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The Senior Pet: An Older, But Still Wonderful Option

Potential adopters often overlook senior pets for younger pets, therefore they tend to stay in shelters longer. However, senior pets are often a wonderful option for individuals or families looking to add a new animal addition to the family and, therefore, shouldn’t be discounted when opting to adopt. Many people who have chosen to adopt an older pet will tell you that senior pets seem to understand the second chance you’ve given them and form a very special bond with their new adoptive family.

What to Expect With Senior Pets:

They’re fully matured: Younger pets are still in the process of learning, developing, and growing. A senior pet is fully matured, which means it has a fully formed demeanor, temperament, and personality.

They tend to be calmer: Most senior pets tend to be calmer and more laid-back, which is why many of them do well in houses with young children or first-time pet owners.

When you sleep, they sleep: Much like human babies, puppies require a great deal of sleep for healthy development, and their nap patterns can be very erratic. Furthermore, during the potty training stage, its not uncommon to experience late night potty runs. Older dogs are often already potty trained and tend to adjust to the family schedule easier.

They have experience being part of a family: Many senior pets were once beloved family pets but for whatever reason have ended up at a shelter. There’s a good chance your senior pet has lived in a home before and understands basic household etiquette. It’s also likely your senior pet has spent time being socialized around humans and will need less adjustment time before settling in as a member of your family.

It’s easier to teach an old dog new tricks: Senior dogs tend to be easier to train because they’re calmer and have better attention spans compared to younger dogs. It’s also likely that your senior dog will already be housebroken and familiar with basic commands. Younger pets require a lot of time and effort to fully train.

Older dogs are not necessarily “problem dogs” as many tend to think: Senior pets are surrendered for a host of reasons, not just do to with their behavior or temperament. In many cases, surrendering occurs because their owners are unable to keep them. Some common reasons senior pets are surrendered include the novelty of owning a dog wears off, death of the  owner, arrival of a new baby, loss of a job and/or an inability to financially provide the care needed for the pet, a move, change in work schedule, and various other lifestyle changes. These older pets need homes just as badly as young ones do, and make wonderful household pets.

Senior pets have a lot of love left in them: If you give your love to an older pet, you can be sure they will devote the rest of their life to loving you back.

So, if you are considering adopting, don’t discount the senior pets!

senior pet

– Special thanks to Ontario SPCA

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