5 Reasons to Adopt an Older Pet

Older Dogs

SPCA Florida’s Facebook fans helped celebrate Adopt A Senior Pet Month by sharing some of the reasons why their choice to add an older pet was one of the best decisions they ever made:

1. Well-trained and Obedient

Chewed shoes, accidents on the carpet and overnight potty breaks. Whew! Baby animals are so much work!

“It is wonderful having an older pet. There is no puppy stage to get through,” said Melanie Howell who just adopted Checkers, a six-year old Beagle.

Many new pet owners love skipping over the time-intensive puppy and kitten stages.

Denise and Peter Cardiff opened their home and hearts to not just a senior dog, but a senior Great Dane! Alex, 9, was “calm, obedient, loving and house trained! He was super friendly and loved strangers. A real gentleman,” said Denise.

While all pets require responsibility, senior pets are less demanding.

2. No Time Stamp on Love

Every pet deserves a lifetime of love.

“Seniors are terrific and have so much love to give. We were blessed,” said Denise.

Sheila Hazen Rewis and her mother agree with the Cardiffs.

Her mother adopted a six-year-old Pomeranian, whose owner had passed away. “She lived… feeling loved and wanted,” said Rewis.

By opening your home to a older pet, you provide a loving companion to someone who might otherwise be alone during their last years of life with “a home where they can live out their life in comfort, love and security.”

Eleni McDaniel adopted Yogurt, 7, “a one-eyed Min Pin with a big heart and attitude to match”, she said. “Having an older dog has been one of the greatest blessings in life.”

“I’ve suffered from depression and anxiety since I was a little girl and having an older dog that will love you when the world is falling down around you is one of the best feelings in the world. Yogurt is my ‘furry Prozac’,” said McDaniel.

3. Low Maintenance

Mara Sansolo said adopted “the friendliest, happiest dog in the world” in April.

Eight-year old Chloe “spends her days lounging on the sofa, watching Judge Judy,” but when Sansolo visits her parents’ house, Chloe plays like a puppy, enjoying the company of their dogs.

Most senior pets are more mellow and easy-going than rambunctious puppies or kittens. Age does not deprive senior pets of their personality, as Mara said Chloe demonstrates in her play sessions.

4. Lasting Love

Ginger was no stranger to SPCA Florida.

The 12-year-old dog found herself back at the center where she was adopted because her owner moved to an assisted living facility.

The story immediately tugged on Ginny Laws-Harriman’s heartstrings.

”I had been looking for a long time for just the right dog,” she said.

Within an hour of receiving an email about Ginger she was at SPCA Florida adopting her.

“Who knew she would turn out to be, the dog love of my life! Not a day goes by that she doesn’t make me laugh and smile! Older dogs are a gift!” exclaimed Laws-Harriman.

Kristy Fleming understands pets often have numerous homes throughout their lifetime. Fleming adopted Milo who was six years old at the time.

“It was his third time being adopted and his last!” said Fleming.

5. Life Lessons

“Even though some people think they are doing the animal a favor it is the animals that end up doing us a favor,” said Jillian Zielinski.

Her 12-year-old Pit Bull/Boxer Mix Harold taught her some remarkable life lessons.

“Not a day goes by he isn’t happy about life. Even though this senior dog came from a home with 260 other dogs, he doesn’t feel sorry for himself and where he came. He has no self-pity, he is just always joyful.”

Over the years she has also adopted a 13-year-old cat and a 16-year-old Greyhound.

“Every day, I’m thankful for the life lessons they taught me.”

There are loving, senior pets like Checkers, Alex and Harold at animal shelters around Florida looking for that one special pet parent to cherish for the rest of their life.

Take the opportunity to get acquainted with the older pets available at www.spcaflorida.org. If you can’t open your home to a senior pet, consider helping to care for one by donating to SPCA Florida.