Did you know that November is National Adopt a Senior Pet Month? This special time recognizes the importance of older cats and dogs who are waiting in shelters to be adopted. While energetic puppies and kittens are adorable, adopting an older animal is also special. Most adult animals in shelters are there by no fault of their own and are hopeful to find a new family. There are numerous advantages to adopting older pets. Many are already house trained, are well past teething issues, and are calmer and less destructive and demanding than a puppy might be. Most older dogs know basic commands, aim to please, are likely to settle into a new home, and are ready to give and accept love.
Animal ownership is known to enrich lives and fill loneliness voids that may exist. Thus, adopting an older pet is beneficial for people who seek companionship from a cat or dog. It is also an act of compassion as older shelter animals are at increased risk of euthanasia. Ultimately, when people adopt older pets, they are essentially saving lives. However, no matter the pet’s age, pet adoption should never be taken lightly. There may be some challenges in pets adapting to new environments and changing formed habits. But, with proper training and care (and yes older dogs can learn new tricks), senior pets can thrive. Pet owners must consider that some physical issues related to advanced age may be present or occur. However, it is likely that with good preventative and medical care, older adopted pets can remain healthy and live happy lives.
The ASPCA shares that roughly 6.3 million companion animals enter U.S. animal shelters nationwide every year. Approximately 3.1 million are dogs and 3.2 million are cats. However, these statistics are slightly dated and fluctuating. Due to effects of the pandemic and current economic woes, pets are being abandoned at alarming rates. Because most folks are seeking to adopt younger dogs, adoption rates are significantly lower for senior pets in shelters. This can leave loving older companion-worthy pets without a home or in serious peril. So, if you are thinking of adopting a furry friend, please do not overlook senior pets who can bring much fun, love, and joy into your home and heart. You save them, and they save you.
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