Tonawanda News


November 29, 2012

CRITTER COMPANIONS: Give an older pet a home

Tonawanda News — We’ve all heard that senior animals are harder to adopt. 

Visitors walk by the black cat with a gray muzzle that is sitting quietly and go over to the kittens playing with toys. Or the adult, wire-haired dog that gently wags their tail is overlooked because of the velvety puppy in the next kennel. 

While puppies and kittens are adorable, they are also a lot of hard work. They have, understandably, a long time commitment and a lot of training ahead of them, establishing a feeding routine, potty training, teaching them what to chew/scratch, etc.

November is Adopt-A-Senior-Pet Month (not adopt a senior as a pet month, just to clarify). 

Shelters and rescue groups always have loving, healthy, older pets looking for someone special to take them home and cherish them for the rest of their life. Older pets usually end up at shelters because their owners can no longer take care of them, rather than because of behavioral problems. Animals that are older than two years old are also more difficult to adopt out.

Older animals are just as fun and affectionate as their younger counterparts, making them great first pets for a family or for a senior citizen. In a 2009 documentary “How to Live Forever,” a journalist interviewed centenarians and asked the secret to longevity. There were many different facets each of them revealed but they all shared one thing in common: having a grand purpose for tomorrow. A senior pet could be just that drive that a senior human needs.

Senior dogs are already potty trained and senior cats have their bold or timid personalities showing through. Both older dogs and cats do better by themselves for longer periods of time, compared to younger animals. With senior pets, there is almost no teething or chewing phase, since most are familiar with what chew toys and scratching posts are for. For dogs, what you see is what you get. You will know how large they are going to get, allowing you to know if you have the room or energy to care for them.

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