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When families set out to adopt a pet they usually have their eyes set on a baby, like a puppy or a kitten. Unfortunately, this means that senior pets are less likely to be adopted and often end up spending the rest of their lives in shelters without a family. These animals deserve a second chance, and that’s why November is ASPCA Adopt a Senior Pet Month.

Some people assume older dogs and cats are in shelters because they are destructive or have bad behavior. However, there are plenty of reasons why a pet can end up homeless by no fault of their own. Family relocation, death, financial complications, or drastic lifestyle changes such as divorce can have detrimental effects on dogs and cats. Sadly, this can put senior animals at an increased risk for euthanasia when left unadopted at shelters.

If you’re planning on adopting a furry friend for your family, we encourage you to consider a senior pet!

Shi Tzu running on the street

Adopt a Senior Pet Month

ASPCA Adopt a Senior Pet Month promotes the adoption of adult cats and dogs to show that animals are deserving of a forever home, regardless of their age.

Senior pets make a great addition to homes, but it is important to know that they come with their own set of risks. Adopting an older dog or cat could possibly mean more visits to the vet, depending on their breed and existing health conditions. For example, there are many common ailments that develop in senior dogs, including:

  • Arthritis
  • Gum disease
  • Diabetes
  • Blindness
  • Kidney disease
  • Cancer
  • Dementia

In addition to health ailments, a lot of people are deterred from adopting older animals knowing they’ll have less time together. Older pets can still have many years of companionship to offer with enough love and care. Plus, caring for a senior dog or cat doesn’t have to break the bank if your pet is covered by a Prudent Pet insurance plan!

Just like puppies and kittens, adult dogs and cats truly just want a comfortable home and human to love. Despite the possible need for more medical attention, there are plenty of benefits to adopting a senior dog or cat.

Benefits of Adopting a Senior Pet

Don’t let potential medical issues convince you otherwise: older pets are fantastic companions. The truth is, senior cats and dogs easily adapt to their new home life. This is due to a few reasons:

1. Senior Pets Are Already Housetrained

Adult dogs and cats usually are already potty-trained and don’t require the constant attention a puppy or kitten would. This means you probably won’t have to take your dog out every hour or monitor your cat’s litter box all day.

2. They Require Minimal Training

All the problems that come along with a puppy or kitten are of little worry when adopting an older pet. Scratching furniture, eating shoes, and getting into the trash are normal behavior for young animals, but senior dogs and cats are less likely to cause trouble.

3. Their Personalities Are Already Developed

It can be hard to tell how a young animal’s personality will develop as they grow up. With older pets, you already know their temperament, whether they like children, and if they get along with other animals.

If you’re unsure about taking on the responsibility of a puppy, for instance, look at the adult dogs for adoption at your local shelter. The thought of training a young animal can seem overwhelming, so a senior animal is a perfect compromise.

Tabby cat lying on chair
Tabby cat lying on chair

Benefits of Adopting a Senior Pet

Don’t let potential medical issues convince you otherwise: older pets are fantastic companions. The truth is, senior cats and dogs easily adapt to their new home life. This is due to a few reasons:

1. Senior Pets Are Already Housetrained

Adult dogs and cats usually are already potty-trained and don’t require the constant attention a puppy or kitten would. This means you probably won’t have to take your dog out every hour or monitor your cat’s litter box all day.

2. They Require Minimal Training

All the problems that come along with a puppy or kitten are of little worry when adopting an older pet. Scratching furniture, eating shoes, and getting into the trash are normal behavior for young animals, but senior dogs and cats are less likely to cause trouble.

3. Their Personalities Are Already Developed

It can be hard to tell how a young animal’s personality will develop as they grow up. With older pets, you already know their temperament, whether they like children, and if they get along with other animals.

If you’re unsure about taking on the responsibility of a puppy, for instance, look at the adult dogs for adoption at your local shelter. The thought of training a young animal can seem overwhelming, so a senior animal is a perfect compromise.

Labrador looking away

Where to Adopt Senior Dogs and Cats

If you’re unsure where to start, there are plenty of helpful resources to find senior pets. These websites can help you find senior dog and cat rescue organizations that will be the first stepping stone in your journey to find a furry companion.

Below are some of our favorite resources:

Even if you can’t participate in Adopt a Senior Pet Month, you can still help animals in need. Volunteering, donating, and reporting animal cruelty to these great organizations, or to your local animal shelter, is a great place to start.

And remember to spread the word to your pet-seeking friends! There are a lot of older puppies and kittens in need of homes — and these animals have just as much love to offer.

Paws a moment.

Peace of mind starts here.

About the author

Brittany is the proud human to Walter, a spunky little Corgi/Rottweiler mix. Walter was rescued after being left alone near Bloomington, Indiana. This pup doesn’t let his stubby stature hold him back and loves going on walks so he can sniff every tree, flower, and trash can in sight. On Friday nights you can find him cuddled up in front of the TV with a good bone. Help Walter achieve his dreams of fame and keep up with his adventures on Instagram @thewalterbean.

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