Adopt a Senior Pet


Did you know November is Adopt a Senior Pet month? I just found out this news. I honestly don’t know why more people don’t adopt older animals. I wish they would. Senior cats and dogs can make wonderful pets.

Recently, a story hit the dog threads about a senior citizen who adopted an older dog, mostly because he found out that older dogs spend a lot more time in shelters than youngsters. Heartwarming, right? Well, it gets better. The new owner is a diabetic. Within three weeks of adoption, the dog woke the man up by tugging on his arm and  dumping his blood glucose monitor on his lap. The man took the hint, checked his sugar and determined it was low, got something to eat and all was well.  In the next three months this activity repeated two more times! The man was delighted with his new friend, stating he had wanted a diabetic alert dog, but they were expensive, but all he had to do to get one was “love her to death.”

There are a number of reasons a family may want to adopt an older pet. As joyful as a playful puppy or kitten can be, it can be a pain for busy people to set aside  the exercise and training time to develop a great pet. Kittens climb drapes, puppies chew chairs. It happens. An older pet is more settled and less likely to have management challenges. Certainly people that work long hours would benefit by having a pet that needs less exercise and focus, but lots of love.

As far as personality, with adults, you get what you got. In other words, pets’ personalities may change considerably when social maturity strikes. But, if you have a lap cat at ten years of age, they will stay a lap cat! If your current dog gets along well with a new senior, that relationship is unlikely to alter down the road, while it may when getting a youngster. If the senior dog you bring home likes children, it will most likely not  change its’ mind.

As my blog readers may remember, I rescued an old, debilitated cat over a year ago. Nowadays, Google happy and you will most likely see a picture of that cat, Crinkle. Not really, but you should. He is an affectionate, easy cat around the house. He came to me by coincidence, but I am so glad he did. He is a wonderful cat. I don’t know how old he is, but I am sure he is in his sunset years. We are both happy we can spend that time together.

The down side of adopting a senior pet is obvious. You will have less time to spend with that pet. But, I think we should live in the present. Take advantage of the time today and not worry so much about a week from now. Enjoy the cat in the lap or the dog at your feet. The other issue is the possibility of increased expense. Senior pets may cost more to provide good quality of life. Dental care, pain relief for arthritis, treatment for other health issues may be needed. But, if you adopt a young pet, they will grow old and need the same care!.

Think about adopting a senior pet this month, or any time. In my case, Crinkle has brought extra love  into my life. Can’t we all use extra love?


photo at top courtesy of  looseends via Flickr