Getting a new pet can be an exciting time in any family. Going to the pet store, finding the cutest puppy or kitten, and deciding which one to bring into your family is a milestone for any household. But why is it that everyone always seems to buy puppies and kittens, rather than adopting one of the many older pets in shelters waiting for a forever home? Here are just a few reasons why you should consider adopting an adult or senior pet as your next furry family member.

  • Know What You’re Getting: When adopting a younger puppy or kitten, it’s possible that they may grow into behaviors that you and your family weren’t prepared for and aren’t able to handle. This is one reason why so many animals end up surrendered to shelters in the first place. When adopting a senior animal from a shelter, you’ve got a far better idea of exactly who it is that you’re welcoming into your home, as they have already grown into most of their personality quirks.
  • Lower Energy Investment: Anyone who’s ever seen a young puppy or kitten knows just how much energy they can have. While that may be incredibly cute and fun to watch, it can be exhausting to take care of a young pet during this stage of their life. By the time a pet has reached their golden years, they’ve settled down a considerable amount. This makes them far less exhausting to care for. If you’re not sure that you could keep up with a younger pet, an older dog or cat could be the best choice for you and your family.
  • Need For Homes: Older pets need homes just as badly as younger pets. Often, older pets are left in shelters for one reason or another after having been in a loving home for years. Younger pets tend to be adopted faster, as well, with older pets tending to stay in shelters for longer. Next time you’re thinking about adopting a puppy, consider instead looking at adopting an older dog who may have been in a shelter for far longer.

If you are going to adopt an older pet, make sure you’re prepared to handle the care for them. This is true of any animal companion, but especially with senior pets; vets suggest twice-yearly checkups for older pets. Next time you’re looking at adopting a furry friend, try to look first at a senior pet; you could be making a huge difference in the life of that animal.