November is a busy month for pet related awareness. It includes National Pet Diabetes Month, National Pet Cancer Awareness and today is even the start of shelter appreciation week… but like every other month of the year, senior pets garner less attention than they deserve. That is why this November Goodnewsforpets wants to highlight the ASPCA‘s Adopt A Senior Pet campaign.
Older dogs are often the last to be adopted in shelters. This statement is supported by a recent Petfinder.com survey conducted during this year’s Adopt-A-Less-Adoptable-Pet Week. Senior pets ranked harder to adopt than even pets with special needs, with shelters and rescues stating that 28% of their less adoptable pets were seniors. Pitbull type dogs were found to be 21% less adoptable, while adult cats and pets with special needs came in at 19%. It’s these results that make Adopt A Senior Pet Month so important.
The ASPCA is a huge fan of senior pups, stating they don’t destroy furniture, either already house-trained or figure it out quickly, they’re perfect for a busy OR low-key lifestyle and most importantly you know exactly what you’re getting when you adopt a senior pet.
Here are 10 reasons to adopt a senior pet:
1. What You See Is What You Get
Older dogs are open books—from the start, you’ll know important things like their full-grown size, personality and grooming requirements. All this information makes it easier to pick the right dog and forge that instant love connection that will last a lifetime. If you’re not so into surprises, an older dog is for you!
2. Easy to Train
Think you can’t teach an old dog new tricks? Hogwash! Older dogs are great at focusing on you—and on the task at hand—because they’re calmer than youngsters. Plus, all those years of experience reading humans can help them quickly figure out how to do what you’re asking.
3. Seniors are Super-Loving
One of the cool parts of our job is reading stories from people just like you who have opted to adopt. The emails we get from pet parents with senior dogs seem to all contain beautiful, heartfelt descriptions of the love these dogs give you—and those of you who adopted dogs already in their golden years told us how devoted and grateful they are. It’s an instant bond that cannot be topped!
4. They’re Not a 24-7 Job
Grownup dogs don’t require the constant monitoring puppies do, leaving you with more freedom to do your own thing. If you have young children, or just value your “me time,” this is definitely a bonus.
5. They Settle in Quickly
Older dogs have been around the block and already learned what it takes to get along with others and become part of a pack. They’ll be part of the family in no time!
6. Fewer Messes
Your floors, shoes and furniture will thank you for adopting a senior pooch! Older dogs are likely to already be housetrained—and even if they’re not, they have the physical and mental abilities to pick it up really fast (unlike puppies). With their teething years far behind them, seniors also are much less likely to be destructive chewers.
7. You Won’t Bite Off More Than You Can Chew
There are those who yearn for a doggie friend of their own, but hold back because they worry what might happen in their lives in the years to come. And they are wise to do so—a puppy or young dog can be anywhere from an 8- to 20-year responsibility, which is not appropriate for the very elderly or those with certain long-term future plans. Providing a loving home for a dog in her golden years is not a less serious commitment, but it can be a shorter one.
8. They Enjoy Easy Livin’
Couch potato, know thyself! Please consider a canine retiree rather than a high-energy young dog who will run you ragged. Not that older dogs don’t require any exercise—they do—but they’re not going to need, or want, to run a marathon every day.
9. Save a Life, Be a Hero
At shelters, older dogs are often the last to be adopted and the first to be euthanized. Saving an animal’s life offers an unparalleled emotional return on your investment, and you’ll feel the rewards every day you spend together.
10. They’re CUTE!
Need we say more?
Feature photo by Nomadic Lass, used under a creative commons license. No changes were made.