Sweet, loving, grateful, spirited-- these are just a couple of adjectives dog owners often use to explain the personalities of their senior pets. Individuals can get quite passionate about their older dogs and cats, and some even commit their lives to adopting senior pets.
However, in spite of a gradually growing fan club, there are many misconceptions about adopting senior pets, which makes them less popular than younger animals at shelters, putting them at higher risk of euthanasia.
If you're considering adopting a senior shelter pet, first of all, thank you. Older dogs (and cats!) are some of the best and most thankful animals up for adoption, so here's everything you need to know before taking one home.
Senior dogs are excellent for first-time pet owners.
There is a lot to be stated for a mature pet dog with a recognized character and habits. The boundless energy of a young puppy is not always something new and experienced pet owners alike are ready for. Adult and senior dogs tend to have a more manageable energy level, and often are already house trained and basic commands.
If you're concerned about the mess that comes along with a pet, senior dogs can be an excellent choice for first-time pet owners. Sure, you'll still need a good vacuum for pet hair and a consistent grooming schedule, since senior dogs usually are already house trained, you likely have fewer messes to worry about.
" Senior" can indicate several things
When talking animal ages, the term senior can be confused with geriatric-- however these are two are not the same. With a senior dog, you usually get a dog with a lot of spunk and life left. They may be older, but they aren't always knocking on heaven’s door.
The senior classification isn't connected to a particular age and can vary greatly depending upon the breed. Smaller dogs tend to have longer life expectancy than larger-breeds. In some cases, a large-breed canine as young as five years old may be considered a 'senior.'
Senior dogs are typically healthy or just starting to show signs of aging, and have a lot of love left to give. A 17-year-old Pomeranian or a 7-year-old golden retriever are equally as deserving of a caring house as any young puppy.
Age is just a number.
Some fear that embracing a senior dog will just cause heartbreak, however fretting about how many years are left, rather than if the animal is an excellent fit for your home, could result in losing out on years of love. Potential animal owners should concentrate on the beautiful, satisfying years they might have in front of them. Many senior dogs live for many years after they are adopted, and turn out to be some of the best family pets out there.
You can teach an old pet new tricks.
Think older pets are stuck in their ways? Reconsider.
Another misunderstanding is that adult dogs are more difficult to train or come with habits concerns left from previous owners. While it is true that adult and senior pets usually have established personalities, with love and attention, you can help your pet unlearn bad habits, and teach them new habits at the same time.
They're already used to being pets.
Numerous senior animals wind up in shelters through no fault of their own and have already had years of experience living in a family as a caring pet. Animals who enter shelters after being surrendered by their owners, either due to moving, health problems or financial hardships, are prepared for a second chance to fit into a domestic routine.
When checking out a shelter, keep an open mind, and you may just be surprised by whom you choose to take home.
Adopt a senior pet today!
If you’re ready to adopt an animal, we hope you consider all the benefits there are to choosing a senior. They will make a great addition to your family, and you’ll be saving a life.