Adopting senior pets may not be a high priority when people go to shelters & kennels. These animals don’t wildly bark, meow, or jump up to the front of the cage. For those and other reasons, they often go unnoticed and are left behind. November is National Adopt a Senior Pet Month. Let me take this opportunity to raise your awareness on this issue.

Are you thinking of a pet as a Christmas gift for a very young child or a single elderly member of your family? A senior pet might be a great option. And you have all of November to explore it.

Adopting Senior Pets vs. Younger Pets

Sure, puppies and kitties are cute. Full of life and energy. But is that what you want around your helpless two-year-old child or aging widowed aunt or uncle? A pet bouncing all over the place?

With a senior pet, you will know the personality right away. Is the dog a lovable “hug me” creature? Is the cat a “let me snuggle up next to you” type? Or are they standoffish and independent? 

Shelters and rescue groups have had plenty of time to learn the personality of senior pets in their care. So, they can smoothly match you up with the right lifestyle dog or cat.

For your vulnerable child and relative living alone, you might want pets that need and give attention– and love. 

Another advantage of senior pets is that you know what you’re getting size-wise. There are no surprise growth spurts. What you see is what you get.

And then there is the housetraining of young doggies and kitties. Your child is not going to do it. Do you have the time? 

And what kind of work-heavy gift are you giving Uncle Jack or Aunt Mary? They will spend much time and effort teaching young dogs to “go” outside, not on the carpet. You want to make life easier for your family, not more difficult.

Did you know that: 

  • Puppies pee one hour per month of age (so a three-month-old puppy can wait three hours to pee).
  • Adult dogs can hold their pee for up to eight hours (but ideally no more than six).

Senior pets from shelters and kennels have long been poddy-trained.

Life Expectancy in Shelters and Kennels

The Dogtime website advises that “Senior pets tend to spend the longest amount of time at shelters or rescues before finding their forever homes. That’s if they find one at all. Canines and felines of advanced age have higher euthanasia rates than their younger counterparts.”

The other option is that senior pets might live the rest of their lives alone in a shelter or kennel.

Adopting senior pets saves lives.

Saving Senior Dogs Week

Last week was also Saving Senior Dogs Week. Alice Mayne, who operates a senior dog rescue service in the San Francisco area, created it. 

KRON TV-4 recently interviewed her. The story revealed 14,000 animal shelters exist in the U.S, but only about 40 of them focus on senior dogs and cats.

Still, she is optimistic.

“I think we’re making a difference … it’s a long process. There are a lot of senior dogs out there that really need help and they kind of get lost in the shelters. 

“A lot of people that go to shelters want younger dogs and so they can get lost. All of the shelters have been really good about reaching out to us. “Senior dogs are amazing, amazing creatures, and they are grateful, and they’re loving. And you know … you have a house full of just constant love thrown at you.”

November is National Adopt a Senior Pet Month

I mean no ill will towards younger dogs and cats. But is a “living gift” for Christmas in your plans for loved ones? Then adopting senior pets is a “no assembly required” gift that benefits the recipient and the pet. And November is the best time to start looking!

Are you interested? Call your local branch of the ASPCA, shelter, or kennel. There is also the Adopt a pet website. It doesn’t have the animals. But, it works as a location service for shelters, rescues, and private owners to list their pets for adoption. 

(What type of content should your business website blog offer? Advice rather than product promotion. Be a valuable info resource rather than an irritating source of sales pitches. For example, if you own a pet shop or veterinary practice, then you might share this type of content. Contact me if interested.)