When it comes to adopting a pet, many people think of buying a brand new puppy or kitten first. However, animal homes and shelters across Australia are filled with animals of all ages that need loving families and forever homes. And while many people live by the ‘adopt don’t shop’ rule, it’s often the senior pets that get left behind at these shelters with an uncertain future.
Dr Renae Jackson, Animal Care Manager of Sydney Dogs and Cats Home, wants you to know the top five benefits of adopting a senior pet – because they have just as much love to give as puppies and kittens!
1. They require less exercise
“Senior pets tend to sleep more and typically require less exercise than their younger counterparts. So, if you don’t have the time to commit to long sessions at the dog park, a senior pet who likes a daily stroll around the neighbourhood or prefers to chill out at the café may be the ideal pet for you.”
2. Their personalities are already developed
“When adopting a senior pet, their personality is already developed so you’ll have greater understanding of whether the pet will suit your lifestyle and fit in with your family.”
3. Senior pets are usually already trained
“Senior pets often already know many skills; this can include toilet training, walking calmly on a lead, waiting for food, interacting nicely with other dogs and much more. The training requirements can be a lot less than for a puppy.”
4. A smaller time commitment
“Cats can live for more than 20 years and dogs typically 10-15 years - depending on the breed. If you’re unable to make a commitment to care for a companion animal for that duration of time, or not sure where life will take you (perhaps a job overseas, or a year off to travel) then adopting a senior pet may be the ideal way to enjoy the unconditional love that only a pet can give you.”
5. It’s rewarding
“Giving a senior a second chance and letting them into your heart is an incredibly rewarding experience.”
To learn more about adopting a senior pet, or to support senior animals in shelters in Australia, visit Sydney Dogs and Cats Home Senior Pet Project.
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