Senior Pet Month: 8 reasons to adopt a dog or cat that’s a little bit older
We all know puppies are cute and kittens are adorable. That’s a given. But they’re also quite a lot of hard work.
Young dogs in particular can wreak havoc in your home in the early weeks – and that’s even before we get on to the subjects of toilet and obedience training.
As it’s Senior Pet Month, it’s a good chance to highlight some of the benefits of choosing an older animal if you are looking to adopt a dog or cat.
1 Older pets are not destructive
Most older dogs and cats will generally be beyond the stage where they will tear apart your soft furnishings and attempt to scratch their way through doors.
Puppies and kittens are naturally curious and will look to test almost every fabric in your home, whereas older pets tend not to have this streak.
This means they are more likely to be comfortable being left on their own while you’re at work and you won’t need to worry about coming home to something resembling a war zone.
2 Older dogs are good with children
If you are bringing a dog in to a home with young children, then an older pet might be a smart choice.
You should be able to find out a bit of background about any animal you have in mind and check if he or she has been brought up around children in a previous home.
3 Older dogs are already trained
Depending on their background, older dogs will already be trained – at least in the basics such as been told to sit and stay.
They might also be house-trained, but bear in mind they might need a few days to get used to the rules in a new home.
4 No surprises
Adopting a fully grown pet means there won’t be any surprises in future. You’ll know he or she won’t grow into a beast that dominates your house and you’ll know the coat colour will be consistent.
There are other benefits such as knowing about the long-term health of the dog. Some puppies, for example, could grow to have hip or joint problems, which are difficult to predict.
5 Old dogs, new tricks
Just because you are choosing an older animal, doesn’t mean there won’t be any fun. In fact, older dogs are often better at concentrating, making them more receptive to learning new tricks and tasks.
6 Older cats can be purr-fect
When searching for an older pet, you can be very specific with what you’re looking for.
If, for example, you’re looking for a long-haired cat with no history of dental problems, you can search using those criteria until you find an animal that exactly matches your brief.
7 Older pets are great company
Senior pets for senior citizens. Sounds simple but it’s true – they do make great companions.
Older pets are generally lower-maintenance and don’t mind taking things a little more slowly throughout the day.
8 Older pets are grateful to you
Older pets seem to appreciate the fact you have given them a home and many owners find they quickly form a close bond with their new dog or cat.
While the animal is thankful for the support, owners also tend to benefit, feeling a sense of pride that they have done a good deed by adopting an older dog or adopting an older cat.