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5 Incredible Perks For Adopting Older Pets
Adopting any animal gives that pet a second chance at having a good life. Many pets are taken from bad situations or have been abandoned. An animal's entire being changes when cared for properly. There have been several instances where owners have shared their pets’ glow-ups as they have gone from thin and terrified to healthy and carefree.
Most of my pets are adopted. Some were rescued from being abandoned as well. It was both eye-opening and life charging bringing these fur babies into our lives.
One of my dogs, Bane, was a foster fail and he was 3 years old. Not a puppy and potty trained. He had a rough life before being taken in by a rescue and even went through a few fosters prior to coming home with me. It hurt my heart to know he was shuffled around so much.
When I brought him home we discovered he didn't like men, especially if they had on a ball cap, didn't like quick movements, was heartworm positive, and had anxiety. He was a mess and it didn't surprise me since he had bounced around as much as he did. Eating was also a sticky area for him.
I quickly began to work with him on getting comfortable. He got a good bath and tons of cuddles. He bonded with my son who was two at the time but struggled with accepting my husband. It took time for him to adapt to my husband but he and my son became quite the pair.
Over time Bane began to get comfortable but I realized that finding someone to bond with him like we had would be extremely difficult. His anxiety would skyrocket anytime we went to adoption events, and didn’t want anyone coming close to us. He wouldn’t get aggressive per se but he would occasionally growl at those who rushed toward him. So I talked my husband into adopting him.
Since then Bane has turned into another dog. He's 7 now, on a mild dose of anxiety medication, is heartworm negative, and is the sweetest little guy. He loves to cuddle and snuggle up in blankets. His favorite thing is to steal toys from the cats. He’s nothing like the dog I brought home to foster.
All that to share 5 incredible perks for adopting older pets. Even senior pets are excellent choices.
1. The pet is potty trained whether it be a cat or dog.
Bringing home a pet that is potty trained is amazing. I forgot how difficult it is to go through potty training with puppies until we brought one home. Kittens usually aren’t too bad about potty training in that each one I’ve had learned to use the litter box rather quickly. Puppies though, are messy. Potty training requires a lot of puppy pads, spray to clean up accidents, middle-of-the-night trips outside, and more. If you get a pup for outside a lot of these things won’t be an issue but mine are all indoor-outdoor pets. Summers tend to get overly hot and winter has been unpredictable. Plus I love their snuggles.
2. Dogs are typically leash trained.
Older dogs that have been with a rescue for a while typically do well on a leash. This normally happens because they need to be boarded at times due to high capacity or fosters walk them regularly. I was extremely impressed with how well Bane did on a leash when he came home with me as a foster. When we adopted my do Eevee as a puppy many years ago, she had very little experience. They let her run around in a yard but we didn’t have a huge yard at the time. It took time to train her to walk well while we lived in an apartment.
3. Fewer puppy/kitten habits that destroy furniture and other household items.
This is a huge thing. I honestly don’t know which one bothers me worse, what kittens do to a house or what puppies do. I mean maybe it has just been me and don’t get me wrong it hasn’t changed how much I love them but man. Kittens with their tiny claws can shred through couches, curtains, blankets, carpets, and anything they can get their paws on. Ours did this even with various scratching posts and climbing towers available. I attempted the toenail covers with one, and they were great for about a week, but he easily pulled them off. Over time these habits decreased but they still get our couch on occasion.
Some of you may wonder why I didn’t have them declawed and if you have looked at what that process does to a cat's foot you’ll know why. I am not for messing up my cat's feet by removing their toes. Nope.
Puppies on the other hand love to chew and holy cow I forgot how much they chew. Our current puppy is a corgi and he’s literally tried to chew everything in our home. I was prepared for him to attempt to chew on the wooden table and chairs because that is what Eevee did as a puppy but no. He went for baseboards and walls, any outside toy he could get a hold of, and shoes. We crate him during the night but during the day when I’m working on things he sneaky chews. I know it's only a phase but it’s been an expensive one. Older dogs do not do that.
4. They need love too.
Every animal deserves a loving home. They deserve to experience cuddles and good food, joy, and play. They don’t need to be left neglected in cages, pens, or on chains. They aren’t trophies or collector's items. They are living breathing beings that feel. Every animal up for adoption needs love and more than often older pets get overlooked, which brings me to the final benefit of adopting older pets.
5. Fewer people adopt older or senior pets.
If you go to an adoption event, people are easily drawn to the kittens and puppies. They are cuter, have puppy/kitten breath, and their hair is softer. The older ones watch patiently, their hearts breaking at the end of each event when no one adopts them. Many times people take a young animal home only to return it a year later because the newness has worn off and its no longer pleasing as an older animal. This lands them right back where they were or for some, ditched on a back road. This makes me think of the post that goes around on social media that lists reasons why pets aren’t gifts.
Be the change!
In Oklahoma, we have many pets who need homes and love. I don’t understand why there are so many but it needs to change. More people need to step up and help these animals. Whether you foster, donate, or adopt, you can make a difference.
If you’re thinking about getting a new family pet, schedule a meetup to greet an older pet. It would be an excellent consideration and we all could use furry companions. I’ve yet to see a rescue refuse a meetup for a pet.
Now get out there and cause a ripple, whether it be small or big. Every ripple changes the water of this thing we call life.
Check out some of my local rescues and feel free to share yours in the comments. If you’ve adopted a pet or foster failed, share your story as well. I love reading them and don’t forget to heart this blog post and share it on your socials. Let’s increase our ripple in the pond of life.
Midwest City Animal Welfare: https://www.midwestcityok.org/animal-welfare
Mutt Misfits: https://muttmisfits.org/