One of the best things you can do for a pet and yourself is to adopt one of the hardest to adopt pets found in local shelters: the senior dog or cat. Senior pets are found in shelters across the United States, either surrendered by their owners due to their own struggles with age or illness, by family members after the pet owner has died, or by families that move and are unable to take the pet with them. As a result, more and more senior dogs and cats who have lived with an owner their entire lives, now face life in shelters, which can be frightening, disorienting and lonely. Unfortunately, most of them never make it out of the shelter and back into a home situation due to over-crowding and people wanting to adopt a puppy or a kitten instead.
5 Top Reasons Why You Should Adopt a Senior Pet
There are many reasons why you should adopt an older dog or cat from your local shelter. As long as you bring them to your local animal hospital in Dartmouth for a start-up veterinary check-up, as you should with any new pet, you can stay on top of any health issues and provide the pet with a good and happy life. At Anchor Animal Hospital we provide dental care for pets, as well as in-house testing and preventive medicine, including ultrasound exams for pets, blood work and other screenings.
Reason #1 – It’s Actually Easier
Puppies need to be house-broken and kittens need to learn how to use the litter box. Older pets have better manners, know about where to “do their business” and are easier to introduce into your household, even if you already have other pets. Younger pets are often too hyper or aggressive. While some older pets can be stubborn or set in their ways, they are usually more accommodating and easy to work with than younger animals.
Reason #2 – Less Destructive
Speaking of manners, most senior pets are less destructive than puppies, kittens and other younger animals. They won’t be teething on your brand new kitchen cabinets or antique desk. They also are less likely to get into trash or destroy things while going through the rest of your belongings like younger animals do when becoming acclimated to a new home. They are often trained to respect baby gates and some even prefer to be crated, making it easier to leave them alone without worry.
Reason #3 – No Surprises
We’ve all heard the story: “Well he was only a five-pound puppy, we had no idea he would get to be 100 pounds as an adult!” When you adopt a senior pet there are no surprises. You will often get a veterinary report from the shelter along with tips on dental care for pets. If you want a second opinion regarding your pet’s health, just come in for a veterinary check-up at Anchor Animal Hospital in Dartmouth. We can perform tests, including ultrasound exam for pets, to help allay any concerns or worries you might have about your new pet’s health.
Reason #4 – Obedience Training
If your new senior pet has picked up some bad habits during their time in the shelter or through their previous owner, you can “teach an old dog new tricks” by enrolling them in an obedience training course. Often times senior pets will be more accepting of training than hyperactive young animals and will get the lesson much quicker after just a few classes. Issues such as chewing on shoes, barking, anxiety issues, socialization or walking on a leash can be fixed with a good class. Ask your veterinarian about recommendations for local trainers and training schools.
Reason #5 – Great Companions
There’s just something about hanging out with a senior pet that is relaxing. Senior pets just somehow seem to understand that you took them in when they needed you the most. They bond almost instantly with their new humans and even senior cats are known to be more affectionate and want to spend more time with people than younger cats. Opening up your home and your heart to a senior pet is a very rewarding experience for everyone involved.
Visit Anchor Animal Hospital in Dartmouth
If you are thinking about adopting a senior pet or if you are interested in learning more about getting a veterinary check-up or dental care for pets of all ages, contact our local animal hospital in Dartmouth. We can help you make sure your new family member has a clean bill of health, assist in finding treatment solutions for ongoing age-related conditions and even provide ultrasound exams for pets, as needed. Give us a call at 508-996-3731 to schedule an appointment or learn more about our veterinary services today.