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If there’s one decision that speaks volumes about a person’s dedication to pets, it’s the willingness (nay, the desire) to take on the neediest of all potential adoptees — the aged.
Geriatric animals are arguably the least appreciated and most dismissed group of would-be rescue pets. Although they have many positive points, too many people balk at the prospect of potentially bigger vet bills for senior pet health issues and a diminishing lifespan.
That’s a rational take on the subject. But it’s also perfectly rational to say that old pets deserve forever homes, just like the rest of us.
Unfortunately, the truth is that senior pet adoptions are not for everyone. Homes with small children or too-rambunctious fellow housemates are probably not a perfect fit. Nor is an older pet ideal for those who seek an active playmate.
Despite these drawbacks, senior pets offer plenty more pluses than you might think:
Older pets usually come fully trained, and their been-there-done-that attitude shows. As such, they tend to integrate more seamlessly into new households.
Like their human counterparts, older pets are inclined to be mellower, require less exercise and are easier to handle, in general. For some households, it’s the lure of the relaxed that makes all the difference — for both the people and other pets in the household.
The geriatric set is a grateful group. Although adopters tend to worry about this, older pets can bond every bit as much as young pets — even more so in some cases because of the additional personal assistance that some of these guys require.
It’s no secret that the bond between humans and pets seems to accelerate with age, and it’s my theory that the more they need us, the more we learn how much we really need them.
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