If you’re considering adding a new four-legged member to your family soon, don’t make the mistake of thinking that a puppy or kitten is your only option. Older pets need loving homes, too, and they may make the perfect companion! Here, your Bucks County, PA vet tells you about older pets’ advantages.
Lower Energy Level
Many pet owners simply aren’t looking to deal with the high-energy, rambunctious nature of a young animal. If you’re not looking forward to supervising a wound-up ball of energy 24/7, consider an older pet instead. Most older animals are content to relax for most of the day, and will only need some daily exercise in the form of a walk or quick play session.
Socialization and Manners
It’s probable that an older pet, especially one adopted from a rescue, has already lived with a human family. It’s therefore likely that they’re already socialized—you don’t have to teach them how to live with a family, how to ride in a car, how to ask to use the bathroom, etc. You’ll save yourself a lot of time and hassle if your new furry friend already has these manners.
Young animals are known for going through bad-behavior phases, and are likely to chew, scratch, vocalize, and otherwise act undesirably for periods of time. If you’re not prepared to deal with these hassles, an older pet is just the choice for you. Middle-aged and elderly pets have already worked through their chew-everything-in-sight phases.
It’s very possible that older pets—again, especially if they’ve lived with humans before—come with commands and training “built in.” Your newly adopted older animal may already know how to sit, roll over, heel, and come when called. Don’t believe the old saying about not being able to teach an old dog new tricks! In fact, many older pets are easier to train thanks to their longer attention spans.
Before adopting a pet of any age, it’s important to understand what you and your family are committing to. With a puppy or kitten, you’re committing to a responsibility for at least the next 10 years, if not twice that in some cases. If you’re not prepared to make that commitment, don’t do a young pet a disservice by adopting them anyway. Choose an older pet instead.
Talk to your Bucks County, PA vet for more information about the adoption process.