With so many pets looking for homes, there are always ones that tend to get overlooked. Sadly older pets tend to be part of the group that gets overlooked, yet they have many of the qualities that many pet owners are looking for.
What is a senior pet?
When a pet is considered a senior pet can vary. In general, dogs are considered seniors around the age of 8, but it can depend on their size as small dogs tend to have a longer life span than large dogs. A Great Dane may be considered a senior at 6, while a Chihuahua not until 10. This Dog Age Calculator converts your dog’s age into a human age so you can see when a dog may have reached senior age.
Cats tend to reach senior citizenship around the ages of 10 or 11 according to this age conversion chart. Fortunately, they don’t have the breed age differences that dogs do.
For other species, being a senior will depend on their lifespan. Ferrets are considered seniors at 3 and a rabbit at age 5. Parrots vary depending on the species with the smaller species having a shorter lifespan than the larger ones.
Why a Senior Pet would be perfect for you.
- Their personality is known. Puppies, kittens and other baby critters have the potential to develop any type of personality. We try to help through training and socialization, but nothing is a guarantee. By the time a pet has become a senior, you know what their personality is. A good shelter and rescue will get to learn about the pet in their care and be able to match you with the one who will fit best with your life.
- They are already trained. There is a myth that all animals in shelters have behavior problems, but it’s just not true. Many older pets are looking for homes because of life changes their owners had- they may have health problems and can no longer care for their pet or they may have passed away. They have training and know how to live in a household.
- They are settled. It’s common to hear “I forgot how much work a puppy was” from people who’ve added a new pup after losing a long-time family pet. Young critters require monitoring, they need to be kept busy so they stay out of trouble. An older pet has been through all that and is ready to get on with enjoying doing whatever you want to do- go for a hike, sit on the couch, or maybe play fetch in the yard.
Old Friends are the best friends.
November is Adopt a Senior Pet Month. If you are thinking about adding a new pet, consider adopting an older pet. There is nothing better than the appreciate they will show you, except maybe knowing that you truly made a difference in a pet’s life.