November is “Adopt a Senior Pet Month” and the perfect time to consider adding an older pet to your family. Older dogs and cats are often overlooked at shelters and rescues as so many adopters think that they want those cute, little puppies and kittens that first tug at their heartstrings.  Studies have shown that senior pets spend the longest time awaiting adoption in shelters and have the highest euthanasia rates as well.  The sad truth is that many senior pets live out their final days/years without a forever family to call their own.

There are so many benefits to adopting a senior pet: senior pets tend to be calmer and less energetic overall; they often already know basic behaviors such as house training/litter box training; and they are less demanding of attention and exercise, making them good choices for busy families or those living in apartments. Senior pets are often low-key which can make them ideal for families with children.  And finally, senior pets have personalities that are already established; what you see, is what you get. Adopting a senior pet will require some training, of course, as you will need to familiarize them with your routine and daily schedule. The pay off for adopting a senior pet is that you bring a loving, grateful, settled soul into your home knowing that you are saving their life and allowing them to express all the love they still have left to share.

So what are the downsides to adopting a senior pet?  Obviously, you and your senior pet will have fewer years together and those years may include a few where you are dealing with health issues such as arthritis, dental disease, and weight gain.  Senior pets, just like puppies and kittens, need preventative veterinary care to stay healthy and active as long as possible. The bottom line is that while issues can arise in senior pets, what will occur depends heavily on their breed, lifestyle, and any existing health issues that they might have at the time of adoption. On the plus side, many senior pets come with a full medical history allowing you to choose one whose issues (or potential issues) you are best equipped financially and emotionally to deal with. So, let’s celebrate all of the love and devotion senior pets have to give as we share our favorite social media accounts devoted to the adoption of senior pets.  And show us your beloved seniors on social media using the hashtag #AdoptASeniorPetMonth.

Senior Dogs on IG:

https://www.instagram.com/susiesseniordogs/

https://www.instagram.com/muttvillesf/

https://www.instagram.com/lilyslegacyseniordogs/

Senior Cats on IG & Facebook:

https://www.instagram.com/cattownoak/

https://www.instagram.com/seniorcatnetwork/

https://www.facebook.com/gocatrescue/

Julie Bond

Julie Bond is a voracious reader with eclectic tastes running the gamut from YA lit, to psychological suspense, and anything dog-related, of course. You can find her haunting her favorite San Francisco Bay Area indie bookstores. Email her at ObsessiveBookFanatic@gmail.com

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