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Why Adopt a Senior Pet?

Veterinarian's say a dog reaches the "golden ages" by 7. That can also depend on the size of the dog. The smaller the size, the later in life he becomes a senior.
Dogs in Shelters can have a hard time finding a good home even if they are as young as 5.
Cats also enter their Senior years around 7. These are some of the hardest pets to place in new homes.

I personally know this is true as I've adopted a cat who was  7 yrs old. I was at Pets-mart loading up on Litter when she caught my eye the first time. She was a Munchkin Breed. She is my second Older Cat adoption and I wouldn't trade either for a million dollars!

This breed looks like your normal house cat except their front legs are only about 1" long and their hind legs are about 1.5 inches long.
I went 2 out of the next 4 weekends and every time she was there. We took her out and played with her one time. She pranced around for us and let us see how cute she was.

The fourth week, I told my daughter, "if she is still there, we are adopting her, I don't have the heart to see her here again."
 (I figured she'd have to have been adopted by now!)
I was wrong, there she was. Sitting on her tiny perch in her very small kennel.
Only this time I noticed something else. She was losing her spirit. She no longer faced the window. She had her back to me. She wouldn't even look up at us. I 
remember the first two visits I saw her. She pranced around trying so hard to show me how cute she was. It was so obvious she was desperate for someone to take notice. Now..... she didn't even move. All hope gone.

I mean, can you imagine..... I mean really imagine? Close your eyes and clear your mind and try to really imagine what 9 weeks of 24 hour days would feel like in a 4 x 4 kennel.

I asked the Pets mart attendant watching the cattery why was it she was still here? She told me it was because people want to adopt the 
kittens. They figure older cats have 
health problems and that they would be adopting someone Else's problem.

My daughter and I left her once again, sitting alone on her perch looking completely devastated. This time though..... we'd be back. We were just going to get some supplies for her.

We felt so good bringing her home! This little cat has brought so much joy into our lives! She has been the best cat I've ever owned. The best part? Healthy as a horse!

Granted, I'm a Veterinary Technician and a small part of me didn't care what sort of health problems she may have, I knew I could accommodate them since I had ties to a Veterinary Clinic, but regardless, I would've done it anyway. If 
you adopt, you need to be responsible anyway and have sources that are available to care for pets if they do become ill. I did.

Older dogs lose their homes for many reasons.  Most of those reasons have nothing to do with problems the dog has, but rather with those of the person or family surrendering the dog.

Other reasons:
Death of an owner, No time for, schedule changes at work, moving, new baby, change in life style, and so many more!

The top reason we hear in the Veterinary Clinic for clients giving up their pets, MOVING. 
I guess as a true animal lover, I couldn't imagine giving up any of my animals because I was moving. It would be like leaving one of my kids behind. I can assure you, if the place I was looking at to move to, didn't allow kids.... I'd be seeking another place out that did!
If your pet has Aggressive behavior, why not seek out some professional dog training? It is successful for most but you won't know unless you try. I have a neighbor who is a very responsible pet owner. She just adopted a new Aussie who is showing signs of aggression towards other dogs. Some may have just taken back to the shelter, but not Kelli. She called up Sheila, our Az Pet Professional Dog Trainer and has an In-home Class scheduled for June 24th. Way to go Kelli!

Also, new baby???
Okay, should I give my 6yr old away when my newborn comes along? (hmmmmm.... Okay, just kidding)
What the heck! It's such a poor excuse. Sadly it is was we hear of all too often.
It just takes some time and commitment for you to help your pet adjust and to change up your daily living schedule a little bit. After all, there is a period of adjustment all around, why wouldn't it include your pet? Maybe you are best not owning a pet in the first place?
That's okay! If that is your lifestyle, that's fine, not everyone has room for a pet. The difference is being aware of that before running out and adopting, only to get rid of it when change comes along.

What advantages do older dogs have over puppies or young dogs?
  • Older dogs who are offered for adoption by shelters or rescue agencies generally have had some training, both in obedience and house manners. 
  •  Older dogs have learned what "no" means and how to leave the furniture, carpets, shoes, and other "chewables" alone. (If they hadn't learned that, they wouldn't have gotten to be "older" dogs.)
  • They have been "socialized" and learned what it takes to be part of a "pack" and to get along with humans and, in most cases, other dogs, and in some other cases, cats, as well.
Aside from any advantages an older dog has, is there any good reason to adopt an older dog instead of a puppy, who has his whole life ahead of him?
  • Just about everyone who enters a shelter is looking for a puppy or a young dog (under 3 yrs old). an older dog has the rest of his life in front of him. You can give that older dog the best years of his life while at the same time bringing a wonderful addition into your family
Do older dogs have any "special needs"?

Well........With a health assessment of the dog from a Shelter Representative, you will know whether any age-related conditions are present and you can take appropriate measures to address them. Otherwise, older dogs need all the things younger dogs do -- good nutrition, exercise (although less intensive, usually, than for a younger dog), and regular visits to the vet. Veterinary attention and medication are needed at all ages and may or may not be more costly for an older dog
What are the health benefits to people of having a dog?

Studies have proven that petting a dog or cat lowers blood pressure. In addition, the studies have shown that patients who have access to pets recover faster from illness or surgery. -- as published in the Medical Journal of Australia, Vol. 157, Section 7, 1992 "Pet Ownership and Risk Factors for Cardiovascular Disease."

An older dog, being calm and mellow, is the kind of dog who most enjoys lying quietly to be petted or to keep someone company while recovering from an illness or injury.

Why don't older dogs and cats get adopted??

The ultimate barrier is at age five. Once an animal turns five, it is nearly impossible to place quickly. This seems to be a psychological thing rather than anything. At two years old, it can be assumed that a dog or cat will have year ahead of it. At one year of age, it's 'still a puppy or a kitty,' with all of the problems and difficulties that brings to mind. At three years old, most people assume that the animal has fewer than 10 years left and don't want to think of the heartbreak of losing it so quickly.

My hopes is to spread the word around about how wonderful it is adopting an older pet! I for one realized that I don't have another 17-21 years left to give to a cat, so a 7 yr old was purrfect!

Friends for Life Animal Shelter, that is in dire need to get the word out to adopt an older pet.
If you are considering, please, please, either go to their shelter or take a look, here.

Thank you for considering a loving, loyal older companion animal!  

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