October 31, 2019

3 Things to Consider When Adopting a Senior Pet

It’s #AdoptASeniorDogMonth – one of the best months in the year!

From grey muzzles to kitten cuddles and anything in between, HSPPR serves as the lifeline for 17,000 animals that rely on us each year. While we ALWAYS encourage adopting senior pets (they need love just as much as those cute puppies and kittens!), there are some things to consider before taking one home with you:

Getting as much info as possible before adopting an older pet

Not all animal rescues and shelters do thorough medical testing and treatment on the animals they care for, before adopting them out to community members. This is because not all of these organizations have the resources, funding and staff to do so, and that’s OK. But, it’s important to keep that in mind when adopting a senior pet, as they often require a bit more medical care.

Thanks to our accredited top-notch surgery center and veterinary services, we provide dental work and X-rays so our over-the-hill friends can ditch the dentures and get the treatment they need. That way, when they find their new home, they can relish in their retirement with a new forever family. With over four senior pets surrendered or found and brought into our shelter each day, we strive to help elders live out their golden years in a healthy condition, where they can love and be loved.

Illness and expenses in senior pets

Just like people, pets develop more health problems as they age. Issues like incontinence, diabetes, weight gain, arthritis, hip dysplasia and more are common in senior dogs and cats and can rack up quite a bit of bills. From medical expenses to new foods to home accommodations, (like making sure your dog doesn’t walk up stairs or replacing flooring that has been urinated on) caring for a senior pet can be both time consuming and expensive.

American Kennel Club estimates that it can cost an owner about $15K to care for a dog for its full life, with much of those expenses being racked up during the dog’s old age. Point being: Senior dogs can be expensive and work-intensive, so do your research before deciding to adopt, so that they don’t end up being returned to the shelter!

But, senior animals still make great pets!

Although there are many considerations to look at when deciding to adopt a senior dog, one stands out above the rest: They make great pets!

Most senior pets are calmer, housebroken and already trained – making your life MUCH easier. In addition, they know what it’s like to be homeless, alone and scared in a shelter, and they will often see their new owners as their heroes, giving them unending loyalty to their new humans!

If you’re considering adopting a senior pet in Colorado Springs or Pueblo, check out our available animals and learn about the adoption process beforehand. When you come in to visit with one, you can talk to an on-staff Dog Matchmaker or Cat Matchmaker to see if your lifestyle and home will fit the needs of the fur baby you’d like to adopt!

HSPPR veterinary staff holding a senior cat