November is Adopt a Senior Pet Month, a time dedicated to advocating for the adoption of older pets. Unfortunately, senior pets are often overlooked due to misconceptions about their care and behavior. Let’s debunk some of these myths and showcase why senior pets make wonderful companions.
Myth 1: Senior Pets Don’t Play or Bond with New Owners
Contrary to this belief, senior pets can be just as playful and affectionate as younger ones. They may not have the boundless energy of a puppy or kitten, but they still enjoy a good play session and can form deep bonds with their new families1. The bond of a senior pet and their new owner is unlike anything else. Once they feel safe and loved, that senior pet will be bonded to you for the rest of their life.
Senior pets are known for their ability to form strong bonds almost instantly2. They often appreciate the second chance they’ve been given and are eager to settle into their new loving homes. This immediate bond can be incredibly rewarding for new pet parents. When you adopt a senior pet, you gain instant knowledge about their personality, size, and behavior1. Unlike puppies or kittens, whose traits can be unpredictable, senior pets come with no surprises.
Adopting a senior pet is a pure act of love4. While your time together might be shorter than with a younger pet, the opportunity to provide a loving home for their golden years is priceless. The love and appreciation they give back is immeasurable.
Myth 2: Senior Pets Aren’t Trainable
This myth couldn’t be further from the truth. Older pets are often more focused and patient than their younger counterparts, making them excellent candidates for learning new tricks and commands2. Training a senior pet may take even less time due to their ability to pay attention and not get as distracted, like a puppy or a kitten might. Their prior training makes them quicker to pick up on new cues, and their calmer demeanor can make the training process smoother.
Myth 3: Senior Pets Have Too Many Health Problems
While it’s true that senior pets may have certain health issues, it doesn’t mean they aren’t capable of living a happy and fulfilling life. Advancements in veterinary medicine allow us to manage many conditions effectively3. Remember, pets of all ages can develop health problems. Try pet foods that are specifically made for senior cats and dogs to ensure they have the proper nutrition for their age. Being proactive about their health will help curb health problems that may occur in the future. Supplements like Prudence Hip and Joint are also a great way to support your senior pet and ensure they are comfortable.
Myth 4: Adopting a Senior Pet is Expensive
The cost of adopting and caring for a senior pet isn’t necessarily higher than that of a younger one. While seniors may require more frequent vet check-ups, they often come with their vaccinations and procedures (like spaying/neutering) already done, which can save adopters these upfront costs5.
They are also less destructive, which can mean less expensive! Senior pets are typically past the stage of teething and excessive curiosity about their environment6. This means they are less likely to be destructive around the house and can be trusted to roam freely without constant supervision7.
Adopting a senior pet can be an incredibly rewarding experience. Senior pets tend to have a calmer, mellow attitude5. This can be particularly beneficial for those seeking a relaxing and calming presence in their lives. In fact, interacting with a pet has been proven to lower blood pressure and reduce stress. They often have established personalities, are usually house-trained, and can fit well into a calm home environment.
This Adopt a Senior Pet Month, let’s debunk these myths and encourage more people to consider giving a loving home to a senior pet.