November is National Adopt a Senior Pet Month–a month dedicated to helping older pets find loving forever homes. Shelters and rescues across the country hope those looking to adopt a new furry friend will consider adding a senior pet to the family this month. If you care about sweet senior animals, help spread the word throughout November. We can help older pets find homes together.
Many people walk into a shelter or scour a rescue’s website hoping to adopt a new puppy or kitten, completely overlooking the perfectly adoptable older dogs and cats in kennels and cages in their search. In many cases, the absolute most difficult group of homeless pets to place are older dogs and cats.
Senior pets tend to spend the longest amount of time at a shelter or rescue before finding their forever homes. That’s if they find one at all. Older canines and felines of advanced age have higher euthanasia rates than their younger counterparts. They can often live the rest of their lives out in a shelter kennel.
There are plenty of benefits to selecting an older pet over a younger one. Because senior pets are typically calmer and less energetic than puppies and kittens, it’s easier to teach them new tricks. In fact, many senior pets are already pros at performing basic commands. Their low-key natures can also make them ideal for households with children.
Adopters who add a senior pet to the family often get an entirely different level of satisfaction from the adoption experience. You are truly saving a life that someone else turned away from. Senior pets have so much love and compassion still to share, and they make the most amazing companions.
Bringing an older pet home from the shelter or rescue can have its own unique challenges though. Sometimes, because the pet is at an advanced age, there can be some extra health issues to consider.
Owning a senior pet is not necessarily ‘cheap.’ They need regular vet care, sometimes twice annually to ensure problems, which can be unseen, have not developed.
During your pet’s senior preventive care exam, we take into account the health risks for which senior pets may be at risk, including joint problems, obesity, gum disease, and diabetes.
We are strong believers in the importance of screening lab work, especially for older pets. Often we can pick up a change in the lab work before you or we notice a clinical problem. Instead of “putting out fires”, let’s address the issue before your pet is in a crisis. It is almost always less expensive and more effective to address problems early.
But that, by no means, should deter someone from adopting a senior pet. Depending on breed, lifestyle, and existing health issues, a senior dog or cat can still have plenty of healthy and happy years to give as your loving companion. Has it been a while since your faithful old companion had a checkup? Give us a call!