Like humans, dogs and cats of any age deserve to have a loving family. But many people visit pet shelters to adopt a new puppy or kitten, often overlooking the older ones, which makes it more difficult for senior dogs and cats to find their ‘forever’ homes.
If you’re planning to adopt a pet, read through these reasons why you should consider adopting older dogs and cats too, especially for this coming holiday season.
1. Adopting a senior pet means supporting a good cause.
Often, dogs and cats are abandoned in pet shelters not because of behavioral issues. Most of the time, it’s because their owners can’t take care of them anymore. An approximated 6.5 million dogs and cats enter US animal shelters annually.
Reasons like the death of its owner, having someone in the family with pet allergies, the birth of a new baby, losing a job or having changes in work schedules, or having to live in another location, are the usual culprits to abandoning senior pets.
When these abandoned dogs and cats reach the streets or pet shelters, they get lesser chances of being adopted, spending the rest of their lives alone or being euthanized especially when they’re too old or too sick to be taken care of by shelters or adoption centers. In the US, a total of 1.5 million shelter animals are euthanized annually, many of which are senior pets.
2. Senior pets make a great lifelong companion.
An energetic puppy or kitten is cute to have, but having an old, calm furry buddy also has a charm of its own. Older pets may not be as dynamic as their younger counterparts, but they’re still raring to go out and play. And when you prefer to a lazy day at home, they can read the atmosphere and relax by your side just the same.
With an older pet, you instantly get a companion that can do what you want to do right now. You don’t have to wait for him to grow and learn the skills he needs. Yet, he is still very trainable and can learn new skills that you want to teach him.
3. Adopting a senior pet can be very rewarding.
By bringing a senior dog or cat home, you are saving a life. You are helping him live through his golden years filled with happiness and comfort. What’s more rewarding than providing a loving home to abandoned dogs or cats, especially to those who’ve experienced a rocky life?
And if you’re worried about possible behavioral problems when adopting abandoned pets, there are pet rescues and shelters that rehabilitate them first before clearing them for adoption.
Because older pets already have their personality developed, it’s easier to see if you are compatible with each other before bringing one home.
What you need to know before adopting a senior pet
Getting to know his behavior and personality is the first step before taking an old pet home. Visit your preferred pet shelter frequently and socialize to see which dog or cat matches your style.
Remember that in choosing an older pet, what you see is what you get. By observing and socializing, you’d easily know if your chosen dog or cat is active, if he loves to cuddle, or if he’s more an independent type.
Before you finally decide, ask your pet shelter about your chosen pet’s medical and nutritional needs. Inquire about existing health problems so you can address them immediately when the need arises.
Since older dogs and cats tend to experience appetite problems, ask your veterinarian for a pet food that will best suit his nutritional needs, like Wishbone, or ask other pet owners what to look for in great pet food. With goodness that you can smell in every bag, Wishbone brings together only the freshest ingredients, the highest quality meats and aromatic herbal botanicals to create the finest food for your pet.
This month, consider adopting a senior pet from your nearest pet shelter. You won’t regret providing an old dog or cat a warm, loving home this holiday season.