November is the month when our neighbours to the south celebrate Thanksgiving. It is also the month where us Canadians honour the men and women who have fought for us, and those who continue to put themselves in harms way for their country and to make the world a better and safer place.
What many do not know is that November is also known in the pet world as Adopt a Senior Pet Month. Sadly, many healthy older animals are often overlooked when people are looking for a new pet to raise and love. When looking at animals up for adoption, many families want a young puppy or kitten to train and grow with their family. Many are worried that because an animal is old, they will not have much time left or they believe that these pets have been given to the shelter because of behaviour problems. In fact most senior pets are there because their previous owners can no longer care for them, or do not want to care for them anymore. Because of this misinformation most of these wonderful seniors will never find a new home and even worse, will usually be the first to be euthanized.
Contrary to popular belief, older animals are not hard to train. Their personality is fully formed and because they are calmer they can focus more easily on their new owners, unlike they young puppies and kittens. Also if you are choosing an older pet, it is easier to choose one who will fit with your family and lifestyle because their personality is already formed. Senior dogs and cats don’t require the constant monitoring puppies do, leaving the owner more freedom and time. This is definitely a plus if there are small children in the family. These abandoned pets are likely to already be house-trained, and even if they’re not, they have the physical and mental capabilities to learn really fast. Their teething years are also far behind them, so they are much less likely to be destructive chewers. A senior pet is also a great companion for a senior citizen as they provide great company, plenty of snuggles and even though they still need their exercise, they do not require hours of powerwalks a week.
The biggest downside to adopting an older pet is that you will not get 10-15 years with your pet. However, if you can get past the amount of years and look forward to the quality of that time, you will easily see that bringing a senior pet into your home is one of the best decisions you will ever make.
Save a life. Adopt a Senior Pet today! Contact your local shelter for more details.