Everyone have a wonderful weekend from The Greenwood Veterinary Hospital Staff!!
Thinking of adding a new pet to your family? Before you run to the pet store or a breeder consider adoption from an animal shelter or rescue group first. There are lots of wonderful, loving, and needy pets in shelters all over the U.S. Adopting an animal from a shelter saves lives! Also when adopting take into consideration the benefits of adopting an older cat or dog. Not to mention when you adopt from a shelter your adoption fee covers the cost of the animal being sterilized and vaccinated. And your money goes to funding for the shelter so that other homeless animals have a safe place to stay and food to eat until they are adopted.
If you have never owned a pet or are looking for a companion animal, consider adopting an older animal from a shelter. Older animals need love too! Here is a little information on the benefits of adopting an older animal.
Everyone loves kittens and puppies because they’re cute and playful. And yet it seems like everyone who’s ever raised a kitten or puppy has at least one “horror story” to go along with it! Baby animals are adorable, but there are many loving older pets who need “retirement homes” to call their own. Reasons to adopt an older pet include:
- They’re more mellow and tend to have better house manners. While many are still active, they’re just as content to relax at home with you.
- Senior dogs are better focused and are easier to train - and they may already know some commands. You may have heard the saying, “You can’t teach an old dog new tricks!” Fortunately that’s not true. Puppies tend to have a short attention span, while older dogs learn quickly.
- Senior pets are often already house-trained. Dogs will know how to ask to be let outside when have need to go, and cats will know how to use their litter boxes.
- They’re past the “destructive” stage. Puppies will chew most anything while they’re in their teething stage, and kittens have yet to learn what’s appropriate to scratch and what’s not! Older pets tend to know what is “theirs”, and they’ve often been taught what “no” means.
- You’ll have more time for yourself and to enjoy your pet, instead of cleaning up after them, attending to frequent bathroom breaks, teaching them manners, and all the other stuff that’s necessary when you have a youngster.
- You know what you’re getting. You know how big your pet’s going to be, how he looks, how active he is, and so on. Puppies and kittens have a lot of growing to do and they may develop into an adult that is different from what you expected.
- Most importantly, senior pets have lots of love to give and they’ll form a steadfast bond with their new people. They just need someone to love them in return!
Check with your local SPCA or animal rescue group to find older pets in need of a home.
The Truth Behind the Benefits of Adopting an Older Pet
When deciding to adopt a pet, many people choose to adopt a kitten or puppy instead of an older dog or cat.
Besides being housebroken, older cats and dogs are sometimes better to adopt for a number of reasons. They can “fit” into your lifestyle a little easier, especially if this is your first pet. Older pets can usually be more trusted around the house than a puppy or kitten and don’t need to be crated when you leave the house. And in the case of dogs, they do not usually need to be taken outside every few hours. Other things to consider are that puppies cannot go to dog parks or to the beach until they are fully vaccinated. Lastly, with an older pet you know what you are getting and how big or small the animal will grow up to be. Read on to learn about common myths about older animals.
Myth: Older dogs and cats are at shelters and animal organizations because there is something wrong with them and they are not socialized.
Truth: Older pets are not at shelters and animal organizations because there is something wrong with them. There are a number of reasons why an older animal may have been surrendered to a shelter, including the family moved, their owner died or has no time for them, change in work schedule, new baby, or a change in “lifestyle” where a new spouse/partner does not feel the same way about the pet. Older animals often have had some degree of training, including obedience, and socialization.
Myth: It costs more to have an older pet.
Truth: It does not cost more to have an older pet. While older pets may need to have more consistent care to prevent certain conditions or diseases, puppies and kittens are actually more expensive to have. Don’t forget all of the shoes and furniture you may have to replace if you have a very active puppy or kitten!
Myth: Older pets are not as loving as puppies and kittens
Truth: Older pets are just as loving, if not more loving than puppies and kittens. They are more appreciative and loving and it is much easier for an older pet to adjust to your lifestyle than a younger pet.
So before you run out and buy a new puppy or kitten, give some thought about adopting an older cat or dog. Because who said you can’t teach an old dog new tricks!