Woman walking senior dog through a field.

November is Adopt a Senior Pet Month, which encourages people to share their hearts and their homes with the animals who need it the most. Senior pets are often overlooked by potential adopters who frequently prefer younger pets. Senior pets tend to spend the most time at shelters and animal rescues and frequently have a difficult time finding a home. 

“I can’t think of anything more rewarding than making the last years of a dog’s life the best they can be.”Dr. Ruth Roberts

At Vital Essentials, our hearts ache for the senior pets who may spend their last days in an animal shelter. There are so many benefits of adopting an old dog or cat, and with so many senior pets across the country that are in need of a home, we’d like to share the top five reasons to adopt a senior dog or cat…or maybe both!  

1) Senior dogs and cats deserve a second chance

When it comes to adopting senior pets, most of the geriatric dogs and cats available for adoption at shelters have already lived in a home for much of their lives and they wound up at a shelter through no fault of their own. Many senior pets found in shelters had an elderly owner who passed away or was moved to a nursing home that doesn’t allow pets. These senior dogs and cats are often overlooked by potential adopters, but they still deserve a loving home to spend the remaining years of their lives, rather than passing away at an animal shelter. 

2) Senior dogs and cats are already trained

Older dogs and cats for adoption are already trained so things like potty training and obedience training will be a lot less work for the new owner. Plus, your new dog or cat may know all sorts of tricks already and finding them all out will be a fun surprise! There’s an old saying that you can’t teach an old dog new tricks but this is definitely false. Senior pets still love to learn new tricks and they’ll be happy to show off for their new family.

3) Senior dogs and cats have less energy 

If you have a busy lifestyle, then senior dog or cat adoption is probably the best choice for your family because senior pets are calmer. The crazy puppy or kitten stages are long gone and senior pets are content to just cuddle and relax or take short walks around the block. With a senior pet, you won’t have to worry about constantly finding ways to exercise them or keep them busy, which will allow you to truly maximize the bonding time you get to spend together. 

4) Senior dogs and cats are adorable 

Just like people, the appearance of senior dogs and cats starts to change as they age. They are still just as cute as they were in their youth but they also become white and grizzled and sometimes a bit chubby as they get older. We think they just get more adorable! As a bonus, senior dogs and cats often have a discounted adoption fee as an incentive to choose an older dog or cat for adoption. 

5) Senior dogs and cats will show their gratitude 

When you give a dog or cat a second chance they are infinitely grateful. This is especially true for senior pets who will try their hardest every day to show you how happy they are to have a home and a family who loves them. You’ll be able to see it in the way they look at you, the way they follow you around the house and in the way they try their hardest to please you. Your heart will be filled with the love of an animal who was given a second chance. 

If you’ve decided to adopt a senior pet, you may be wondering where to find senior cats for adoption or where to find senior dog rescue groups. Many rescues and shelters list their older dogs and cats for adoption on websites such as petfinder.com and adoptapet.com. Follow your local animal shelters on social media to find out about discount senior pet adoptions and other adoption events to meet your new furry family member. The Senior Dog Project also has a list of senior dog rescue groups and senior pet rescue organizations including state-by-state listings. 

For more information on senior pet adoption, check out our other blog posts including tips on adopting a shelter dog and tips for adopting a shelter cat. Also, learn how adopting a pet can help you be happy and healthy. Follow us on social (Facebook, Instagram and Twitter) for the latest Vital Essentials updates and sign up for our email list for some exclusive savings on pet food and treats for your four-legged family members.