Adopt A Senior Dog or Cat

December 2, 2013

Reasons To Adopt An Older Dog & Cat

Our shelters are full of pets of every age, breed, and size. They’re all deserving of safe, loving homes, but often the older pets, the seniors, are overlooked.

If you’re ready to add a new dog to your household, there are many reasons to consider adopting a senior pet. These are just a few.

  • What you see is what you get with a senior dog. You already know its size, its grooming needs, its personality, and its temperament. With a puppy, these are all unknowns, but with an older dog, you can be sure you’re getting exactly the kind of dog that will fit best into your lifestyle.
  • Many senior dogs are already housebroken and know basic commands. Generally, they don’t need the extensive training that a puppy requires. And by the way, it’s not true that you can’t teach an old dog new tricks. You most certainly can!
  • Senior pets are typically much less destructive than puppies. They’ve already gone through the “chewing stage”, so you won’t have to worry about your shoes, furniture, and newspaper. Your senior dog most likely won’t  be interested!
  • If you lead an “low impact” life, a senior dog will fit right in. They don’t usually require a lot of exercise, and they’re happy to cuddle on the couch.
  • Senior dogs are often overlooked in shelters. They’re the last to be adopted and the first to be euthanized. You truly are saving a life when you adopt a senior dog.

No dog deserves to die in a cold, lonely shelter, and a senior dog deserves better in her golden years. She will truly be grateful that you rescued her, and even though your time together might be short, I believe you’ll find a certain contentedness with your older companion.


  • Senior cats may be overlooked for adoption. For some reason, people out shopping for a cat tend to gravitate to the kittens. I’m completely in favor of giving any cat a home — kittens or oldsters or anything in between. But older cats can get overlooked. This, perhaps, is one of the biggest reasons to consider a senior cat for your household. In my years of volunteering at shelters, the number of older cats for adoption always exceeded the number of kittens available.
  • I Love Kittens — who doesn’t?  They can surely bring fun new energy to your household. But an older cat brings maturity, and wisdom. And some older cats have plenty of energy as well, if that’s what you’re looking for.

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  • Senior cats may be lower key, which might be just what you’re looking for! If you’re wanting a staid and relatively less active nature, then a senior cat may be for you. Most senior cats don’t run around like kittens. But in the feline world, there’s an exception for everything, and I’ve seen some very active and engaged older cats who can almost keep up with kittens. My 15-year-old Karma gets just as excited as the kitten when I bring out the Feline Fisher toy. She may not run as fast as Jamie Bluebell, but she’s having just as much fun. Play with your senior cat regularly! Nothing keeps a cat young and engaged like regular playtime and fun. Catherine Holm

Have YOU ever adopted an older pet? We would love to hear about your experience in comments below!

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17 thoughts on “Adopt A Senior Dog or Cat”

  1. I think it’s a great ideal to adopt a senior dog.
    They need love to not just small puppies, if you are just wanting a calm sweet lovable animal to just cuddle to you,then you should get a senior pet

    1. Thanks Samantha, older dogs need lots of love and attention, but often neglected. Love and companionship with older dogs can prolong their life along with regular check ups, yearly shots, good nutrition, dental care and heart prevention.

  2. I like this blog. It shows why older pets are a good choice as well. The older pets are just as love able as the younger ones except you do not have to potty train them.

  3. This is such an eye-opener for me.I never thought about this topic this way. When I was looking for a dog I never even considered getting an older dog. Puppies require so much attention that not a lot of people have time to give all the time. I wish I had an older dog just to snuggle up with while doing my homework. My mom definitely should have thought about this when she was looking for a kitten. Her’s is a ball of energy. She really needs an older cat. When my fiance and I get our first dog together I am definitely going to find us a senior dog.

    1. Thanks for reading the blog Kara and happy this information well direct, yourself, friends and family on adopting senior pets who need a loving home.

  4. My goodness I know how true this blog is and it really got to me when it said said no dog or cat deserves to die in a cold cage, it’s true! They deserve to love the rest of their lives happy and pampered,. I know the next dog I adopt with be. Senior for sure <3