We’re probably all guilty of overlooking the older pets and instead loving on the tiny puppies or kittens. There’s just something about small animals that people tend to love. But in the meantime, senior pets are being forgotten.

National Adopt a Senior Pet Month

November is Adopt a Senior Pet Month, a month dedicated to raising awareness about senior pets and all they have to offer. The goal is to help older pets find homes where they will be well-cared for and loved.

Many senior cats and dogs are overlooked in shelters and rescues, as a majority of people often want to adopt younger animals. Because of this, many senior animals spend a long time sitting in a shelter or rescue, waiting for their forever home. Sadly, older dogs and cats have higher euthanasia rates than their younger counterparts.

Kittens and puppies are adorable—we get that! But senior pets still have a lot of love to share. They can make great family companions for a variety of reasons.

Benefits of Adopting a Senior Pet

There are many benefits of adopting a senior dog or cat! Here are just a few:

  • Less energy. Puppies and kittens tend to have endless amounts of energy, and they require lots of patience, exercise, and training. They can easily get into mischief as they are exploring the world around them. For this reason, younger pets require almost constant monitoring and training. On the other hand, older pets are typically calmer and more relaxed. Of course, they will still require attention, but often not as much as a puppy or kitten.
  • You CAN teach an old dog new tricks. You’ve probably heard the saying, “You can’t teach an old dog new tricks.” Well, that simply isn’t true. Because older pets are calmer and have a longer attention span, it is usually easier to teach them basic commands and tricks.
  • Great fit for families. Because senior pets tend to be more low-key, this often makes them a great fit for families with children. Many senior pets have already lived with a family, so this can help make their adjustment to a new family environment much easier and smoother. They are often already leash-trained and know basic commands.
  • Know exactly what you’re getting. With senior pets, you get the benefit of knowing exactly what you’re getting, like their size and personality. Puppies and kittens are still growing and developing their personalities, but senior pets are full grown and have established personalities. This gives you the advantage of choosing a pet that you know will fit well into your family.
  • Already housetrained. Puppies and kittens don’t just require a lot of energy. They also require a lot of time. Housetraining and behavior training can be very time-consuming. Most senior pets are already housetrained, so that is one less thing you need to worry about.
  • Save a life. Because senior dogs and cats are the last to be adopted and are at an increased risk of being euthanized, you are truly saving a life by adopting an older pet. They will be so grateful for a second chance in a loving home.

If you aren’t looking to add a four-legged friend to your family right now, you can still help by spreading the word! Go tell a friend, neighbor, coworker, or family member about the benefits of adopting a senior pet.