November is Adopt a Senior Pet Month! So often people overlook senior pets in shelters. Potential adopters pass them by to meet the squishy little puppies or exuberant teenagers doling out face kisses. But as senior pet adopters ourselves, we can vouch that the older dog or cat everyone passes over has a lot of love, time and joy to give a new family. Here are some of the lessons we've learned from adopting senior pets:
There's no guarantee for any animal you bring home, but in general we've found our senior pets are well past the silly puppy antics and hard-headed teenage years. Senior pets tend to be housebroken and don't feel the need to chew on shoes or inappropriate objects. Get into mischief? No thanks. Give them a soft bed and a full bowl of food, and you have a happy and fulfilled pet!
Some people run marathons every week, topped off with a 5 mile hike. Other people like to spend the weekend catching up on T.V. shows. If you're a T.V. show type of a person a senior pet will fit right into your lifestyle. Adopting a pet that has too much or too little energy can cause stress at home: you want to run and play, your pet doesn't. Or you prefer to relax after work but your pet needs a run followed by a game of fetch. Many senior pets are happy with a short walk followed by dinner and a snuggle on the sofa. If that sounds like the perfect date to you then a senior dog could be just the pet you need.
There's just something about a senior dog. They've been around, they've been loved and they've been abandoned. So when they realize they have their for-ever home their appreciation knows no bounds. A senior pet understands what you've given them and they reciprocate every single day. Waking up to their smiling face and knowing you've saved a life is a powerful feeling.
Fun Times Ahead!
But I like playing with dogs, you think. Won't a senior dog be too old to play? No way! Senior doesn't mean decrepit. Senior dogs still enjoy playing, hiking and exploring with their family. They just don't have the frenetic energy of a puppy. Adopt a senior dog and you won't have to schedule hours from your day to exercise them. Plus, many senior dogs have already been socialized to different people and situations, making them the perfect companion for a brunch date or dinner at a brewery. So the next time you're ready to bring home a new family member, don't let a few grey hairs scare you. You may just be looking at your perfect companion!