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Adopting a Senior Pet

When people are adopting a new pet, they often first look at the puppies and kittens. Unfortunately, this means that seniors (cats and dogs over the age of 7) are often overlooked and have longer stays in shelters.

Older pets need just as much love and care as puppies and kittens- sometimes even more as they enter their golden years.

If you’re thinking about adopting a dog or cat, here are some pros of welcoming a senior pet into your home.

1. House-trained

They’re usually already house-trained! Puppies need a lot of patience and observation to help them learn potty training. When you adopt a senior dog, you don’t need to worry about this as older dogs are often already house-trained, unless they have medical conditions.

2. They’re chill

Kittens are adorable but will climb over everything and anything and get up to a lot of chaos (if you know, you know). Senior cats often spend 20 hours a day sleeping. All they want to do is be near you, get some cuddles and nap. If you have a more laid-back lifestyle, then an older cat is right for you!

3. Good on the leash (most of the time)

Puppies and adolescent dogs need to be trained how to walk on a leash. Often young dogs think that the leash is a great game of tug and war and are so easily overstimulated that they’re like a bucking bronco on the leash- pulling you here, there, and everywhere. Most senior dogs have already learned how to walk on a leash and are happier to walk nice and slow next to you- unless they see a squirrel!

4. Enrichment is still important

Senior pets like to sleep but they still like to play. Whether that is with a cat wand or a cardboard box for a senior cat, or a game of fetch or a stuffed KONG for a senior dog- your golden oldies still need to use their instinctual behaviors. By providing your senior pet with even just 10 minutes of play a day, you’ll help keep your pet mentally sharp. Click here to find some great enrichment ideas!

5. They need your love

Many senior pets who are up for adoption have gone through some very traumatic experiences. These might include:

  • Their guardian passed away

  • Their guardians were too sick to care for them

  • Their guardians had to go to a nursing home

  • Their guardians couldn’t afford to keep their pet anymore

  • A natural disaster destroyed the guardian’s home

Senior pets often already know what it is like to be cared and loved for by someone else. Now they need a new companion to give them a chance to love and be loved.

Giving a senior pet a home will be a life-changing experience for you and them!

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