8 reasons to adopt a senior pet

Senior brown dog standing in fallen leaves
In honor of Adopt a Senior Pet Month, here are eight reasons to visit your local shelter to meet silver-muzzled senior pets with plenty of love left to give.
By Nicole Hamilton

There’s a very good chance that if you visited your local shelter today, you’d meet a pet who prefers couch cuddling to counter surfing, knows that shoes aren’t for chewing and can help you slow down and enjoy the simpler things in life. We’re talking about senior pets, of course, and since November is Adopt a Senior Pet month, now is the perfect time head to the shelter to meet a silver-muzzled pet with plenty of love left to give.

Seniors are often among the most overlooked pets at the shelter. But everyone knows that age is just a number. Active senior dogs make great walking companions and senior cats can be just as fun-loving as kittens. Need more reasons to adopt an older pet? Take a look at the following eight seniors looking for homes right now.

1. They already know the ropes.

Person walking a senior dog outside on a leash

With age comes experience, they say. Senior dogs typically have had plenty of time to learn how to walk on a leash and hone their social skills with pets and people, and they know that potty time is strictly an outdoor affair.

As for senior cats, they’re more than a little familiar with the litter box and have long sorted out whether they prefer flying solo or living among fellow felines.

2. They’ll help you slow down.

Person leaning down to kiss Gia the tabby cat

We live in such a busy world that it can be hard to find time to relax and recharge. Senior pets, on the other hand, seem to understand the importance of taking it easy. That’s what Ashton Barney discovered when, during the coronavirus pandemic, he adopted a 14-year-old cat named Chia. Says Ash, “She’s helped me focus on the moment and has given me a lot of stress relief.”

3. They’ll go easy on the furniture.

Small senior dog sitting on a chair

From shoes to books to furniture and rugs, everything is fair game to a puppy who thinks chewing is an Olympic sport. Luckily, by the time dogs are older and wiser, they’re well past the destructive phase and have outgrown the desire to chew on things they aren’t supposed to.

4. They need less supervision.

Senior dog lying in a sunbeam next to a window

Take your eyes off your newly adopted kitten for just a few seconds and they’ll intercept your Zoom at the speed of light (not that we’re complaining). A senior pet, on the other hand, can remain perfectly content while you work in your home office or even while you leave to run errands.

5. You’ll know what to expect.

Person holding senior cat outside

By the time pets become seniors, they’ve had plenty of years to decide what they like (and what they don’t like, too). That means when you adopt pets of a certain age, there are fewer big surprises once you bring them home. For example, a low-key dog you fall in love with at the shelter will likely be just as low-key after he adjusts to a new home.

6. They have plenty of love left to give.

Snowflake the cat sitting on a counter

Pets come with a lifetime supply of unconditional love. Take Sam, for example. The sweet senior cat lost his home when he was 20 years young after his person moved to a nursing facility; however, now that he has been adopted, he loves chasing catnip toys and playing with his cat siblings, who are 18 years younger than he is.

7. It will make them feel good.

Senior pit bull terrier lying in a dog bed with a toy

It’s more difficult for some pets than others to adjust to losing their homes, and senior pets know what they’re missing when they end up in a shelter. Often, all senior pets need is to know that they’re safe and cared for again, and they’ll love you forever. A comfortable bed makes a big difference, too.

8. It will make you feel good, too.

Man lying on a bed with a senior cat

There’s nothing quite like watching adopted senior pets live happily into their golden years, except maybe knowing that by adopting them you helped open space at the shelter for other seniors ready to spend their golden years in a loving home, too.

Silver muzzles bring silver linings

Looking for an active senior to go on walks with, or maybe a couch potato to keep you company? You’ll find both of them at your local pet shelter.

Adopt a senior pet near you

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