Older animals are often overlooked when families are thinking about adopting a pet. A senior animal is considered between 10 and 12 years old. An animal below that range of age is considered juvenile.
Cats and dogs lose their homes for a lot of reasons, but the most common is not because of the animal’s behaviour. Sometimes the previous owner may have to re-home their pet because they cannot take care of it anymore.
I suggest families do some research when it comes to animal adoption and see what pet fits their family’s lifestyle, or, may I suggest, what family fits their pets lifestyle. If you have young children, and you are considering adopting a pet, you might consider an older dog or cat because generally they are less fragile and have a better temperament.
A lot of people may not know this, but if a senior animal is not adopted for a length of time, some facilities may put the animal down. So, by adopting an older animal, you may be saving its life.
Another reason I think people should think about adopting an older animal is, older dogs are not necessarily going to immediately have health issues at the age of 10 or even 12, due to the fact, many have had any issues taken care of, unless this is why they were given up by the family in the first place. At least in this case you will know what you are getting into and can inquire about the costs involved to get them into shape.
Older dogs are also easier to train to walk on a leash and most already know how to do so themselves, and an older cat will most likely be litter box trained.
Middle aged to older dogs, not senior mind you, say 6 – 9 years old, have a longer attention span than a puppy would have, so they are more likely to pick up tricks faster than a younger dog whose attention span is easily taken away by other things.
I think a big factor for adopting a senior dog would be, senior dogs tend to be less energetic than a puppy would be, so they are less tiring to take care. In addition, older dogs already have their adult teeth, teething makes younger dogs antsy, so they are less likely to chew on shoes or rip furniture.
Although, I think, adopting older animals is a good idea and should be at the forefront when considering adopting a pet, I understand there are also multiple downsides to adopting older animals. Older pets can cost more because of health problems related to aging, like arthritis, kidney failure, or even diabetes, and medication can cost a lot of money. However, younger dogs can have issues like diplacia or bladder control issues due to nervousness, so this kind of balances out medically in the evaluation of things. Not many people want to deal with the hassle of pets with health issues. This is a big factor for families when they are considering pet adoption.
I like to think most people will go the extra mile for their pet and buy them the medication they need to stay happy and healthy in their old age.
Consider adopting a senior pet when you are thinking about adoption, senior animals are just as deserving of a loving home.