According to the ASPCA, an average of 7.6 million animals are brought into shelters every year. Of those, an average of 2.7 million are euthanized–a large portion of which are older dogs or cats who have been looked over for younger animals and run out of time. When you are ready for a new furry friend, consider adopting an adult or senior rescue pet. There are several benefits to choosing an older pet over a puppy or kitten.
1. Older pets are housebroken already – Older pets are already housebroken or litter box trained. This means less training time and mess in your home while your new pet is getting accustomed to their new digs.
2. Older pets are easier for first-time adopters – If this will be your first pet, CONGRATULATIONS! Sharing your life with a pet is a rewarding and exciting experience. Older pets can be much easier for first-time adopters. Being already housebroken is just one benefit. Most already have learned to walk on leash and other basic training elements. Adopting a pet that already knows the ropes makes the learning curve for the first-time adopter much easier.
3. Older pets are calmer and less destructive – Older pets have already grown out of the rambunctious kitten or puppy stage. Kittens and puppies tend to have a ton of energy to expend and require a lot of attention to prevent them from acting out in destructive ways such as chewing on inappropriate items, scratching furniture or jumping.
4. You know what you’re getting – Older pets are much more “what you see is what you get”. If a dog is aggressive with cats, a cat unable to adjust to a dog or either one being good or not with children, the shelter or rescue can generally tell you this information. With kittens and puppies, you will be left to discover this information as these exposures happen. Adopting an older pet means you already know some information about their disposition and personality.
5. Specific breeds are available as older rescue pets – If you are looking for a specific breed or mix, you can connect with a rescue that works specifically with that breed. Many dogs and cats are surrendered when life events change for their owner such as a major move or if the owner passes away. You’ll be surprised to learn how many breed-specific pets are waiting for a new furever home in rescues and shelters all over the country.
If all of the reasons above haven’t convinced you to consider an older pet, then the adoration and gratefulness of a rescued pet certainly should. A shelter is no place for an animal to grow old or spend their older years. Your older furry friend will be delighted to have a warm place to call home with a great, loving new owner.