November is ADOPT A SENIOR PET MONTH
There is so much information about owning a dog that is 7 or 8 years old and up. And that means misinformation and assumptions that make someone uneasy about adopting. Some people looking for a new companion may have worries that senior pets are too costly or always in poor health. Some worry that they wouldn’t be as fun as a puppy or younger dog. But we think there are some really good points to keep in mind when thinking about adopting a senior pet.
Top 5 Reasons to Adopt a Senior Pet
- Already Trained and Well-Behaved: Senior pets often come with basic training and are typically well-behaved. They are past the puppy or kitten stage and may be house-trained, know basic commands, and have a calmer demeanor.
- Predictable Personality: Senior pets have fully developed personalities, so you know what you’re getting in terms of temperament and energy level. This makes it easier to find a pet that fits your lifestyle.
- Grateful Companions: Older animals tend to be extremely grateful for a second chance at a loving home. They form strong bonds with their owners and are often more affectionate and loyal.
- Less Demanding: Senior pets generally require less exercise and playtime than younger animals. They are content with a more relaxed lifestyle, making them a great choice for older individuals or those with a busier schedule.
- Saving a Life: By adopting a senior pet, you’re giving them a chance to live out their golden years in a loving home. You’re not only saving a life but also creating space in shelters for other animals in need.
Checklist of What to Discuss with Your Vet for Senior Pets (Aged 8 or Over)
- Comprehensive Health Assessment: Schedule a thorough health checkup, including a physical examination, blood tests, and diagnostic screenings to assess your senior pet’s overall health.
- Diet and Nutrition: Discuss your pet’s diet and nutritional needs. Your vet can recommend a senior-specific diet that suits their age, weight, and any medical conditions.
- Dental Care: Inquire about your pet’s dental health. Dental issues are common in older pets, and your vet can recommend dental cleaning or at-home care.
- Vaccinations and Preventive Care: Review your pet’s vaccination schedule and ensure they are up to date. Discuss preventive measures, such as flea and tick control and heartworm prevention.
- Pain Management: Senior pets may experience arthritis or other chronic pain conditions. Ask your vet about pain management options, such as medications or supplements.
- Weight Management: Monitor your pet’s weight, as obesity is a common issue in older animals. Discuss weight management strategies with your vet, including dietary adjustments and exercise recommendations.
- Mobility and Exercise: Talk about your pet’s mobility and any changes in their activity level. Your vet can suggest exercise routines and assistive devices if needed.
- Cognitive Function: Inquire about cognitive dysfunction in senior pets, which is similar to dementia in humans. Discuss strategies to support your pet’s mental health and address any cognitive decline.
- End-of-Life Planning: While it’s a difficult topic, it’s essential to have a plan for end-of-life care and decisions. Discuss any concerns or considerations related to your pet’s quality of life and potential palliative care.
- Regular Checkup Schedule: Establish a regular checkup schedule with your vet, typically every 6 to 12 months, to monitor your senior pet’s health and make any necessary adjustments to their care.
- Behavioral Changes: Keep an eye out for any behavioral changes, such as increased aggression, anxiety, or changes in social interaction. Discuss these changes with your vet, as they could be indicative of underlying medical or psychological issues.
Remember that senior pets deserve all the good things and the love and companionship they provide can be incredibly rewarding. Regular communication with your vet is crucial to ensure your senior pet enjoys a comfortable and healthy life in their golden years.
Some things to shop for to make a senior pet comfortable and happy at home.
- Joint supplements
- Raised Dishes
- Pet Ramps
- High-Quality Food
- Dental Products
- Comfortable bed with easy access
We’d love to help you pick out the perfect pet for you! Click this link to be taken to our adoptable dogs and cats.