senior dog standing on grass.

A lot of people are drawn to puppies and younger dogs when they consider adding a new furry friend to the family. Younger dogs have a tendency to chew up shoes, bite fingers, and knock things off the counters, however. They might be cute, but they can kind of wreak havoc on your home.

Senior pets need just as much love as younger ones, and they have already outgrown their rambunctious periods, which means they will be much kinder to your house and your belongings.

Adopt a Senior Pet and Save a Life!

Too often senior pets are overlooked in the shelter and spend much more time there than their younger companions do. When you adopt a senior pet, you are not only saving a life, but gaining a loving companion who will show their gratitude for being welcomed into a loving home.

Senior Pets Need a Loving Home Too

Did you know that 6.3 million abandoned or surrendered dogs and cats are brought to shelters each year? Of all those pets, seniors are the least likely to be adopted. But older dogs have so much to offer and can be far less trouble than the youngsters, like:

  • Pre-trained—Most older pets have lived in loving homes and know how to follow the rules.
  • Relaxed—Older pets settle in as ready-made companions after they adjust to their new surroundings and people.
  • No pretense—Older pet’s personalities and habits are well established. They come as they are.
  • Housetrained—Seniors respect themselves and your carpet. They prefer to do their business outside, on pads, or in a fresh litter box.

A Little Time and Patience Are Required

When you adopt any pet that has lived in a previous home, there will be a time of transition. Cats and dogs are fiercely loyal and dependent on their beloved humans. Practice patience while you build a bond with your new family member:

  • Always praise, never scold—you want to build trust, not deepen distrust.
  • Reward with treats—offer them liberally at first, but remember to watch the waistline!
  • Play often, pet more. Offer new toys that stimulate curiosity and excitement. Pet generously while you play together. The more you touch, the quicker you’ll bond.
  • Sign up for behavior training classes for your new dog. Working together will win your new pet’s trust.
  • Groom—grooming is another great way to build trust and show affection toward your pet.
  • Be patient—older dogs want to get comfortable in their new homes. They’ve lost everything and want to feel safe and secure and loved again. Give them enough time to settle in and find their place in the family.

When You Adopt, We Adopt

At Blue Valley Animal Hospital, your pet family is our pet family too. Bring your pet to see us as soon as you can after adopting. We’ll do a thorough health exam and offer input on how to transition your pet into your home.

And don’t forget, if your pet is microchipped, update his or her new family and veterinary information! Now that he’s found you, don’t let him get away!