National Adopt A Senior Pet Month is celebrated during November, which reminds people of older cats and dogs that are in shelters and waiting to be adopted. Pets are the easiest way to bring warmth into your life. So if you are thinking about getting a pet, consider opening your heart to a senior animal. Puppies and kittens are cute, but adopting a senior animal can be a life-changing experience for you and that pet. Not only are older pets often easier to handle, but they are at least just as loyal and loving as the younger ones.
History of National Adopt A Senior Pet Month
Many people walk into a shelter hoping to adopt a puppy or a kitten, while overlooking the older animals living in the same shelter. Older pets are seen as less desirable; however, they are often easier to adopt than younger animals. The ASPCA and petfinder.com founded Adopt a Senior Pet Month to help improve the perception surrounding senior pets. Their aim is to present senior animals as quality candidates for adoption.
Sadly, senior pets are often the last ones to be adopted from the shelter. Most never find a home and spend the rest of their lives caged inside a shelter kennel. They spend the longest amount of time at shelters, which also puts them at an increased risk of being euthanized.
One misconception older animals suffer from is that they are in shelters because of their destructive or bad behavior. Though this is far from the truth, there are many reasons why a pet would end up in a shelter. Many of these senior pets were once someone’s faithful companions. Changing home circumstances, financial restrictions, death, or relocation can have adverse effects on a pet’s life. These pets have much to offer, and they are usually adaptable. Younger pets can be adorable, but they also demand a lot of attention and can be destructive and very hard work to keep up with. Usually, an older pet can easily fit into your lifestyle and adapt well to a loving new home.
National Adopt A Senior Pet Month timeline
Caroline Earl starts the Women’s Branch of the Pennsylvania Society for the Prevention of Cruelty of Animals in Philadelphia.
SPCA's Maddie’s Pet Adoption Center, housing adoptable dogs and cats in home-like settings instead of cages, opens.
Non-profit fundraising organization for senior dogs uses grants to provide specialized care for homeless senior dogs.
Los Angeles Animal Services officially becomes a ‘No-Kill Shelter City’, the largest city in the U.S. to achieve that rating.
National Adopt A Senior Pet Month FAQs
What pet holidays are there in a year?
There are 175 pet holidays, including Squirrel Appreciation Day (January 21), National Specially-Abled Pets Day (May 3), and Ginger Cat Appreciation Day (September 1).
Is there a National Dog Day?
National Dog Day on August 26 encourages people to own all kinds of dogs.
What is the age for a senior dog?
Small dogs are considered senior at age 11, medium-sized dogs at 10 years old, and large dogs at the age of seven.
How To Celebrate National Adopt A Senior Pet Month
Adopt a senior pet
If you are thinking about adding a four-legged friend to your family, then perhaps you could open your home and your heart to an older dog or cat in need. Visit the nearest shelter to adopt a senior pet and help save a life.
Encourage senior pet adoption
Persuade people to adopt senior pets. If anyone in your friends and family is planning to adopt a pet, then encourage them to adopt older animals who are in desperate need of a home.
Volunteer at a shelter
Financial restrictions, long working hours, or sometimes even unfriendly living spaces can shatter our dreams of having a loving pet in our homes. Thankfully, there is more than one way to show your love for animals, so volunteer at a local pet shelter and help out in any way you can.
5 Adorable Facts About Senior Pets
They grow old so fast
In general, dogs and cats are considered seniors between the ages of seven and ten years.
Old pet, new tricks
Contrary to popular belief, old pets can learn new routines, skills, and habits as they adapt to a new family.
Senior pets need exercise as well
Exercise can help slow degenerative joint disease and keep your pet at a healthy weight.
Older pets are super friendly
Older pets often bond with people more quickly than their younger counterparts, as they already know how to get along with other pets and different people.
Beds for senior pets
There are ‘orthopedic’ beds specially made for senior pets.
Why We Love National Adopt A Senior Pet Month
Senior pets make good companions
Older dogs or cats are usually well-trained. When you adopt an older pet, you can expect them to be trained and follow basic commands. This makes them excellent companions for older people.
They are very calm
Older pets are usually calmer than puppies and kittens. They make excellent companions for people who don’t have the time and energy to run around after their pets. They are happier lounging around with their families and are more comfortable with a relaxing day-to-day routine.
Adopting a senior pet means saving a life
Cute kittens and puppies have an easier time getting adopted, unlike senior animals, who are often the last ones to find a home. This puts them at greater risk in the shelters. So when you adopt a senior pet, you’re truly saving a life!
National Adopt A Senior Pet Month dates