Adopting an aging pet

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Adopting an aging pet
Articles - Senior Dogs


Adopting a senior pet can be just as rewarding, if not more, as bringing a puppy or kitten home from your local shelter. There are some great benefits to adopting an aging dog or cat and most health issues surrounding senior pets can be easily overcome.
 

Mike Fry, Executive Director at Animal Ark Shelter in Minneapolis, MN shares his thoughts about adopting senior pets. His shelter has several successful programs to encourage people to take home an older pet.
 

Q: What are the reasons that older pets do not get adopted as easily as puppies and kittens?
A: I think, primarily, it is due to misconceptions about older animals. That old myth "you can't teach an old dog new tricks" is part of a greater notion on the part of many people that adult or older animals are set in their ways. Plus, puppies are just so darn cute that they pull at people's heart strings very easily. People can fall in love with a puppy simply by seeing its picture. An older animal may take some time to meet and connect with. They are, however, well worth the time spent!


Q: What are the benefits to adopting senior pets?

A: Very often these dogs and cats come well trained! That whole phase of chewing, potty training and terrorizing can be bypassed by adopting older animals. The older animals require less exercise, less energy, less food, and are generally a LOT easier to ease into a home. Plus, because an animal's personality is somewhat determined genetically, and is not fully expressed until adulthood, it is often easier to know what personality a dog will have if an adult dog is adopted. Additionally, senior citizens who adopt senior dogs find they have lifestyles that are more consistent with the needs of senior pets. Adopting a very senior pet does not involve making a 20-year commitment, something some seniors are not prepared to do. However, they may be able to make a 3 - 6 year commitment. And a senior pet is perfect in that case.


Q: Why do senior dogs and cats make good companions for senior citizens?
A: Research has proven that people with pets live longer, happier lives. The health benefits of owning pets can extend a person's life and dramatically increase the quality of life. I have heard many seniors say that a pet gives them something to do each day, which is important if you are retired, have no kids at home, etc. They provide love, activity and stimulation.


Q: How does a senior dog's health play into the situation?
A: As a general rule, I don't think health is a big problem. The general ailments of older animals are fairly easy to overcome. The key is to get people to connect with an older pet. When they do, the minor ailments of age usually mean little. An animal in pain can, understandably, be more aloof, or downright cranky. We have observed, therefore, some general personality changes in dogs when we put them on FlexPet with CM8. This helps them to present their "best side" when meeting perspective new families.

There are lots of misconceptions about adopting older animals and since puppies and kittens are so precious, it's easy to see why people migrate to them. But Mike suggests taking the time to meet older animals and connect with them. They are well worth the time spent!

For more information on Animal Ark Shelter and the programs they have available, check out their website.


About the Author

Flexcin & FlexPet are all-natural Joint Pain Supplements. The primary component is CM8, which relieves joint pain at its source, reduces inflammation and irritation of the joints and tissues.


 

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