November is National Adopt a Senior Pet Month – an entire month dedicated to helping find loving homes for older pets. These mature pets need the extra attention because they often take longer to get adopted and spend way too much time in shelters waiting for their forever homes.
Senior companion animals often struggle to compete with younger pets for attention, but there are many benefits to adopting an older animal. Here’s why senior cats and dogs shouldn’t be overlooked:
- You know exactly what you’re going to get – from their physical size and colour to their medical needs and unique quirks, older dogs and cats are open books. Furthermore, shelters often have information from previous owners or foster homes that indicate exactly how they will behave in their new home.
- Senior animals are often calmer and able to focus on training more than a younger kitten or puppy. Often, these pets have spent years living with people and are quicker to adapt to their new family’s expectations.
- Older pets don’t require as much monitoring and are less likely to be destructive (no chew marks from teething puppies or curious kittens climbing the curtains).
- Senior pets are perfect for animal lovers who don’t want to sign up for a 10 to 20-year commitment. Whether the adopter is a senior themselves or may experience frequent moves every few years, a 2 to 5-year commitment might be a better fit for their lifestyle and adopters should choose a pet accordingly.
- The adopters of older animals get to experience the rewarding feeling that comes from giving a loving pet a retirement home to live out their golden years.
While senior pets still have a lot of energy and life to live, they may not be the best fit for adopters who can’t afford routine vet visits. Though an older pet may still be quite healthy when you adopt, their likelihood of requiring additional vet visits and treatments increases as they age. Adopters should always be prepared for regular vet visits no matter the age of the pet they take home, however regular check-ups are extra important for older pets.
Those who work and volunteer in shelters like the Winnipeg Humane Society know the challenge of adopting out senior pets is a year-round endeavor. That’s why we have promotions such as our Senior for Seniors cat program, where our senior adopters can choose a mature or senior cat for a reduced fee. We also offer special fees for our older dogs depending on their age and size. These lower rates for senior pets are offered at the WHS all year long. Come down to 45 Hurst Way to meet a senior animal today!