November is Adopt a Senior Pet Month

Why You Should Consider Adopting a Senior Pet

When people think about adopting a new pet for their family, kittens and puppies often come to mind, not seniors. Older dogs and cats often take the longest to be adopted and are more likely to face being euthanized than younger adoptable pets. But that’s not because they’re not a great choice for adoption – but perhaps simply because they lack the “newness” of a puppy or kitten.

People also sometimes feel unsure about adopting an older canine or feline because of their shorter lifespan, or the possibilities of them needing extra veterinary care that will add more expense. Sometimes people assume that older pets were put up for adoption because there was something wrong with them or they might have a bad temperament, but that simply isn’t true in most cases. Older dogs and cats are often put up for adoption due to changes in financial or home situations. This regularly happens when seniors have to move into a retirement home or pass away, and their beloved pets are left without an owner and must be placed in a shelter.

The truth is, older pets can make a delightful addition to any family! In fact, there are many benefits to adopting a senior dog or cat over a younger one:

What You See is What You Get

Older pets often have calmer dispositions and their personalities are already formed. You’ll know if you’re adopting a dog that loves to lay on the couch and snuggle, or if they’re more of the loner type. You’ll also know if they’re good with kids and other pets, or if they prefer to be a solo fur baby. You’ll be able to find the perfect family member to fit into your home and lifestyle situation.

You Get to Skip the “Puppy” Phase

If you’ve ever owned a puppy or a kitten, you know just how daunting it can be for the first few months or even the first couple of years. Senior dogs tend to be more relaxed and less energetic than puppies, and an older cat will often be more socialized and less temperamental than kittens. Another great bonus is that the pet will most likely already be house or litter trained. Older dogs can also still be taught new tricks and will most likely come along with some training already!

Help a Senior Pet Find Their Forever Home Today

Senior pets face a much harder journey to get adopted than younger one. In many shelters and rescues, the senior pets are the most difficult ones to get adopted and take the longest. Many unfortunately never find their forever home and end up living out their days at a shelter. But you can be that loving home they’ve been waiting for. Senior canines and felines are hoping for just one thing; loving companionship. So, when you’re ready to open your home and welcome a new family member, we urge you to consider adopting a senior pet. We think they will make a wonderful addition to your family, and you’ll make their whole life wonderful.

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Which Bedding Products Can You Donate to an Animal Shelter?

Local shelters depend on donations to stay within their usually meager budgets. Before you pack up your trunk with items that you’re sure will help, take a look at our list of regular household bedding and other products that will make the biggest difference to your local shelter. A few of them you might not have even considered donating before.

1. Towels

Towels may not technically be bedding, but for an animal, they may be. These household cast-offs are like gold for shelters because they can be used in so many ways. Small dogs and cats used them as bedding and volunteers cut or rip them into pieces to be used as rags to clean animals, cages, and the occasional accident.

2. Blankets

It doesn’t matter what kind of bed your blankets fit on, they’ll find new use at a shelter. Blankets, like towels, make wonderful bedding except they can be used for animals of all sizes. Fleece blankets are highly coveted for their soft, comfortable texture and ability to keep body temperatures up. For a shelter animal, a blanket of their own can make what space they have feel like a home.

3. Gently Used Pet Bedding

If your own pet’s bed is ready for an upgrade, his gently used bedding will work for a rescue animal. Animals of all sizes end up in shelters so the size of the bedding doesn’t matter. It just needs to be intact enough that the filling isn’t coming out, creating a potential choking hazard.

4. Heating Pads

Once you’re ready to replace your old heating pad, it can find new life at a shelter. Newborns and babies of all species can’t regulate their body temperatures as well as adults. Young animals may come to the shelter after their mothers have been killed or separated from them so they’re going to need the extra warmth their mother used to provide.

5. Non-Bedding Donations

Of course, shelters need far more than bedding. We’ve put together a few other suggestions for items you may have lying around the house:

  • Extra/Used Pet Accessories:
    Leashes, collars, sweaters, and coats can all be put to use. Like bedding, make sure there aren’t any tears that could make them dangerous for another animal.
  • Pet Food: OK, you’re not going to have unwanted pet food around, but why not buy one extra bag every few months and give it to the shelter? It will help them stay within their budget, and make you feel good knowing you’re helping hungry animals.
  • Newspaper: Once those old newspapers start piling up, drop them off at a shelter where they’ll be used to line crates and cages. Newspapers quickly get used up so shelters are always in need.
  • Office Supplies: This is another one you may not have thought of but volunteers have to print and fill out a lot of forms. Any extra office supplies can help keep the shelter within budget. The more money they save the more animals they can help.

Donations get used items out of your house and into the hands (or paws) of those who need them. While you can’t bring home every animal in the shelter, you can certainly help them on their journey to their forever home.

Guest Blog post by SleepHelp.org