National Adopt A Senior Pet Month sheds light on the on the positive qualities of adopting a more mature animal. Adopting a senior shelter pet is one of the most satisfying things you can do to save a life, giving them a second chance!
Many will find adopting an older pet can be a much smoother transition than getting a puppy or kitten. The beauty of adopting an older dog is ‘what you see is what you get’. There are fewer surprises as the dog gets older, and they are often ‘ready-made’ – leash trained, house trained, requiring little more than a warm bed, a little exercise, a good meal, and all the love and companionship you have to share. And don’t believe the rumors – you most definitely CAN teach an old dog a new trick! Many are eager to learn and already ‘speak the language’.
Experts also agree pet ownership has measurable positive effects on your health, from lowered blood pressure to improved well-being. A great match is senior citizens and senior pets, a partnership which can lift depression and increase socialization.
A misconception is that a senior pet is ‘old’ with health issues. The reality is shelters may have pets as young as 5 years old in the senior category. For some, it simply means they are in their adult stage of life, rather than their puppy phase, with a full long life ahead of them. There’s a lot of bonus points for having a pet that is beyond the challenging puppy stage! The overall expected lifespan of the animal and health is more relative to their status than actual age.
Some think shelters are full of strays or animals with behavior issues. Sadly, we see loving mature pets dropped at shelters as a result of lifestyle and circumstances of the owners – moving, retiring and traveling, lack of funds to care for them, illness or family issues, or addition of children to the home without ability to manage both.
Lately, social media has seen a rise in stories from altruistic animal lovers adopting older seniors and taking them on their self-made bucket list, giving them the life they never had in their final years. Advertising and marketing have also highlighted the rewards of older pets, pulling on heartstrings to sell cars (see Subaru’s ad here – Make the Most of Every Mile), creating a win-win putting these deserving guys in people’s hearts and minds. Tracy Stewart, wife of Jon Stewart, has released a book called Do Unto Animals, with a passage on the pros of senior pets. All positive attention for shifting us from a culture of pets being disposable, with less numbers ending up in shelters. There is something incredibly powerful about providing sanctuary, love, care, snuggles, and ultimately peace to a senior pet in his or her final years.
Click the link below to explore our deserving loyal companions. Then come see them for yourself, and take home a lifetime of love! You’ll also have post-adoption support from our amazing team at Living Free to make sure you have resources for a happy transition.