November is Adopt a Senior Pet month. If your elderly loved one has been considering becoming a pet owner for companionship or any other reason, November is the perfect month to consider adopting an older pet.
Many people who become pet owners love the idea of starting out with a pet when it’s young, determined to have that pet for as long as possible. And while that is wonderful, unfortunately, it means that when an older pet finds its way into a shelter or without an owner, sometimes finding a new owner for that pet is a bit more difficult. They often get looked over for those big puppy eyes or cute little kitten meows. But adopting a senior pet may be the perfect option for your senior and here are four reasons why.
They’re already trained.
Training a puppy to go potty outside or even how to walk on a leash can be a lot of work. Trying to help a kitten figure out how a litter box works can be messy and aggravating. But older animals have already learned those basics and usually, they don’t forget them when they move into a new home. Sure, you’ll need to show them around, but with their experience, they’re fast learners.
They have less energy.
Energy is good – puppy energy is exhausting. A young dog may need several long walks a day to work out all of his energy and keep him out of trouble at home. And while you can get help with walking from a home care assistance provider or the neighbor, your elderly parent is still going to have to deal with the in-house energy. How many times can that kitten climb the curtains? Many senior dogs and senior cats simply want to sit and snuggle with your parent, which may be just what he’s looking for in a companion.
You can match personalities.
An older pet has already developed its personality, whether that’s quiet and reserved, or outgoing and goofy. If your elderly parent goes to the shelter with his home care assistance provider, they can tell the staff what kind of personality he is looking for. And the staff at the shelter can make sure to steer him away from pets that don’t match what he’s looking for. Having your parent know his pet’s personality before he brings it home increases the chance of a perfect match.
Senior pets are appreciative.
An older dog or cat in a shelter is extremely grateful when given a new home. That pet has already learned to love one human and is ready to love another. It knows how important that relationship is. And while you can surround your parent with all the caregivers he needs like yourself and his entire home care assistance team, no one gives unconditional love and comfort like an older pet.
Adopting a senior pet is the ultimate good deed – for both the pet and your elderly loved one. It helps both know that they are not forgotten and still have a valuable place in this world.
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