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November is National Adopt a Senior Pet Month

This November is National Adopt a Senior Pet Month. This awareness event was developed by the ASPCA and to raise awareness of the needs of senior pets in shelters, and the benefits of adopting senior pets. Even if you can’t adopt a senior pet yourself, you can share information and resources with friends, family, and colleagues who might be interested in adoption. Here is some information you can use this month to raise awareness.

Understanding Why Senior Pets Are in Shelters

Senior pets are often the last ones to be adopted from animal shelters. Many people think that the reason they’re in the shelter is that they are badly behaved or are problem animals. In reality, many of them have had one owner their entire lives. Their owners have either died, moved into hospice care or assisted living facilities, or can no longer care for them effectively. These pets are looking for a second chance, and another owner who will love them as much as their previous owner did. 

Knowing the Dangers Shelters Pose to Senior Animals

Elderly animals are at a higher risk of disease and illness due to weaker immune systems. The longer they stay in the shelter, the more exposure they get to dangerous diseases and illnesses. The shelter environment is also very stressful for senior animals. They may end up experiencing depression, anxiety, and fear, which only increases the length of their stay. 

Being Aware of the Benefits of Adopting Senior Pets

Senior pets are often more calm than puppies, kittens, and younger pets. They make great first pets for young children or people who have never had a pet before. They are typically very mellow and low-maintenance and just want a comfortable, safe home to relax in for their final years. They are very loving and are grateful for the owners who care for them. They are often already house-trained, and may know basic commands and tricks as well. 

If you end up adopting a senior pet from your local shelter, make an appointment with your veterinarian as soon as possible for a medical exam and check-up.