The ASPCA has dedicated a whole month to raising awareness of the advantages of adopting a senior pet. So, let it be known that November is “Adopt a Senior Pet Month."
I know…it’s hard to ignore those cute little fur balls of puppies and kittens. And there is something to be said for raising a pet from infancy and watching all the amazing developmental stages as the animal grows. But caring for those adorable wee ones is WORK!
Chewing up shoes, tearing apart pillows and furniture, gnawing on table legs, and figuring out the house-breaking business can be frustrating and stressful. And if the human doing the training is past middle age, it can also be exhausting.
But you do not have to give up on welcoming a companion animal into your home just because you feel that puppies and kittens are too much work. There are many wonderful older animals looking for forever homes, and unfortunately, they are usually the last to be adopted.
The website firstvet.com has compiled a list of benefits of loving a senior pet.
*Older animals are already housetrained. Senior cats have years of experience using the litter box, and older dogs have mastered the best way of asking to go outside.
*Minimal training is required. They probably already have mastered the art of walking on a leash, they can perform basic commands, and they try to avoid things that will get them into trouble…like knocking over the garbage can.
*Most have moved past the destructive phase. There’s less worry about your senior dog or cat tearing up the furniture or snacking on your favorite shoes.
*Their personalities have already developed. You know what you are getting, and there is little guesswork figuring out if your potential adoptee is compatible with your family and lifestyle. What you see is what you get!
*Senior pets require less exercise. If you’re looking for a less-active pet, a senior dog or cat may be just for you.
What constitutes a senior pet? According to firstvet.com, most cats and dogs are considered to be seniors at the age of seven. However, there are so many variations in breeds, sizes, and genetics that the ages of dogs and cats may be difficult to figure out. Life expectancy is determined by breed, size, and overall health. Check with your vet for more help.
Like most shelters across the country, the Beatrice Animal Shelter cares for many senior dogs and cats. Currently, there are no senior dogs in the adoption program. There are, however, two beautiful cats that qualify as seniors.
“Snow” is a handsome all-white male who came into the shelter as a stray. His age has been guess-timated at around eight years. Snow has been neutered, microchipped, and vaccinated and would love to have you stop by to meet him.
“Sunday” is a pretty Calico who is also somewhere around eight years of age. She may have some balance issues, but she gets around just fine. According to shelter staff, Sunday is a sweet, loving girl who would make a wonderful companion. She, too, would love to meet you.
Did you know?
If you decide to adopt a feline friend this month or if you have a cat or two in your home, you may be interested to know this little bit of trivia I found on my Workman Publishing “Page a Day” calendar of cat facts.
“Your cat needs constant access to clean, cool water, both indoors and outdoors, especially if her diet consists mostly of dry food. Water is absorbed by fiber in the intestines and helps dilute urine.
Vets also say it’s important to keep your cat’s water and food apart – this is because cats have evolved to keep food and water sources separate to avoid water contamination. And you thought it was just because your kitty was finicky. Who knew? She’s smarter than you think!
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