7 Things to Expect When Adopting Senior Pets
- 16 Jul, 2020
Senior pets have lower chances of getting adopted because of their age. It seems that seniority is fragility however, when we talk about age, being senior dog or senior cat is not that bad. Age is just a number when we talk about pets. Senior pets need their own loving home too. Who knows? They can be the most adorable and most loyal companion you could ever have.
When deciding an adoption for senior pets, the most important thing that a pet owner should have is an open mind. You may already have experienced attending to needs of a puppy or a kitten, but how do you care for senior ones? How do you make sure that they get all the fun years that they can possibly get?
1. Household arrangements
Generally, senior pets are more tolerant of their home situation. Do you have toddlers or other pets in the house? If so, there are chances that the pet can be squeezed too hard or be dropped accidentally by little children. However, with senior pets, they are quick to avoid these accidents because senior pets are masters of gentle movements. Also, when it comes to babies, they know how fragile they should be. They know how to take care of little humans and how far their claws or bites should go. Due to past experiences living in houses, they have years of knowledge of interacting with other people and animals. They already know how to get along with others and to become a new member of a family.
With cats, however, it’s a different story. Make sure you provide a safe room for your new pet and remember, calm and gradual introduction to human and animal friends is the best way for them to slowly adapt to their new environment.
Even if you adopted a healthy, strong and playful senior pet, it’s still important to maintain regular check-ups and yearly vaccinations. Senior pets don't mean that their health is already declining but, the earlier you catch the symptoms and the sooner the treatments will be, the better. If your pet has existing health conditions, be prepared for extra veterinary bills. With senior pets, they are riskier to joint problems, overweight issues, and other physical conditions. Some of the common age-related health conditions among senior pets are vision or hearing loss, hypothyroidism, arthritis and heart murmurs.
Moreover, there will be an additional cost when you change their diet or when you customize your house for their mobility issues. When you visit the vet, it’s more likely that you’ll be offered a different or a specific diet for your senior pet. Consider that at their age, they may really need to switch to a “mature diet”, to support week knees and joints, sensitive tummy, fur, or coat, and to avoid obesity especially that they don’t move a lot. Other than that, there’s really no need to worry about expenses when you regularly keep them healthy and sound. The key is to prevent and maintain than be sorry later.
One way to prevent obesity among pets is to provide them with a slow-feeding bowl like the ELSPET Slow Feeding Bowl. Pets can be aggressive with eating especially when they really like the food–and that can lead to indigestion. With Slow Feeding Bowl, you allow your pet to take their time with their food and maintain a regular weight.
It is more likely that your senior pet has already gone through different sets of training when they were young. They may have gone behavioural training in the adoption centre so potty training is off the table. Expect that they already know how to use the toilet, how to properly use the litter box, where to eat, which things are restricted for bites, how to demand attention and pets, and so many wonderful things. If not, however, senior pets have longer attention span and are extremely adaptive than a puppy or a kitten so learning issues are not a big deal. Lucky you if their previous family have trained them to do awesome tricks. Imagine them sitting in the shelter, waiting for years for their new family and now, they can finally reveal these tricks to you, their new home and comfort.
If you are a busy person or just prefer a laid-back pet, then senior pets are a great companion for you. They are less needy but they are perfectly capable of snuggles, purr, cuddles, scritches and just being therapeutic. If you like to nap a lot, then surely, we have the perfect buddy for you! Sometimes, having a hyperactive pet can be a lot to handle so senior pets are the perfect couch companion if you ever need one. Unlike puppies and kittens, which run around the house all day, senior pets don’t feel the need to chase their toys (or you) all the time. However, they still need to move regularly to avoid health issues in the future. Allow a regular stroll or a play routine so that they still have fun while keeping them active.
5. Accessibility Issues
Your pet has to be checked as soon as possible for mobility issues so that when you bring them home, you and your family can prepare the necessary things to keep in mind. For example, if the senior pet has problems with jumping, then do not allow them to hang around the kitchen counter but do allow assistance when they climb the bed, the tables or chairs. They may also have week knees that prevent them from using the stairs. If so, keep their belongings on the ground level. Place their bowls or water fountain just at enough height of their reach. Consider a stroller so you can do a morning stroll even if they can’t move a lot.
Don’t let them sit around all day, especially when you’re away from home. Keep them moving with Wickedbone and Wickedball. It is made with high-quality materials to ensure a safe and fun playtime for your senior pets.
6. Less Maintenance
The thing with senior pets is that you already know their personality, their grooming requirements, their full-grown size, their likes and dislikes, so attending to their wants and needs will be easier for you. Senior pets are instant companions without having to deal with teething, long hours of training, destructive behaviour and accidents. As mentioned before, they know how to interact with both people and animals, they know how to be good listeners.
7. Years of Fun Ahead
Just because they are “senior” doesn’t mean they are useless or boring. The average lifespan of both dogs and cats is 10-15 years. Older pets can be as fun and healthy as their younger counterparts. They have more years to prove their love, and to experience friendship, love, loyalty and undivided attention. Lastly, they are as adorable as puppies! They never outgrow that cuteness in their eyes and their wanting of affection and bonding.
Consider adopting an older pet if you’re looking for an animal companion right now. They are the last one to be picked up and get new families, leading to euthanasia. They deserve a comfortable, loving home to live their golden years and they will repay you with cuddles, kisses, and an incomparable amount of joy. What a fulfilling decision it is to save a pet’s life...to change the world for old furry companions, one that you will never regret.
Here are some of the shelters and animal adoptions in Singapore that you can visit:
SOSD - https://sosd.org.sg/
Mercylight - https://mercylight.wixsite.com/mercylight
SPCA - http://www.spca.org.sg/
ASD - https://asdsingapore.com/
Save a life, adopt a senior pet.