Written by Rachael Gillis
November is Adopt a Senior Pet Month, and we at Ethos Veterinary Health believe that pets at every age have their own unique beauty and value. We feel that spending time with a pet at every stage in its life and development is its own reward, worldly senior pets, bitey puppies, crazy kittens, the mature (thank goodness! Finally trained) middle years … there is so much to be thankful for at every age. Unfortunately, 25% of animals surrendered to shelters are senior aged and are often overlooked by adopters who opt for younger pets. Senior pets have so much to offer though, and are already veterans in the science of “good boy/girl-ology” (yes, it’s a science now). Our older pets can even teach us some valuable life lessons about love, friendship, and growing old.
The next time you’re looking to adopt a new furry family member, don’t pass on those wise old eyes, please consider giving a senior pet a second chance. Here are some things we all can learn from them, and some of the ways they will bring you joy:
Lesson #1: Love Never Grows Old
A senior pet will slow down, take a few extra minutes to wake up in the morning, and may grow thinner with more gray hairs, but age never changes the love senior pets have for their humans. Their bodies grow old, but their love stays forever young.
Lesson #2: Friendship Has No Expiration Date
Many senior pets, no matter how many homes and owners they’ve seen throughout their lives, will always be open to making new friends. In fact, they have mastered what it means to be a best friend in their years of experience.
Lesson #3: A Good Attitude is Everything
Age often brings ailments for senior pets, from arthritis to diseases to cancer. But through all the pain, medications, and trips to the vet they still manage to keep their tails wagging and their love unwavering.
Lesson #4: A Kind Soul Takes Time
As pets age, they often become more mellow, sweeter, and enjoy the simpler, quieter things in life. Beneath the surface of even the grumpiest of old pets lies a sweet old soul that’s just a little rough around the edges.
Lesson #5: Some Things Are Worth Waiting For
It is no secret that senior animals are often the last to get adopted in shelters. But they know better than anyone else that patience is a virtue and the time will come when they find a home worthy enough of their seasoned love.
Lesson #6: There is No Shame in Growing Old
Inside every old pet is the young, energetic pup or kitten that they once were. Some senior pets are able to channel that youth in spurts of playtime and energy, while others are only young at heart. Either way, they aren’t afraid to take their time and live a lazy retired life. And that is just okay.
Lesson #7: You Can Make a Difference
Welcoming a senior pet into your home can literally save a life. It is an incredibly rewarding kindness and though you won’t have as many years with them, you can make their golden years the best they deserve for which they will be forever grateful. You can be their hero.
Before you adopt a senior pet, be sure that you are ready for the possibility of future medical expenses such as medications, supplements, senior blood panels, etc. Pet insurance is a great option for financial assistance, and luckily many pet insurance companies now offer plans for animals up to 14 years old. You can learn more about pet insurance and why it’s never too late to get your older pet an insurance plan. A senior pet can bring you years of happiness and memories and though you may need to slow down and have a little extra patience, you will surely receive lots and lots of love.