November is National Adopt a Senior Pet Month and we must confess, we at Hearts at Home Pet Sitting have a heart for seniors! If you’re considering adopting a senior or have a dog that will soon/eventually be a senior, here are the top reasons why we LOVE senior pets.
Senior Pets Are More Intuitive
After years of living among humans, senior pets have an intuition about us. Puppies and kittens are constantly trying to decipher our hand gestures, words, tone of voice, and what we want from them. Most senior pets have learned their lessons long ago and are ready to happily coexist in the world with the guidance of their humans. Senior pets have made their mistakes and learned from them, which is why many rescue organizations encourage first-time pet owners to adopt seniors, which are, in general, pets over 8-10 years old.
Most Senior Pets Have Training
If you haven’t potty trained a puppy, be forewarned that it’s not for the faint of heart. Kittens tend to take to their litter boxes quicker than dogs take to potty training but they come with their own set of challenges. Puppyhood and kittenhood are not easy periods for anyone. Most parents equate raising puppies and kittens with raising infants and toddlers. If you’re not up for having a toddler running around the house, then a senior pet may be perfect for you. In addition, senior pets still enjoy training and can be taught many new skills!
Senior Pets Are Done Growing
The vast majority of seniors pets in rescues and shelters have developed their personalities, likes, dislikes, and habits. They have also attained their full physical size. When you adopt a senior, you know what you’re getting. Reputable shelters and rescues will be forthcoming with any health concerns or special needs because they want to make the right placement from the first attempt. With younger pets, you *may* know what breed you’re getting but you won’t quite know who your pet is until they are closer to 2-4 years old when they are considered adults.
When adopting a senior, organizations guide you through the pet’s exercise and diet needs, breed-specific concerns, etc. For this reason, a lot of the guessing game is taken out of the equation because the pet standing in front of you is who they are. Not to say that pets don’t change, but the changes in senior years are more subtle than a puppy growing from 18 lbs to 85 lbs in less than 4 months, for example.
Senior Pets Have Worn Teeth
We know, we know, this sounds crazy but spend some time with sharp kitten and puppy teeth and you’ll see what we mean. The fact that your hands won’t end up torn apart and bleeding while “playing” with a puppy or kitten is a huge benefit, especially for younger and elderly humans with more sensitive skin.
Senior Pets Are Socialized
With puppies and kittens, you are given a very specific window for socialization. Most trainers will tell you that socialization is key to setting your pet up for comfortable interactions in the future. For this reason, puppy and kitten parents must work diligently in the first year of their pet’s life to prioritize socialization. Senior pets, on the other hand, are pretty set in their ways when it comes to interacting with others, including strangers. Upon adoption, rescues and shelters can tell you who and what these animals are comfortable with, whether they are a good match for other species, young children, etc. Not to say they can’t be trained, but you can often choose a senior pet to meet your family’s needs from day one.
Senior Pets are Happy Relaxing at Home
Senior pets come with a wide variety of life experiences. Some have been overlooked, some have lost a dedicated caregiver, and others have gone in and out of the rescue and shelter system through no fault of their own. No matter their history, well-adjusted senior pets are thrilled to share their life with humans. They are happy relaxing at the foot of the bed, snuggling on the couch, going for gentle walks, and still get excited about a road trip. If you don’t have the energy to keep up with rambunctious baby animals, senior pets make awesome lower-energy pets that are still active enough to adapt to your lifestyle.
When they are unable to join their families in travel, senior pets do great being left home in the care of a professional pet sitter like us. We stop by or stay with them for extended periods and ensure all their needs are met. Most of the seniors we care for are at ease and relaxed during our visits because they are old pros at life and are grateful to have our team stop by while their favorite humans are away. To learn more about our services and love of senior pets, contact 757-745-9868 or Hello@HeartsAtHomePetSitting.com.