We love our senior pets – that’s why we are thrilled that November is Adopt a Senior Pet Month! If you’ve been thinking about adding a four-legged-friend to your family, consider opening your home and your heart to an older dog or cat in need.
How old is a senior pet? The majority of veterinarians consider dogs to be seniors starting at 5 to 7 years old, depending on the breed/size of the canine. Most vets categorize cats around 9 years old as senior. So 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.
While small kittens and puppies may be adorable, older pets are just as loving and loyal as their younger counterparts. Not to mention, adopting a senior animal companion comes with some cool advantages:
- Grown-up pets don’t require the constant monitoring and training that puppies and kittens do.
- Senior pets are typically calmer and less energetic than puppies and kittens, and they can also be easier to teach new tricks.
- Many are already house-trained, saving you from weeks, months, or in some cases even years of stress.
- Their low-key natures can also make them ideal for households with children.
- Since senior pets are fully grown, you’ll be immediately aware of important information like personality type and grooming requirements, making it easier to choose the perfect pet for your family.
Senior pets tend to spend the longest amount of time at a shelter or rescue before finding their forever home — if they find one at all, that is. Older canines and felines of advanced age have higher euthanasia rates than their younger counterparts, and can often live the rest of their lives out in a shelter kennel. When you adopt a senior pet, you’re not only welcoming a lifetime of love into your home, you’re also saving a precious life.
There are many local shelters and rescue groups who hope those looking to adopt a new furry friend will consider adding a senior pet to the family: Charlottesville-Albemarle SPCA, Green Dogs Unleashed, Greene County Animal Shelter and Caring for Creatures.