Imagine sleeping in on a Saturday morning with a warm body curled up nearby emanating a musical masterpiece of soft snuffles and snores. Or, a Sunday afternoon spent puttering around the garden while your sidekick soaks in the sunshine, content to leave her digging days behind. Truly, “age is a work of art.” Love and loss only strengthen the joyful spirits, dignity and timeless beauty of senior pets. For those of us who’ve adopted a senior, or enjoy the love of a senior pet, it is an amazing experience that can change our outlook and attitude towards life.
An unbreakable bond
Forming a strong connection with a pet has little to do with the animal’s age at the time of adoption. Adult animals make trusting, loyal companions. Many seem to understand they’ve been given a special “second chance” and form extraordinary bonds with their new families. Senior pets often make ideal companions for seniors. Adult animals are more likely to be calm, and more easily managed than younger pets. Families with children can also benefit from adopting a mature pet who interacts well with kids, especially if the children are too young to safely handle a younger pet. Puppies and kittens may nip and claw, which can frighten or injure children, and senior pets are often wonderful teachers of patience, gentleness and respect.
Old souls and young hearts
Adult animals can be every bit as sweet, cute and playful as their younger counterparts who quickly leave behind their physical baby traits. While it’s hard to determine what kind of characteristics a puppy or kitten will develop, it is much easier for potential adopters to get a sense of a mature animal’s qualities – including size, temperament and personality. For many, busy schedules prevent them from being able to provide the kind of constant care that younger animals require.
Mature pets don’t need as much exercise and stimulation, and dogs are typically housetrained, past the destructive chewing phase, and familiar with basic requests (e.g. sit, down). Adult cats are more likely to be litter box trained.
Add to their life – and yours!
Adopting a senior not only adds years to your senior pet’s life – it adds years to your own! Studies show that companion animals help people live healthier, happier and longer lives. A senior pet’s joyful spirit, acceptance of limitations, and ability to live in each moment fully and completely with love and gratefulness will make your own life that much sweeter.
Ready, set, adopt!
Senior pets have much to offer, including plenty of love. Instead of passing by older pets at our adoption centres, take the time to stop and visit our golden oldies. You may discover that you need a special senior in your life as much as she needs you!