Ever been to a rescue or seen a Facebook post about an older dog in need of a home? Sadly, it’s not uncommon occurrence. Older pets that in animal shelters nationwide wait longer than others for a loving home. November is known at Adopt-A-Senior-Pet Month, and during this month, shelters around the nation hope to improve the adoption rate for older pets by spreading awareness about how great senior pets can be.
Puppies and kittens are a lot of work and require constant attention, something that pet parents, especially first time ones, can underestimate. Senior pets have no problem being by themselves more often. They are past the troublesome destroy phase, where pet parents may find shoes, blankets and blinds chewed or shredded to bits! A mellow nature makes senior pets a great choice for families with children or senior citizens who are looking for a low key temperament. For senior citizens and senior pets especially, having each other can be a great comfort doing everyday tasks at a slower speed.
It can be hard to know exactly what kind of backgrounds senior pets come from when they are in a shelter, but it’s safe to say that they probably came from some sort of family life. That means that they can more easily adjust to a new home. Another advantage of senior pets is that they are already house trained and more likely to know basic commands and other tricks. If they don’t, it is much easier to teach them than puppies or kittens. Senior pets also offer no surprises as far as personality. What you see is what you get. While younger pets are still developing, senior pets already have a unique personality, making it easy to decide if they will fit well with a family or future owner.
Despite the fact that bringing home a senior pet can bring up a unique set of challenges, anyone who has had the pleasure of the experience often says that they will continue to adopt senior pets. Some humane societies offer incentives for people who are looking to adopt a senior pet such as free adoptions for a pet over a certain age, and when acquaintances come to visit a home they may also be inspired to volunteer, foster or adopt senior pets themselves. If families are looking for a specific kind of breed, there are many resources that can help them find an older purebred pet in need of a home.
There are many heartwarming stories that show how senior pets change when they are with their new families. Likewise, any senior pet parent will say that they notice an extra special bond with their pet when they come home, like the pets know that they have been rescued and that they are safe. When a family decides to open their hearts and homes to a senior pet, it is a step in the right direction to save a life and bring awareness to the difficulty of others waiting for their families.