November 2020 is National Senior Pet Month and Adopt A Senior Pet Month. The purpose of these awareness campaigns is to educate people about the benefits of adopting, living with, and caring for senior pets.
“Senior pets spend the longest time in animal shelters,” said Steve Miller, owner of GoodPooch. “This is because most people adopting pets from a shelter are looking for puppies or kittens. As a result, many senior pets are overlooked and end up being euthanized or live out the rest of their lives at shelters. However, senior pets are often a better fit for many households.”
Dogs that are 7 years of age or older are typically classified as “senior dogs.” However, the size of the dog is an important factor because smaller dogs (including breeds such as Jack Russell Terriers) mature slower and become seniors later in life. This means that some pets in shelters that are older than 7 years are actually in the prime of their life.
“There are numerous benefits to adopting a senior dog,” said Miller. “Many people underestimate the amount of work that comes with training a new puppy, especially the difficulties and frustrations associated with potty training and destructive chewing. This isn’t an issue with a large majority of senior dogs because they are already potty trained and know basic commands such as sit, stay, come, and down.”
One myth surrounding senior dogs is that they are in the shelter because of behavior or temperament problems. However, the majority of senior dogs end up in a shelter for reasons that have nothing to do with behavior. The most common reasons that older dogs end up in shelters include: the death of the owner, the arrival of a new baby, the loss of a job, changes in work schedules, allergies, or other lifestyle changes.
One way to ensure that a senior dog is a good fit for a household is to consider a “foster to adopt” scenario. This allows both the adoptive family and the dog to get used to each other and see if they are a good match. Just like people, senior dogs will need some time to adjust to their new home and lifestyle so fostering is an excellent way to provide both dog and human with an acclimation period.
Another benefit of adopting a senior pet is that their personality type is well-developed. “When adopting a senior pet, people are more likely to know if the dog is outgoing or shy or enjoys the company of other pets or children,” said Miller. “This makes it easier to find a dog that fits in with the household.”
For busy households with limited time, senior pets may be a good fit as older dogs have lower energy and exercise needs. “Although senior dogs still benefit from walks, they won’t have as much pent-up energy to burn off as a younger dog,” said Miller. “A short walk in the morning and evening may be all they need, whereas a puppy or more energetic younger dog may require much more exercise time.”
GoodPooch provides reputable and well-researched breed and health information to dog owners across the country. Although the bulk of the site’s content focuses on these topics, the site also has monthly contests where dog owners can share photos of their canine friends.
SOURCE: Press Advantage [Link]
GoodPooch offers health and specific dog breed information, as well as dog giveaways and monthly pet submissions contest for the most liked and loved dog by our fans.
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