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Adopting an older pet may be an excellent idea

an older cat and older dog

Puppies and kittens may be irresistibly cute and cuddly, but there’s a huge amount to be said for adopting an older pet rather than taking on a juvenile. After all, millions of fully grown animals are placed in shelters across the country every year, and giving one a home could literally be a lifesaver. Here are seven excellent reasons to seriously consider visiting a local shelter if you’re looking for a new animal companion.

Vaccination and Medical History

Most senior pets will already have had all their necessary vaccinations, and will also usually have a medical history of some sort that you can check for problems. It may seem counter-intuitive, but an older pet can often cost much less in vets’ fees than a younger one.

Training Issues

An older pet will already have had basic training, whether it’s in obedience or toilet habits, and will usually have had bad behaviors schooled out of them. This familiarity with training will also mean they’re more adaptable than some younger, more excitable pets, making them fit more easily into their new life with you.

Calmer Behavior

Senior pets have usually gotten their days of wild energy out of their system, and will be a calmer and more predictable presence in your home. This is especially important if there are children around, who may be accidentally harmed when playing with a boisterous and inexperienced juvenile animal.

Socialized Characters

An animal who has already spent much of its life in a family setting will have become socialized, and will find living in a shelter frustrating and lonely. Adopting an older pet reduces this unhappiness, and is a powerful act of kindness.

Fully Developed Personality

Older animals will also have developed their final personalities to a large degree. A reputable shelter will be able to match you with an animal whose temperament matches your lifestyle, rather than gambling on how a younger pet will mature.

No Physical Surprises

Especially with cross-bred dogs, it can be very difficult to predict the animal’s final size and other physical characteristics when looking at a juvenile. When you adopt a senior pet, what you see is what you get - there are no future surprises in store.

Happier Pets

Although it’s always risky to assign human attributes to animals, many people who take on older pets report that the animals seem to be genuinely grateful for their second chance in life. Adopting a senior pet usually leads to increased happiness for all concerned, and you’ll feel good about yourself for making a difference!

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