November is adopt a senior dog month.
Why Adopt an old dog?
Prospective families looking to adopt a new dog or puppy typically focus on one thing and that one thing is usually about adopting puppies! They want one that “can grow with the family” or “is cute and cuddly”. Understandable in some situations, but what about the older generation, or the young couple looking to add to their young family? Is it really a good idea for an elderly person to adopt a young puppy that may live for 17 years? What happens if they pass away and the pet is only 6 or 7 years old? I know what happens; often that pet ends up at the pound. It’s an awful lot of work raising a new puppy. If you’re retired and set on adopting a new puppy rather than an older dog, make sure your retirement is not going to get in the way of providing all the needs a new puppy comes along with. As for a young family. If you do not have kids yet what happens when you do?
Will you be the familiar couple that says “We need to find a home for Buster because we have a new baby now and just don’t have time for a pet.” If you adopt a pet, then have kids, be prepared to incorporate that pet into your new family life. It’s not fair to the pet if you just toss it aside once bouncing babies come along.
So why do so many of us forget that there are many senior pets that are also looking for their fur-ever homes? Think about it this way. When a family must give up a pet that they’ve owned who is older, whatever the circumstance may be, or your elderly friend, neighbor or family member passes away and leaves behind a beloved older pet, what do you think happens to the pet? Often they end up at the pound or are taken to an animal shelter if they are lucky enough to have found one who has room.
Remaining family members often don’t want to assume the responsibility of caring for the left behind pet. Sometimes it’s even impossible.
Another reason may be that people tend to think that a senior dog is so near to having health issues or may already have some, that they don’t want to be financially obligated.
Understandable of course. You wouldn't want to adopt if you knowingly knew there were some health problems that you couldn't afford.
But what about puppies? On average, a new puppy can cost a family between $1,000 or more their first year of life! The factors that may lessen that amount are whether the pet is already spayed or neutered, has already received their first set of vaccines, and/or is microchipped already. Truth of the matter is while some of which may save you some initial cost you still must follow up with continuing care such as booster vaccines, monthly heartworm preventative, housetraining, grooming
needs, basic obedience training, crates, puppy beds, toys, collar or harnesses, and food bowls.
Coupled together it is most likely no more expensive than if you had your newly adopted senior pet in for a complete medical exam including a senior profile blood panel and urinalysis so that you have a good starting foundation of the pet’s current health condition.
Think about this…. Senior pets are most likely already obedient, house trained and most bad habits have been gone for a long time! (Chewing on shoes, eating the couch, etc.). It’s really your perfect pet!
Last but certainly not least, if the above has not convinced you…..some animal shelters will have a senior dog examined by a veterinarian prior to placing it up for adoption. Often blood work, urinalysis and sometimes even oral needs have already been done. Most shelters will not adopt a pet
without a microchip and current vaccines. Wow! What a deal, right?
Okay, now I’m listening…….
What you inherit is a loving pet simply needing a loving family to live out the rest of its Golden Years. It isn’t fair that these wonderful souls who’ve been loved for so long are suddenly ripped out of what they’ve always known to end up living for years unwanted at a shelter or heaven forbid, in a noisy, frightening, daunting place like the pound, often with only 2-5 days of hope left before they are euthanized.
If you haven’t thought of this before but are thinking you may have a change of heart, please don’t turn away from the senior pets you encounter while out searching for your new perfect pet. Remember these positive facts about how wonderful you will feel and how thankful and forever
grateful a senior pet will be if you take them into your hearts.
For further information on senior pets for adoption, please check out these links.