Posted on May 22, 2018

What You Need to Know When Adopting an Older Pet

older-pets

Adopting a new pet is an exciting time – after all, welcoming a new member of the family into your home is always going to be a wonderful period of change. When adopting a new pet, there are many things which need to be considered, ranging from purchasing food, toys, bedding and engraved pet ID tags right through to making sure that your home is a pet-friendly zone.

However, many people have the tendency to fall in love with puppies, kittens and younger pets, meaning that older animals are often left in shelters and rehoming centres for far longer. Of course, this is a great shame as seniors can prove to be just as loving and devoted as their younger counterparts, yet many people just don’t give them the chance they need to really shine.

Your Older Pet Checklist

If you are considering adopting an older pet, there are plenty of benefits but also some differences that you should bear in mind.

We’ve put together a list of things that you need to know when you are planning on adopting an older dog or cat:

  • It may seem obvious, but older pets will usually require a much less active lifestyle than younger pets
  • Many older dogs will already be housetrained and may also have some degree of obedience training, saving the hassle of training a puppy from the start
  • Older pets may want more time to relax and snooze by themselves, so don’t be upset if your new pet doesn’t always want constant attention
  • Older animals are likely to depend on you much more as they advance in years, especially if you develop a close relationship
  • Senior animals will usually have less destructive behaviours than younger pets who are still learning and testing their boundaries
  • Older pets may have ingrained behaviours which could prove difficult to change, ranging from barking, sitting on furniture and requiring food or walking at particular times
  • It’s important to remember that older pets are usually going to be more prone to health problems – even if your pet seems fit and healthy, regular vet check-ups are essential

Is an Older Pet Right for You?

While you may not get such an active lifestyle with an older pet, there are still many benefits which can arise from welcoming a senior pet into your home. Many older pets are ideally suited to couples and smaller households, looking to enjoy a quiet, relaxing retirement alongside their owners.

It’s important to make sure that you choose the right pet for you and similarly, you need to ensure that you have everything you need ready for their arrival. Head out to your local pet store or shop online – as well as bedding and blankets, bowls and senior-friendly food, an older pet may like a cuddly toy to snuggle up against, and, of course, they will need shiny new engraved pet ID tags to reunite you with them if they become lost.

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