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November’s Adopt-A-Senior-Pet Month by Dr. Nancy T. Peterson

November 7, 2012
Des Moines Pet Clinics Encourage Adopting a Senior Pet in November Personally, I have always had a major soft spot for senior pets. Now that I again have a couple of senior pets in my house an 11 year old Shetland Sheepdog Chance and a 13 year old Siamese mix Zing, I remember how much I appreciate the senior pets. Nothing is quite like that love and affection when they lay their head on your lap or when your senior cat is curled up purring on your lap so much you hate to get up to disturb him. Sadly, senior dogs and cats are often passed over for the “younger generation” when it comes to adoption, but these precious canines and felines deserve to live out their golden years in the comfort of a happy, loving home. Des Moines pet clinics have seen many wonderful senior pet additions but many more are waiting for the right family to welcome them into their home. Look into adopting a mature dog or cat in the Des Moines area from the Animal Rescue League of Iowa or our veterinarians work with Iowa Golden Retriever Rescue and the Cedar Valley Boxer Rescue Groups. TOP 10 REASONS TO ADOPT AN OLDER DOG OR CAT (ADAPTED FROM THE ASPCA TOP 10 REASONS TO ADOPT A SENIOR DOG)

1. What You See Is What You Get

Older pets are open books—from the start, you’ll know important things like their full-grown size, personality and grooming requirements. All this information makes it easier to pick the right dog or cat and forge that instant love connection that will last a lifetime. If you’re not so into surprises, an older pet is for you!

2. Easy To Train

Think you can’t teach an old dog new tricks? Hogwash! Older dogs are great at focusing on you—and on the task at hand—because they’re calmer than youngsters. Plus, all those years of experience reading humans can help them quickly figure out how to do what you’re asking.

3. Seniors Are Super-Loving

One of the wonderful things we hear is comments and notes from pet parents with senior pets that seem to all contain beautiful, heartfelt descriptions of the love these dogs and cats give you—and those of you who adopted pets already in their golden years told us how devoted and grateful they are. It’s an instant bond that cannot be topped!

4. They’re Not a 24/7 Job

Grownup dogs don’t require the constant monitoring puppies do, leaving you with more freedom to do your own thing. If you have young children, or just value your “me time,” this is definitely a bonus. Senior cats need to be pointed to the litter pan the food dish and their favorite sleeping spot, typically your lap, and they are ready to be loved.

5. They Settle In Quickly

Older pets have been around the block and already learned what it takes to get along with others and become part of a pack. They’ll be part of the family in no time!

6. Fewer Messes

Your floors, shoes and furniture will thank you for adopting a senior pooch! Older dogs are likely to already be housetrained—and even if they’re not, they have the physical and mental abilities to pick it up really fast (unlike puppies). With their teething years far behind them, seniors also are much less likely to be destructive chewers.

7. You Won’t Bite Off More Than You Can Chew

There are those who yearn for a cat or dog friend of their own, but hold back because they worry what might happen in their lives in the years to come. And they are wise to do so—a puppy or kitten or a young pet can be anywhere from an 8- to 20-year responsibility, which is not appropriate for the very elderly or those with certain long-term future plans. Providing a loving home for a dog or cat in her golden years is not a less serious commitment, but it can be a shorter one.

8. They Enjoy Easy Livin’

Couch potato, know thyself! Please consider a canine retiree rather than a high-energy young dog who will run you ragged. Not that older dogs don’t require any exercise—they do—but they’re not going to need, or want, to run a marathon every day. And is that senior cat just set up for sharing that warm comfy spot in your house?

9. Save A Life, Be A Hero

At shelters in Des Moines, older dogs or cats are often the last to be adopted and the first to be euthanized. Saving an animal’s life offers an unparalleled emotional return on your investment, and you’ll feel the rewards every day you spend together.

10. They’re CUTE!

Need we say more? Have more questions about adopting a mature pet? Contact your Des Moines pet clinic or the Healthcare Team at Ingersoll Animal Hospital.

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