Adopt a Senior Pet Month may have passed, but that doesn’t mean we should leave older animals behind. These pets are often overlooked in shelters, yet they are a great choice for new pet owners. These tips will help you get these owners up to speed on what they need to do to care for these animals.
Why are Older Pets Harder to Adopt?
When people go to shelters, they’re usually choosing pets based on a few seconds of interaction. Younger pets are more active, so they stand out from the crowd. In turn, these animals are first to be adopted, while older animals are left behind. As a result, open shelters are more likely to euthanize older animals, while no kill shelters often won’t accept them in the first place.
The situation is even worse once you consider why the animal ended up there in the first place. Often, these pets are sent to shelters when their owners die or are no longer capable of taking care of their pets due to health or financial problems.
When is an Older Pet a Better Choice?
Simply put, older animals are easier to care for than younger ones. This makes older pets a great choice for new pet owners.
If you’ve ever had a puppy or a kitten, you know how taxing it can be dealing with their endless energy. Older animals are calmer than young ones, making them easier to care for. Mature pets are usually potty trained, and they have some idea about what they should and shouldn’t do inside a home.
Adult pets have fully formed personalities, and fully developed bodies. They aren’t going to get bigger and become difficult to manage, and they aren’t likely to have major behavioral changes. New owners know what they’re getting into from the start.
How Can I Help New Owners with their New Pet?
Older cats and dogs often suffer from age-related ailments including vision loss, arthritis, and heart problems. Shelter animals are more likely to have other serious problems, including diabetes. These health issues can be costly, forcing the previous owner to send their pet out for adoption. Starting off with a nose to tail exam and a senior blood panel helps give you and the owner an overall picture of the animal’s health.
These owners need to understand that caring for their pet may be more than just feeding them a special diet or administering medicine. They may need to add accommodations to their home including soft bedding and furniture steps that compensate for limited mobility. These animals also need extra help with grooming. Often, both dogs and cats will need to be kept indoors, as they have a harder time dealing with temperature extremes and prey animals.
The first few weeks in a new home can be rough, which often leads to misunderstandings. While the new pet may be lethargic and have little appetite, that often isn’t a direct result of their health. Instead, they may be dealing with depression brought on by major life changes. Once they have time to adjust, these animals should return to normal.
We Can Help You Build a Relationship with Your Clients
Positive Impressions, LLC can help you keep your clinic on the minds of your clients, so you’re their first call when they need help with their pet. We offer a wide range of products, including reminder cards, business cards, memorial products, prescription labels and more. We can custom print most of our items, letting you add your contact information or create a unique design for your practice. Visit our website to see what we offer, or see our current specials on our Facebook page.