Should You Adopt a Senior Pet?

Stroudsburg, PA senior lab dog.

Senior pets available for adoption are facing big challenges. Their companions, human and animal, are gone. Everything is different now: food, toys, environment, and routine. What they need is a special human to help them feel safe, secure, and loved again.

Senior Pets Might Come To You With Challenges

Since senior pets come with a whole past you might never really understand, there is always a chance that they might have some residual behavioral issues due to trauma from abandonment, or some other issues. With a little bit of effort and attention, you and your newly adopted senior pet can get past these issues and enjoy a happy life together.

Abandonment trauma

The senior pet’s world has been upended. Seniors could be traumatized by the loss of companions and home. As a general rule, cats don’t respond well to change. Dogs, though more adaptable, will likely be confused and afraid of more change.

Health issues

Hidden or overt or both, know that our aging pets will have health care needs that could come with some expense.

Communication barriers

Our pets are clever creatures who cannot speak, yet still learn how to get their human’s attention through sound, body posture, and touch. An adopted pet will have to teach new family members to respond to its unique communication cues.

The good news is this, both senior dogs and cats want to adapt to their new world!

Before Adopting a Senior Pet, Know the Risks

Are you a kind, loving, and patient pet lover? A senior pet could test your best qualities. Talk to us before bringing a senior pet into your home. We can help you decide about senior pet adoption. Some things to consider are:

  • Other pets in the home—Will everybody get along or will they fight to secure territory?
  • Fear—A senior pet may be afraid of you and distrust its new surroundings. Cats may hiss, snarl, and hide while dogs could cower and pull back from loving gestures. Seniors could stop eating and drinking.
  • Aggression—Dogs and cats may become aggressive with humans and other animals.

How to Embrace Change With Your New Senior Pet

Loving patience could be the key to bringing your senior pet back to a place of trust, happiness, and wellbeing. It might be challenging at first, but if you persist with love and treats, in a few weeks, your senior should be settled in and comfortable in its new life. Embrace the changes with your new pet and reward liberally with healthy treats! Be sure to:

  • Learn how to introduce older pets to a new family
  • Let your senior explore its new surroundings in its own time
  • Provide a safe space with pet blanket and toys
  • Reward positive behaviors with healthy treats
  • Never scold or punish your senior pet
  • Observe your new pet to learn its unique style of communication
  • Be patient and responsive while you’re building trust

Let Us Help You Care For Your Senior Pets

Once you’ve decided to bring a senior pet into your home, schedule an appointment with us for a wellness checkup. Senior pets have changing dietary needs and age-related health concerns. Please call us at (570) 424‑6773 with questions about senior pet care. We love our senior pets!