November is Adopt a Senior Pet Month
Who wouldn’t love welcoming an adorable puppy or kitten into their family? Cute, cuddly, and sweeter than sugar, puppies and kittens are wonderful animal companions. But did you know that shelters across the country have lots of adult animals available for adoption as well? Unfortunately, these animals tend to be overlooked. That’s why the ASPCA has declared November to be National Adopt a Senior Pet Month.
There are many advantages to inviting an older animal into your family, particularly if you are an older person. For one thing, older animals tend to be calmer and require less active play time in favor of more chill out and cuddle time. This can be much easier for an older person to handle than a highly energetic puppy or kitten. Similarly, older animals are more likely to have already been socialized with people and so are more comfortable settling easily into a new family. They are likely to already have had at least some training, so the initial getting used to each other phase will be easier and quicker. Older animals are no longer teething and exploring everything, so they will be less likely to chew up your shoes or your couch or go through toys too quickly. They are also completely capable of learning new behaviors, if you wish to teach them. Additionally, their sixth sense that their lives have been saved makes older animals bond easily and firmly with their adopters. No aloofness among the senior set. Finally, as adult animals,you will not be surprised down the road by the animal’s size or temperament.
There are a few things to keep in mind, however, when adopting a senior animal. First, the older the animal, the less time you will have together. However, your bond will be just as strong as if you brought home a young pup or kitten. And, unfortunately, many animals develop difficult health conditions that can be challenging to manage later on in life. Be sure that you are able and willing to take on these aspects of older animal adoption before making a decision.
In short, whether you are considering adopting a cat, dog, guinea pig, or any other animal companion, there are plenty of benefits to adopting a senior animal. And though you may have a shorter time together, for the time that you do spend, you will have made a difference in the life of your animal companion.