7 Great Reasons to Adopt a Senior Pet
Blog post created by Sam Cryer, Greenhill Humane Society volunteer
Adopters often come to a shelter wanting to take home a kitten or puppy, but before you set your heart on that tiny, fluffy bundle, you might want to consider adopting a senior pet. Older animals have lots of advantages and there are tons of great reasons to adopt them. Here are just a few:
Many senior pets already have experience living with people, so they’ve learned good manners, mastered basic training like how to use a litterbox, and often know some commands like “sit” and “settle.”
Older pets tend to be easier on your home and belongings. Younger animals haven’t learned to distinguish what’s okay to destroy and what isn’t. A mature dog is likely to know the difference between a chew toy and your slippers, and an older cat is used to the idea that there’s a designated spot for her to sharpen her claws.
Young animals often have boundless energy—which is fun to watch, but can be hard to keep up with. Senior pets are usually more relaxed and have discovered the joys of cuddling together on the couch. And just because an animal is older doesn’t mean they don’t still have plenty of energy to play around with!
Getting to Know You
It can be difficult to tell personality in a puppy or kitten. With an older pet, what you see is what you get. This makes it easier to find the perfect pet for your home and lifestyle, whether you’re looking for a lap cat that will binge-watch Netflix shows with you, or a laid-back dog who will still encourage you to get a daily walk in.
Teach an Old Dog New Tricks
The saying that you can’t teach an old dog new tricks simply isn’t true. More mature pets often have the ability to focus better on what they’re being taught, and are especially eager to please their people. They also have plenty of life experience that helps them to be adaptable and settle into the routine of a new household.
Some people worry that their senior pet will come with steep medical expenses. While you should always be financially prepared to take on the responsibility of a new pet, many senior pet owners find that older animals cost less in the long run. They’ve had all their basic shots and vaccinations and have already been spayed or neutered, plus the adoption fee for seniors is often lower than for younger animals.
Attitude of Gratitude
All else aside, there’s something special about senior pets. Many people who’ve adopted older animals comment that these senior souls seem to realize they’ve been given another chance, and are especially grateful and affectionate toward their new family.
Senior pets are wonderful companions who have plenty of love to give. When you’re thinking about adding a new four-legged friend to the family, consider adopting a senior pet. There are plenty of great reasons to do so, not least of which is that you’re giving an animal a new lease on life, providing them with love and comfort during their golden years. Trust us: if you give a senior pet a chance, they’ll find a special place in your heart.