Why do people abandon aging pets?
This is a good question with a lot of answers. In some cases, older pets belong to older people who have passed on. During difficult economic times, older pets may be abandoned because its family is no longer financially able to care for them. Of course, there are also people who see pets as disposable. Once a cat or dog is no longer able to serve its purpose, the owner dumps them at a shelter or in a parking lot.
In most cases, the actual condition or personality of the pet is not the problem. Like many aging people, they find themselves alone, lonely, and in need of love. So if you’re considering adopting a pet, here are a few reasons we recommend choosing a pet with a few gray whiskers on its chin.
1. You know what you’re getting.
Adopting a young pet, especially from a shelter, leaves lots of room for surprises. Since many dogs, especially, are “mutts,” it can be hard to predict how large they might get, what sort of personality they might develop, or what requirements they may have. When you adopt an older pet, what you see is what you get. That makes it easier to find that special dog or cat who will fit your family.
2. But there’s still room for improvement.
While there’s some truth to the saying that you can’t teach an old dog new tricks, it’s not completely accurate. Older dogs and cats are just as intelligent as younger pets. They can be trained, and often it’s a little easier because they have a longer attention span and more experience to build on.
3. Older pets are more mellow.
Studies show that, like people, pets tend to mellow with age. As they age, dogs and cats are less agitated by novelty, such as the daily arrival of a mailman or a housefly exploring a potted plant, because they’ve seen it all before. That usually translates to fewer bouts of barking and fewer upset houseplants.
4. Most older pets are pre-trained.
If you’ve ever had a young pup or kitten, you already know the struggle of starting from scratch in the training department. Like human teens, adolescent dogs are resistant to training and not always responsive to commands. Science says. When it comes to kittens, it’s hard to say who’s training whom. Older dogs and cats, on the other hand, have usually already been trained, saving you the trouble.
5. Older pets require less attention.
For the reasons above, older pets tend to be less demanding of your time and attention. Most geriatric pets are content to sit by your side and watch the day go by. When you leave that at home to go to work, they’ll probably snooze until you return. When you get home, they’ll be just as excited to see you as a younger pet, but without the youthful exuberance that leads to grocery-carrying humans being toppled.
There’s more than one way to care for aging pets.
Maybe you’re not in a position to adopt a new pet, but you still want to help take care of those sweet old dogs and cats who no longer have a family to love them. If that’s the case, please consider supporting our shelter drive this month. To learn more, call Gloves City Veterinary Hospital or Dove Creek Animal Hospital to learn more at 518-725-8117.