November is Adopt A Senior Pet Month. While there are always too many pets in shelters that desperately need loving homes, older pets have a really hard time getting adopted. If you’re ready to open your heart—and your home—to a sweet, calm dog or cat, read on. A local Vinton, VA vet offers some advice adopting a senior dog in this article.
Senior pets often get passed over in favor of younger pets, but that isn’t really fair. They have some wonderful and unique qualities. Just like people, Fido and Fluffy slow down over time. Older pets are often very sweet and calm, and are more interested in belly rubs and cuddles than in chasing squirrels around or tearing up your sofa. They’re also often already trained. Skipping the potty-training stage is a definite plus! Plus, furry retirees don’t represent as much of a commitment as younger animals do. This makes them a great option for someone who isn’t sure where life will take them down the road.
Just like people, older animals are often prone to medical issues. These can range from minor and/or common issues to more serious conditions, which can be costly. Of course, pets of any age can rack up medical bills, so this really applies across the board. Make sure you have the ability to provide the care your new four-legged friend needs.
Getting ready for a senior pet is in some ways quite different from preparing for a puppy. You’ll still need to do some petproofing, of course. However, most older animals are well past their chewing phase, and have outgrown destructive and potentially dangerous behaviors, like gnawing on, well, everything. However, you’ll need to offer things like soft beds. If you have floors, consider putting out carpets and runners to help provide traction.
It can be bittersweet to know that you won’t have as much time with Fido as you would with a puppy. Focus on the positive aspects: you’re giving that one sweet dog or cat a happy retirement, and providing them with the love and attention that is all our canine companions really want. It can be a truly beautiful experience giving an older pet a second chance at happiness. Savor this special time with your new furry friend.
Do you have questions about your pet’s health or care? We’re here to help! Contact us, your Vinton, VA animal clinic, anytime.