or rescue, most will quickly adapt to a new, loving home and family.
Our prescription? Kindness, patience, and lots of love – and of course, regular wellness checks to keep them healthy. Numerous studies show that dog owners are often healthier than non-dog owners, so that’s another bonus!
Ready to give an older pet a chance but need to know where to adopt a senior dog? A quick Google search will show that the Greater Phoenix metro area has a number of rescue organizations dedicated to rehoming senior animals. That’s a great place to begin!