Last updated: 22 Jul, 2019
Published on: 23 Aug, 2016
12 of the best things about adopting a senior pet
1. What you see is what you get
Senior pets have had years to develop their own unique personality, so when you meet one, you’ll know whether they fit your idea of the ideal companion and whether there are any problem areas you’ll need to address as the new owners.
2. They may not need as much exercise as a younger pet
Senior pets are more likely to have lower energy levels and be less demanding than younger pets. Just like us humans, they like to take life at a more leisurely pace as they age and are contented with a few creature comforts.
3. They’re often content being home alone
Senior pets generally have simple needs. They just want to safe and comfy, asleep in a warm bed. They’re also more likely to be happy being home alone – the ideal best friend for someone who works full time.
4. They’re often fully house trained
Almost all senior pets have been house pets in the past and will come to you house trained with some basic manners.
5. They’re still trainable, but less excitable than a younger pet
You can teach an old dog new tricks by using positive reinforcement. Many seniors will give you their undivided attention because they’ve seen most things before. A leaf blowing in the wind isn’t likely to distract a senior. They’re more focussed on pleasing you.
6. They’re generally better with kids and older people
Puppies and kittens often like to play rough and can bite, nip or scratch. An over-excited large breed pup can also knock children or older people over accidentally. Senior pets are generally mellow in nature and often more gentle around children and older people. They’re also known to make great therapy pets too.
7. The bond is just as strong
A senior pet is usually eager to become part of a loving pack again and will bond with a new family as soon as they feel safe and secure. In fact, we often find that senior dogs are eager to please and win-over their new owners. Most senior cats like to feel that they belong too. They’ll curl up at the foot of the bed, or find a cosy spot that’s close to you.
8. They may be free to adopt or offered at a reduced fee
Senior pets are often reluctantly surrendered by older people who need to go into care due to ill health, or by the families of people who have passed away and are unable to care for the pet. In these instances, some rescue groups offer surrendered senior pets for free to good homes or at reduced adoption fees.
9. You’ll know if there are any health issues
Every rescue pet listed on PetRescue has been health-checked, desexed, vaccinated and often, wormed and treated for fleas too. And if your senior pet has any known health issues, the rescue group, shelter or pound will be sure to advise you.
10. Vet care may be covered for the life of the pet
In special cases, when a rescue pet finds a wonderful home for senior pet has a condition requiring ongoing treatment, the rescue group will offer the pet as a ‘Forever Foster’ - which means that the family will foster the pet but it will remain in their care for the rest of it’s life, and the rescue group will cover the cost of the pet’s ongoing treatment.
11. It sets a good example for your kids
Adopting a senior pet presents a wonderful opportunity to teach your children the essential values of compassion, caring, and the selfless act of giving someone a second chance and a loving home in the autumn of their life.
12. They make great companions for your senior pets
Many adopters write and tell us how they found a senior to keep their lonely senior company. When you have two pets and lose one, it’s upsetting for all the family. Finding a senior that has the same energy levels as your pet is often a much better solution than getting a young pet that’s too full of beans.
How to search for senior pets on PetRescue
Select Dogs, Cats or Other Pets from the main menu. Select your preferred size and your state. Then click ‘Show advanced search’, select ‘Senior Pets’, click the search button and you’ll see all the availables oldies that match your search. Start looking for a senior sweetie to love.
Banner image: Alan from Dogs Refuge Home (Inc) WA