In animal shelters, puppies and kittens get adopted the quickest. While younger pets are great, senior pets have a lot of love left to give and make an excellent addition to any family. Often older animals are surrendered to a local shelter due to no fault of their own. Their owner(s) has decided to move, passed on, or had a lifestyle change. These pets are lovely and would be thrilled to be adopted.
Here are some reasons to adopt a senior pet:
- Housetraining a puppy, kitten, or other animals such as rabbits can be quite a challenge. Many older pets are have been house trained, socialized, and can do tricks. Some say “you can’t teach an old dog new tricks” which is not true. Older animals often have a better attention span than their younger counterparts and can quickly learn new things.
- Generally speaking, a majority of puppies, kittens, young rabbits, and other baby animals are all quite friendly and happy. That can sometimes change as they get older based on their personality, preferences, and level of socialization. When you adopt an older pet, you get to know exactly what their character is and what they like/dislike before you even take them home. Older pets tend to be calmer which can be great since they still enjoy walking and playing with their people, but are also content to curl up with you and relax.
- Older pets have already gone through their teething phase, so they are less likely to chew on furniture, etc.
- Animals of every breed, colour, age, size, and temperament can be adopted. If you are looking to adopt a specific type, many shelters will allow you to fill out an adoption application in advance and contact you if they arrive.
- When you adopt a pet, you could be saving its life. Thankfully in Nova Scotia, we have several no-kill shelters. In many parts of the world, including Canada, healthy pets are euthanized due to overcrowding in shelters. As senior pets take longer to find homes, they tend to be the most commonly euthanized in shelters.
- Many rescues offer discounted or free adoption rates for older pets, while young animals can be expensive. Young pets often need booster vaccines about a month after adoption and potentially need to be spay or neuter (if not already done). Older pets are typically up to date on vaccines and already spayed or neutered.
- Senior pets will appreciate you for rescuing them. Love and friendship are ageless, and a senior pet would be happy to show you that. When adopting an older pet, they seem to cram a lifetime of love into just a few years. While we love all animals of all ages here at Eastern Shore Vet, the senior pets win our hearts over very quickly.
If you live in the Maritimes, some local rescues (not all) available are Homeward Bound City Pound, Marley’s Hope, The SPCA, Good Bones Dog Rescue, Misfit Manor, Animal Rescue Coalition, Pick Of The Litter, Coastal K9, Litters and Critters, Bide Awhile, Dog-Karma Rescue, and Cool-Dog Rescue.
Many vet clinics frequently have animals up for adoption, especially cats. It is exciting to add a new furry friend to the family. Your vet clinic and animal rescues can help you determine what sort of animal is the best fit.
By: Mikaila Cariou, RVT