We get it – baby animals are cute, but cuteness is not a good reason to decide to get a pet. As the pet grows and matures, the novelty will quickly wear off. Owning a pet requires careful consideration of breed, size, temperament, and your lifestyle, before making a commitment.
Baby animals require a lot of training, veterinary care, attention and exercise in their first year of life. Add in the high energy levels of a young animal, and things can quickly become overwhelming. Too many people abandon their commitment and surrender the animal to a shelter. The majority of surrendered dogs and cats fall between the ages of five months and three years, however, this can also happen to pets who have been part of a family for years.
Older pets lose their homes and families for a variety of reasons. While many people believe there must be something wrong with the pet, like health or behavior issues, most often, it’s problems with the owner’s life – illness or death, financial challenges, allergies, changes to work schedules or moving to a new residence. Statistics show that once a pet reaches the age of five, their age becomes a huge barrier to adoption. The older the animal, the higher the chance they will be euthanized quickly, because of overcrowding and the time it takes to place them in a good home.
Happily, senior pets make wonderful companions for families and senior citizens. They’re also a great option for those who don’t have the time or patience to train and raise a young animal. This is especially true for dogs, who require house training, obedience classes, socialization, and regular exercise. Another advantage of adopting an older dog is that there is no guessing at just how big they may get.
While older pets may be stressed and confused by the transition from their home to the shelter or rescue, it’s very likely that they’ll quickly adapt to a new, loving home and family.
Ready to give an older pet a chance? A quick Google search will show that the Greater Phoenix metro area has a number of rescue organizations dedicated to rehoming senior animals. That’s a great place to begin!