!Let's Talk! Button

Let’s Talk/Text! 331-212-0836
Low Cost Vaccine Clinics
Let’s Talk/Text! 331-212-0836

6 Reasons To Adopt A Senior Pet

November 1, 2023

November is Adopt A Senior Pet Month! This is a wonderful—and important—cause. Older animals often have a very hard time getting adopted. It’s just too hard for them to compete with kittens and puppies. However, dogs and cats in their golden years can be really cute. Plus, they have some wonderful qualities that many people really haven’t considered. A Yorkville, IL vet lists some of them in this article.

They’re Calm

Young dogs and cats are adorable, but they can also be a handful. Fluffy and Fido need a lot of enrichment in those first several years, and can be quite frisky. Older pets, however, are content to quietly nap at your feet or on your lap.

No Surprises

When you get a puppy or kitten, you can’t really say for certain what your furry friend will look like as an adult, or how big they’ll get. Size is particularly important with dogs. Fido’s size can have a huge effect on your housing options, especially if you’re renting. This isn’t an issue with senior pets: you know exactly what you’re getting.  

Prior Training

Chances are, an older dog or cat that is up for adoption has been a pet before. They’ll have a pretty good idea of what is expected of them. Senior dogs are usually already trained and housebroken. Bonus!

Less Destruction

By the time Fluffy and Fido reach their retirement years, they’ll most likely have outgrown destructive behaviors like chewing sofas and digging up flowerbeds. That’s a huge plus! 

Lower Activity Needs

Younger animals are often quite zoomy and playful. This is fun, but it also means you’ll need to spend a lot of time entertaining and exercising your furry friend. Senior pets are usually more interested in chasing Z’s than chasing squirrels. That makes them a great match for people who aren’t highly active themselves.

Shorter Commitment

Senior pets don’t have as much time as puppies or kittens, so the overall commitment is typically shorter. We know, it can be sad to realize you may not have much time with your new furry pal. However, there is a lot to be said for taking in a sweet senior pet that just wants love, care, and attention, and just giving them a wonderful retirement. Many people find this to be a beautiful and rewarding—if bittersweet—experience.

Our Advice on Reasons To Adopt A Senior Pet in 2024

Why might a senior pet be a calmer companion than a kitten or puppy?

A senior pet naturally exhibits a calmer demeanor compared to the boundless energy of kittens and puppies. This tranquility stems from their maturity; they’ve passed the highly energetic and exploratory phases of youth. Older pets tend to prefer relaxing and napping over engaging in frenetic activity, making them ideal companions for those seeking a less demanding pet. Their settled nature allows for more peaceful coexistence, as they’re content with simple pleasures like lounging at your feet or enjoying quiet companionship, aligning well with more sedate lifestyles.

Do senior pets have lower exercise requirements?

Yes, senior pets typically have lower exercise requirements than their younger counterparts. As animals age, their energy levels naturally decrease, making them less inclined towards extensive physical activity. Instead of the high-energy play and long walks necessary for younger pets, senior animals often prefer shorter, more leisurely walks and gentle play sessions. This reduced need for vigorous exercise makes them well-suited to individuals or families with more sedentary lifestyles, providing a perfect balance of companionship and manageable activity levels for both pet and owner.

What are some common health conditions that develop in older pets?

Older pets commonly face several health conditions as they age. Arthritis is prevalent, causing joint pain and reducing mobility. Dental issues, including gum disease and tooth loss, can affect their ability to eat and maintain overall health. Kidney and liver diseases become more common, requiring careful management. Heart disease can also develop, necessitating regular monitoring. Additionally, senior pets are at an increased risk for cancer and may experience cognitive decline, impacting their behavior and memory. Regular veterinary check-ups are crucial to manage these conditions and maintain quality of life.

How can you help a senior pet adjust to a new home and family?

To help a senior pet adjust to a new home and family, create a calm and welcoming environment. Start by providing them with a quiet, comfortable space of their own, equipped with a cozy bed and their favorite toys. Introduce routines gradually for feeding, walks, and rest, as consistency offers security. Spend quality time bonding through gentle play and affection to build trust. Be patient and allow them to explore their new surroundings at their own pace. Regular veterinary check-ups are essential to address any health needs promptly, ensuring a smooth transition and a healthy, happy life in their new home.

Do senior cats have unique care requirements compared to senior dogs?

Senior cats and dogs share common age-related needs, yet there are unique aspects to each. Senior cats often require more attention to their nutritional needs, with a focus on kidney health and maintaining a healthy weight. They may also need litter box modifications to accommodate mobility issues. Conversely, senior dogs might need more assistance with mobility, including ramps and softer sleeping surfaces to ease joint pain. Both may benefit from more frequent veterinary check-ups to manage chronic conditions. Tailoring care to these nuances ensures cats and dogs enjoy their golden years comfortably.

Do you have questions about your pet’s health or care? Feel free to contact us, your Yorkville, IL pet hospital, anytime!

[am_post_grid posts_per_page=”9″ paginate=”yes”]