Oldies but Goodies
The Benefits of Adopting a Senior Pet
There’s nothing quite like bringing a new puppy or kitten into your life. So cute and furry. So much fun to play with. And don’t even get us started on that puppy breath and the tiny little mews.
Of course, it’s not all fun and games.
Potty trained? Not yet. Prepare to wake up every few hours to rush your puppy out to pee or help your kitten do his business.
Do you like your shoes? Better not leave them around or they’re going to be mistaken for a chew toy.
Ready to just curl up on the couch and snuggle? Think again. Puppies and kittens want to play when they want to play (which is pretty much always).
We’re not saying that adopting a puppy or kitten is a bad thing. They need homes too! But do you know what’s even better?
Adopting a senior dog or cat.
November is Adopt a Senior Pet Month and we couldn’t be more excited. Seniors are amazing! That’s why we dedicated an adoption center just to them. Oldies But Goodies is a senior pet adoption center and boutique thrift store that helps to adopt out older pets who are looking for comfy, loving homes where they can enjoy their golden years.
What Are the Benefits of a Senior Pet
Besides the warm fuzzies you’ll get from saving the life of an often overlooked animal, there are a ton of reasons why senior pets are the best. Let’s take a look at a few of them:
They’re Probably Already Potty Trained
An hour after I brought my 8-year-old foster home (spoiler alert… I kept him), I was standing at the sink washing dishes when I heard a low scratch. I looked up and saw him gently knocking at the door to go out.
In many cases, older dogs have already been in a home and picked up some basic training. That’s less work for you and less trauma to your carpets.
They’re Less Destructive
When I first adopted my (now 15-year-old) pup, she was about one year old, and the world was her chew toy. In the span of just 9 months, she ate: my entire DVD collection, a mattress, a Costco-sized bottle of fiber supplements, a mattress, and a video game controller cord… while it was in use. And those are just the highlights. Now, I can leave my dinner sitting on the couch while I grab a drink and she won’t even touch it.
Senior pets have been there and done that with bad behavior and they are over it.
You Can Know Their Personality Before you Bring Them Home
Not every dog or cat likes other animals. Some are okay with a sibling of their own species, while others need to be the only dog. Not every dog or cat likes children or enjoys long walks on the beach.
While breeds can sometimes give you a glimpse into a dog’s personality, every pet is different and you want to find one that will fit into your life and your family well.
Adopting an older pet means that their personality is already fully formed, and the shelter, rescue, or foster can usually tell you a bit about them and help you determine if they’d be a good fit.
Seniors Need Less Exercise
Some people love to hike, swim, run, or bike. And some don’t. If you’ve got a super active lifestyle filled with sports and activities, you’ll want a pet that matches your zest for adventure. If you prefer to kick back after a long day at work and cuddle on the couch with a good book or a Netflix binge, you’ll want a pet who curls up next to you.
Of course, all animals should get some exercise (with health and mobility taken into consideration). Kitties need to chase around a feather on a stick or a laser pointer, and dogs need to go for regular walks and sniffs each day to keep them healthy and in shape. However, a senior pet will likely be satisfied with a short walk or play session, whereas a younger animal will be bouncing off the walls without enough exercise.
Age is Just a Number
Veterinary guidelines consider pets 7-years-old and up to be seniors. While some pets may start showing signs of old age around this time, there are other pets who are well into the double digits and are still healthy, fit, and active. With regular exams, a healthy diet and lifestyle, and the right mindset, your senior could be mistaken for a younger pet.
How to Find the Right Senior Pet for your Family
Just like a dog’s breed can’t tell you everything about their personality, a pet’s age can’t either. Every animal has his own personality, energy level, and even quirks. The trick is finding the best possible match for your family. Here are a few tips on how to do that.
Assess your Family
Look at who is already living in your house. Do you have young children that will need a dog or cat tolerant of tail and ear pulling, and who would accept (and preferably enjoy) being chased around the house? Are you a senior who lives alone? Do you have other pets in your family?
Assess your Lifestyle
Do you work out of our house (normally, not just during a pandemic), or are you out of the home for hours at a time? Do you prefer to be out and about doing activities or do you prefer to stay home and relax?
Determine your Preferred Level of Care
Not everyone has the time or desire to care for an animal with medical issues. While many senior dogs and cats require nothing more than food, love, and the occasional arthritis medication, there are other pets who have more involved needs. Some animals require medications to be administered by injection, need physical therapy, can only eat special diets, etc. There are some people who will only adopt special needs animals, (and they are AMAZING) but it’s not for everyone. Be honest with yourself about what you will and won’t do.
Talk to your Adoption Counselor
When you find a potential fur baby, be open with the adoption counselor so they can help you determine if the animal would be a good fit for your family. Don’t get disheartened if they think the dog or cat would do better in a different home. With some patience, you’ll find the right baby.
Give the Pet Time to Adjust
Once you’ve found your furry little soulmate, give them some time to adjust to their new life. They may be a bit skittish at first, potty accidents may occur as they acclimate themselves to your home, and it may take a few days for them to bond with your existing pets. Be patient and give them the time and space they need to feel like they truly belong.
Shelters and rescues are filled with older animals who need a family to call their own. Please consider opening your home and your heart to one of these pets. If you live in the Las Vegas area, stop into the Hearts Alive Village Senior Adoption Center, Oldies but Goodies at 1750 S. Rainbow Blvd # 10 or check out our adoptable pets online.