Most animal specialists consider dogs or cats in the “senior” category around age seven.
The size of a dog can affect when it is considered a senior pet. Tinier dogs mature at a slower rate and become seniors a little later than larger breeds. The Clinton Humane Society often has healthy, active, and loving senior dogs in need of a forever home.
While many opt for puppies, kittens, or younger companions, senior pets have so many wonderful qualities that make them amazing friends.
- Senior pets at shelters need homes just as badly as younger animals. Many were once owned and loved by someone. For whatever reason, they were given up and abandoned in a shelter and are in need of a home. Just like kittens, puppies, and younger adoptable animals, they make loyal and loving companions.
- Older dogs are not necessarily “problem dogs” as many tend to think. Senior dogs lose their homes for a variety of reasons, usually having nothing to do with their behavior or temperament, but more due to the fact that their owners are unable to keep them for reasons including: the novelty of owning a dog wearing off, allergies, death of a guardian, a new baby, loss of a job, a move, change in work schedule, and various other lifestyle changes. These dogs need homes just as badly as young adoptees do and make wonderful household pets.
- Older pets usually come trained and dogs usually understand basic commands. Adopting an already-trained dog will save you a lot of time and energy that you’d normally have to dedicate towards training a young dog.
- Contrary to the saying, you can teach an old dog new tricks. Dogs can be trained at any age and older dogs are just as smart as younger ones. Older dogs have a greater attention span than a puppy, which make them easier to train.
- Older pets are calmer and less energetic than younger animals. An adult dog has graduated from the puppy stage and has an established demeanor and temperament, which will give you an instant idea of how it will fit into your household. Older dogs and cats have all their adult teeth and are out of the energetic young phase, which will result in less destruction to your home. Many of them do well with young children as they have a lower energy level and have possibly lived with them in their past homes.
- Older pets make instant companions. Unlike a puppy, which requires training, an older dog is ready to accompany you on a long walk and already knows how to play fetch. An adult dog will make a great workout partner, a loyal companion, and a late night snuggle buddy. Unlike a kitten, an older cat will enjoy laying in your lap and relaxing with you.