November is ASPCA’s Adopt a Senior Pet Month. Dr. Anna will discuss the benefits of adopting and owning a senior pet. Read Maxx’s story below.
An important British study by Serpell (1991) showed that people who had not recently owned a dog or cat and then acquired one or were given one by the researchers, showed improvements over the next ten months in their health, psychological well-being, self-esteem and exercise levels. In a follow-up study, the owners were able to cope better with adverse life events and made fewer visits to their doctor. So, if you don’t own a pet I suggest you head to your local animal shelter and adopt a pet today!
Here are a few good reasons to adopt a senior pet.
1. What you see is what you get: It’s an adult animal so it’s not going to get any bigger. Plus you will know the grooming requirements and its personality right off the bat.
2. Minimal training: We all love puppies but not the potty training, teething, and obedience training. Many senior pets already know some basic obedience commands and those that don’t are typically more focused and learn faster than their younger counterparts.
3. Saves time: Older pets don’t require constant monitoring. They settle in and adapt to the pack quicker because they have had more life experience and know what it takes to get along. Senior animals do require exercise but not as much as a puppy.
4. Lifespan: The average lifespan of a dog or a cat can range from 10-15 years. Getting a puppy or a kitten is a lifelong commitment. If you are an elderly person or concerned about future life events then a senior pet is a great option for you!
5. Be a superstar: Older pets are the last to be adopted and the first to be euthanized. You won’t regret the return of unconditional love that you get back! Adopt a senior pet today.
Maxx’s story: Maxx was brought into my clinic in 2009. The picture to the right was his original condition. He was 32 pounds underweight and was heartworm positive. The first day he was brought into my clinic the Weimaraner rescue came to look at him and brought him a huge bone. This dog that had almost been starved to death was more concerned about human attention than a delicious bone. That’s the moment I knew I had to give him a chance at life. He wanted to live and love so my husband and I adopted him and he became a part of our family. Two years later he died due to complications from pancreatitis. The following comment was a Facebook post from my husband the day he crossed over the rainbow bridge: Two years ago an abused and emaciated dog entered our lives. After everything people had done to him he still had nothing but love to give. Today my shadow has left my life and I miss him so. Thank you for everything everyone had done for Maxx. I miss you, buddy.