Are you preparing to adopt a pet? What could be better than opening your heart to a ball of fur who is longing for companionship, who is fiercely loyal and who is in need of a fur-ever home? And how would you like to adopt a pet who is already housebroken and who will love you as their personal hero for the rest of your days together? We’re talking, of course, about senior pets! We hope you’ll join us in thanking the ASPCA for creating Adopt a Senior Pet Month by not just reading this post, but by adopting a senior dog right away.
When the American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (ASPCA) dubbed November as Adopt a Senior Pet Month, animal lovers everywhere rejoiced…or at least they should have. Although pet adoption is often a consideration when dog lovers are searching for a furry friend, a senior dog is not always at the top of that list. In fact, many seeking to adopt a pet aren’t willing to consider a senior dog at all. The ASPCA is working to change that, though. By highlighting the virtues of adopting a senior dog, many aging canines have found new homes. Thank you, ASPCA!
As you can imagine, few who are looking to adopt a pet want a senior dog. Reasons for this vary, but in most cases they either have their heart set on a cuddly new puppy or they fear that an older dog won’t have many years left. Often, people who are looking for a new dog have recently lost another pet and are hoping to avoid that heartache again.
The ASPCA knows that senior pets often languish in shelters and some even meet an early demise simply due to their age. In an effort to curtail the misery that these once happy animals now have to endure, the organization started a nationwide campaign to educate people on the positives associated with senior pet adoption. Thanks to the ASPCA, people all over the country have had a change of heart about senior pets and we expect the tide to turn even more toward their favor in the years to come. We salute the ASPCA for this brilliant effort and thought we’d celebrate with them by nudging you toward adopting a senior dog this November.
Last month, we shared with you some of the best reasons to adopt a senior pet. If you haven’t done so already, we strongly encourage you to read that post and learn about the positives associated with senior adoption. Today, though, we want to concentrate specifically on why you should adopt a senior dog, such as:
A senior dog is already housebroken. Your new companion comes to you with years of experience. He knows that he doesn’t use the bathroom indoors and he knows how to alert you when he needs to go. A senior dog can also has a mature bladder and can “hold it” a lot longer than a puppy can, so accidents are rare.
Senior dogs will not chew your slippers or eat your child’s homework. A mature dog has already been trained in what not to do. While puppies are cute, adorable and as cuddly as can be, teaching them how to fit into your family, your lifestyle and your routines takes a lot of time and effort. Older dogs come into your household already knowing the ropes and are ready to just get down to the business of being good faithful friends.
A senior dog may have plenty of good years left, after all. When we talk about a “senior dog”, we’re referring to dogs that are 7 years or older. Some even refer to dogs older than 3 years as a senior pet. According to renowned veterinarian Dr. Marty Becker, while lifespans vary by breed, size and other factors, a dog can actually live 15 years or more.
While 15 years is a long time, it doesn’t compare to the human lifespan. So, think about this: if you were to adopt a pet puppy tomorrow, chances are that you will outlive that puppy. As pet owners, we hate saying goodbye to a beloved companion, but reality dictates that we sometimes must. Refusing to adopt a pet beyond a certain age for fear of a future heartache doesn’t make a whole lot of sense when you look at the larger picture. All this avoidance does is punish senior pets and leave them to live the remainder of their lives alone and unloved. In some cases, this sort of “adoption avoidance” can even cut a shelter pet’s life even shorter.
As it turns out, you can teach an old dog new tricks! Senior dogs are not only smart, but their brains are mature enough to learn new things rather quickly. They anticipate rewards, including the reward of pleasing you, and can absolutely be trained to perform new tasks.
If your heart is now set on being a hero to a senior dog, here’s what you need to do. Head over to the ASPCA’s website and visit their adoption section. You’ll find loads of information on how to adopt a pet and you can learn a lot more about Adopt a Senior Pet Month, in general.
Did you recently adopt a pet? Was it a senior dog? Can you talk to us about the experience and help us encourage others to give these deserving animals a fur-ever home?