Pet society

Five Reasons to Bring a ‘Senior’ Pet Home from the San Diego Humane Society


A woman walks her dogs. Courtesy of Pixabay

November is National Adopt a Senior Pet Month, and what better way to celebrate than by opening your home to an elderly pet in need?

Throughout the month, in a promotion sponsored by Purina, the San Diego Humanitarian Society reduces adoption fees by 50% for senior pets, ages 7 and up, to help these special pets find the loving home they deserve. On our campuses, we currently have dozens of senior cats and dogs available for adoption.

Older pets often experience longer stays in shelters than younger pets, but these older cats and dogs have a lot of love to give and make wonderful companions. Here are some reasons to consider adding one to your family:

1. You can teach an old dog (or cat!) new tricks: Some older pets are already trained, and even if they are not, they tend to understand faster and focus more easily than their younger counterparts.

2. They adapt faster: Mature animals are likely to settle into a house more easily and quickly than younger animals, often due to past experiences of living in houses among people or other animals.

3. What you see is what you get: Unlike adopting a puppy, it’s much less difficult to guess what the size, personality, or care required of an older animal will be. This information makes it easier to choose an animal that is best for your household.

4. A bit of R&R: These gentle seniors typically have less energy and require less exercise, making them great additions to gentle, relaxed households looking for a comfortable companion.

5. Unconditional thanks: A senior pet will bring maturity and wisdom to your home. If you give an elderly person a chance, they will thank you for the rest of their life!

Once you bring your elderly pet home, proper care is essential to make their golden years special. Here are some tips on caring for older pets:

  • Nutritional requirements: A healthy diet is essential to keep your pet healthy and at an appropriate weight. In many cases, a diet specially formulated for older pets may be the best option.
  • Stay active: Like humans, pets often become less active as they age. But even if long walks are no longer part of your daily routine, it’s important to keep your pet active (and happy!) By engaging in regular, gentle play. Enrichment toys are a great way to keep your pet mentally and physically fit.
  • Routine veterinary checks: It’s important to take your senior pet to the vet on a regular basis so that any health concerns, such as arthritis, can be treated before they become a problem.
  • Full of love : The most important care tip for your senior pet is to give them lots of love, affection and companionship!

If an older pet is right for you, then there’s no better time to adopt than during National Senior Pet Adoption Month. Walk-in adoptions are available at the San Diego Humane Society campuses in Escondido, El Cajon, Oceanside, and San Diego during our normal business hours Tuesday through Sunday, 10 a.m. to 6 p.m.

Gary Weitzman is a author, veterinarian and passionate advocate for animal welfare. He was President and CEO of San Diego Humanitarian Society since 2012.

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