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Senior Dogs
Posted November 17, 2022 | 3:45 PM

November is 'Adopt-a-Senior Pet Month'

Find love and become a hero to a silver-snouted sweetheart

Are you considering welcoming a new four-legged friend into your life? While puppies and kittens are undoubtedly adorable, they often come with a level of care and attention that requires a lot of time and patience.

For people seeking a furry friend that is ready to love and settle manageably into a home routine, the Hillsborough County Pet Resource Center encourages residents to consider adopting an older dog or cat during November's "Adopt-a-Senior Pet Month."

Older dogs and cats often spend a longer time waiting for their forever home, as people come to the shelter in search of puppies or kittens. Senior pets frequently end up at the shelter for more life-related than behavior-related situations: the death of an elderly owner, the addition of a baby to the family, or owner lifestyle changes that no longer allow them to care for their pet. The shelter can be a scary and confusing place for a pet who has spent many years in the comfort of a home.

Enjoy the benefits

There are benefits to adopting a mature dog or cat:

  • A senior pet is generally calmer and more relaxed (but not boring!) As dogs and cats age, they demand less exercise and can be calmer throughout the day. A sweet senior may move at a more peaceful pace, making them ideal for older owners or homes with children who can interact with them gently. If you're looking for a four-legged companion that you can snuggle with and binge watch your favorite TV shows, an older pet might be the perfect match for you.

  • Constant monitoring and stressful housetraining are typically not required. Most older animals are already housetrained, saving owners from weeks or months of stress teaching a puppy to do its business outside or a kitten to use the litter box. Older dogs and cats often come from a household environment and have learned basic manners that a younger dog or cat has not yet acquired. An older dog may have had prior obedience training and may even know some commands. Older dogs are also less likely to be destructive, as they are well past a puppy's chewing and teething phase.

  • There's a fully developed personality behind those soulful eyes (and they're full grown). Unlike puppies and kittens that are still developing, an older pet has already grown into its personality, and you can more accurately select a dog or cat that closely matches what you are looking for in a companion. And the size of a mature pet is already established, helping to avoid the scenario of the cute little puppy that grows into the size of a horse!

Pet owners who have chosen to add a senior dog or cat to their family typically feel a great level of satisfaction with the adoption experience. By adopting an older animal, you are giving them a new life, and in return they sense the value of your rescue, eager to love and settle gratefully back into the home life they have known for so long.

The Pet Resource Center has several senior pets available during Adopt-a-Senior Pet Month. If you would like to schedule a visit to the Pet Resource Center, appointments are strongly encouraged and are available from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m., Monday through Saturday. Priority will be given to those with appointments, but walk-up customers will be seen between scheduled appointments.

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