Why You Should Adopt A Senior Pet

Thinking about adopting a dog or cat? Consider rescuing a senior pet! Learn about the benefits of welcoming a senior pet into your home.

Courtney Elliott

Updated January 12, 2023 • Published January 12, 2023

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Why You Should Adopt A Senior Pet

Adopting a pet can bring an incredible amount of joy to your life. You're not only giving an animal a beloved home, but you're forming a strong bond that you can nurture and grow throughout your life together. And while thousands of rescues get adopted each year, there's a group of fur friends that often get overlooked at the shelter—senior pets.

Senior pets—cats and dogs over the age of 7—are not typically the fur friends that pet parents-to-be gawk over, but they actually make amazing pets. Learn why you should adopt a senior pet and what you should consider before you welcome one home.

Benefits of adopting a senior pet

1. They have a calmer disposition

More often than not, senior pets are calmer than your typical rescue or puppy. They've already been exposed to a lot of different experiences and may be less prone to things like anxiety and aggression.

2. They're likely already house trained

Older pets are more likely to be house trained, so stocking up on pee pads and training aids won't be necessary. They're much less tempted to destroy your furniture or go snooping in places they shouldn't be.

3. They require less exercise

If chilling at home with your pet sounds way more enticing than traversing the trails together, a senior pet is a perfect option. While they still need some exercise, walking sessions will need to be shorter and less strenuous to support their aging joints. You're not going to need to run their energy out like you would a younger pup.

4. They make great nap buddies

If they're not exploring, chewing, and barking, what are they doing? Napping and snuggling! Senior pets are great cuddle buddies, so if you can imagine yourself cozied up on the couch with a wise, furry companion, a senior pet is the way to go.

5. They make you feel good

Rescuing a pet always feels good, but with a senior pet, you get even more of that feel-heartwarming, act of kindness feeling. You're providing a safe haven for a senior pet that might otherwise be left unadopted in a shelter for a long time. 

"Providing a senior pet's last years of life with love, comfort, and care is the most compassionate thing a person can do for an animal," says Dr. Yui Shapard, BVM&S, MRCVS and Medical Director at Pawp. "We often say it is not the length of life but the depth of life, and the time spent with a senior pet can be deeply meaningful and impactful."

Things to consider when adopting a senior pet

Before you adopt a senior pet, it's important to understand whether or not they fit into your lifestyle and if you can provide the care they need.

  • Senior pets may come with a pre-existing condition that requires some level of ongoing veterinary care (that's where we can come in to help, alongside your physical practice vet!)

  • They may require additional medications which can potentially be costly, and may require some support at home, especially once their mobility starts to go down.

  • You could have years of time with your senior pet, or it may be a more brief time. But either way, ensuring that the remainder of their life is happy and healthy is one of the most compassionate things a person can do.

Rescuing any pet is a rewarding experience, but adopting a senior pet has some special benefits. Have questions about your senior pet? The Vet Pros at Pawp are here to help 24/7.

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