Domestic Siberian cat lying on a cat treeWhile a lot of people look at puppies or kittens when considering adoption, there are many wonderful older pets out there with a lot of life, love, and devotion to give. Though young pets often grab our attention first, they take an enormous amount of time and effort to train. That’s why adopting adopting a senior pet may be more in line with your needs and lifestyle.

At Stone Ridge Veterinary Medical Center, we want to help aging pets find a forever home, so we’ve compiled a list of some of the reasons you should consider adopting a senior pet.

4 Top Benefits of Adopting a Senior Pet

When asked why they love their older pets, owners often respond with words like “mellow,” “affectionate,” “well-behaved,” and “loving.” No doubt, older pets make awesome companions, and here are some of the reasons why.

  1. No unpleasant surprises – With an older pet, what you see is what you get. Unlike young animals, senior pets have set dispositions and personalities and already have some training and socialization. Adopting a senior pet means having a better understanding of who he or she is, their preferences, medical history, background, and temperament, which makes for a better match overall.
  2. Less demanding – Have you ever been around a hyper, energetic dog or cat who just won’t back off? For outgoing, high-energy types, an overly enthusiastic pet may be heaven, but for people who work long hours or have a demanding schedule, a younger pet may be too much to handle. Senior pets typically are less demanding of your time, require less exercise, and are content just chilling on the couch, taking a leisurely stroll through the park, or receiving a good belly scratch.
  3. Gentle with others – Seniors also tend to be more accepting of other members of the household and gentler around children and other animals. Many senior pets also have experience living in a multi-pet household, so can handle changes with more grace than the average pet.
  4. A feel-good decision – There’s nothing quite like the feeling of helping an animal in need. Because so many seniors are unfairly passed up at the pound, adopting a senior pet saves lives and gives one special companion a forever home. We commend you for this decision!

Caring for a Senior Pet

Now that you know all the perks of senior pet ownership, there are some care considerations to keep in mind. Although many seniors are quite healthy, they do require a little more TLC. This is due in part to natural physiological changes that occur with aging.

To keep your new companion at his or her best, consider the following tips for senior pet care:

  • Maintain twice yearly wellness appointments, which are essential to disease prevention, early detection, and improved quality of life.
  • Consider consulting with Stone Ridge about the best diet for your new pal, as many seniors find a prescription diet beneficial.
  • Provide your new pet with daily exercise that’s tailored to his or her needs. A gentle walk is a good option, along with supervised swimming or gentle stretches.
  • To avoid disease, pay special attention to dental care needs, such as tooth brushing and cleanings.
  • Provide your senior pet with a comfortable bed (e.g., orthopedic), a raised water and food bowl station, and a stairway-free area in which to relax.
  • Watch for any changes in your pet’s health or behavior, and follow-up sooner, rather than later (vision or hearing loss can be subtle).

For more information on how to keep your young-at-heart senior feeling great, please give us a call. We look forward to meeting your adorable new pal!