November is now nationally recognized as “Adopt a Senior Pet” Month. The sad truth is that senior pets are much more difficult to adopt out compared to their young counterparts. Petfinder.com (one of the world’s largest databases for adoptable pets) stated that the typical animal is usually advertised on their website for an average of 12 weeks before finding a home; but senior pets remain stagnant for four times longer than that. How could this be?
American writer Agnes Sligh Turnbull says it well “Dogs lives are too short. Their only fault, really”. Many people are against adopting an older pet because they fear their time with them will be limited. It may be true that an owner will have less years with their gray muzzled companion, but with that comes the opportunity to make their golden years that much sweeter.
There are many perks to owning a senior pet, which include:
1. Training – Senior pets usually know basic commands and can be eager to learn new commands from their owner. Their attention spans, eagerness to please, and attention to detail are greater than that of a puppy or kitten.
2. Independence – Many senior pets can be left at home unsupervised while their owners are away. They also should not require 24/7 supervision that puppies and kittens do.
3. Personality and Lifestyle – When you adopt a senior pet you know exactly what you’re getting into. You know their full-grown size, personality type, energy levels, and health status: what you see is what you get.
I adopted Sandy, a beagle mix, when she was 6 years old. She spent her whole life crated in an unfinished, dark, cold basement, only being let out to use the bathroom. I brought her home and my family had the opportunity to spend six amazing years with her before she eventually crossed Rainbow Bridge. Not only did we have the chance to change her life, but she definitely found a way to change ours in the process. Isn’t that what having a pet is all about?