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5 Reasons To Adopt An Older Pet

Updated on March 6, 2013

Cats And Dogs - Adoption

As many of you already know, there are numerous reasons to adopt an animal from a shelter and I would like to share five good reasons for adopting an older pet. I know, I know, puppies and kittens are so cute and sweet and they will certainly give you a lot of "aaaawww" moments, but I promise you - the older ones will do the same. I am not a professional but I have some experience with dogs and cats from shelter, especially with the older ones, so this is not a lens about pros and cons in any way, it is simply about positive things from my point of view.

( Image credits by Ninche )

When making a decision to have a pet, there are many things to consider: what is your lifestyle, how big is your family, is your place suitable, how experienced you are with it is absolutely personal decision! Also, every animal has a different character and different story.

Before We Start...

Do older pets deserve a new chance?



Submit a Comment

  • WriterJanis2 4 years ago

    Yes. I've adopted older pets before and have never regretted it.

  • DebMartin 4 years ago

    Bloomingrose is right. More things to consider with an older pet. So consider them. Plan for them. And then give that older pet a chance.

  • WebMarketingPro 4 years ago

    Absolutely! We had several older dogs, one at a time, when I grew up, and they were the most gentle and loving pets. No obedience school needed.

  • Sharon Berry 4 years ago from Michigan

    Yes, Yes, Yes.

  • SuzyShopping 4 years ago

    They certainly do!!!

  • Renaissance Woman 4 years ago from Colorado

    I wish more people would adopt an older animal. As a volunteer at an animal shelter, my heart feels so heavy when I see all of the older dogs and cats that may never have a chance for the last season of their life to be lived out in a loving home.

  • geterdone6 4 years ago

    I think that they should put a limit on dog breeding because we have so many pups out there and the older dogs in the shelter are being forgotten.

  • thegrowlinggour 5 years ago

    Pet adoption is so important! Please support your local shelters and adopt an older pet. It's so sad to think the older pets can sit in shelters for years or worse.

  • Sandy Mertens 5 years ago from Frozen Tundra

    Older pets are harder to adopt. Though they tend to make the best pets. They need love too.

  • petango2012 5 years ago

    Yes they do! Pet Adoption is important for pets of all ages

  • MartieG aka 'survivoryea' 5 years ago from Jersey Shore

    Oh yes-we have taken in an older pet and what a wonderful member of the family he turned out to be!

  • anonymous 5 years ago

    Yes they all do. I would never look at the age of a dog. I would prefer to take an older pet because I would rather them spend their last days in a nice warm home cuddling up to their family. Too many people throw them away like a plastic object... should really think about them becoming older before they do and think before hand ''could I cope when he/she gets old'' sadly many of us don't. And they end up in homes or on the street.

  • chrismeyerlv 5 years ago

    YES, my thought is older dogs are just more experienced. You can see a lot of wisdom in their eyes. Older animals make great therapists as they don't mind listening to your problems.

  • MaryThereseBenn 5 years ago


  • sociopath-free 5 years ago

    Older pets are the way to go. No house training required.

  • Kim 5 years ago from Yonkers, NY

    Of course they do. Not every pet fits with a family and you shouldn't choose them. Let one of them choose you. 2 of my cats chose me. My cat Tom when I was little followed me all over my grandfathers yard, then sat in front of my dad's tire like take me home or run me over.

    Sully that I have now when we were looking for a kitty she stuck her tounge out (which cracks me up) so that's why I got here. the other 2 one the vet had and was ferrel and the other we rescued from garages next door. (after fostering him awhile we ended up telling them to not let anyone take him we wanted him.)

    also remember no matter the animal's age They need love and attention. Never hit them to punish them. use water squirter for cats (as far as dogs I never had one so not sur ewhta to do there)

  • anonymous 5 years ago

    Absolutely. The deserve love and affection just as much as the youngsters. Just a matter of finding one (or two) that are compatible with you or your lifestyle.

  • Shari O'Leary 5 years ago from Minnesota

    Yes. The two dogs I have now, were adopted as puppies, but my cat and one of my last dogs were both a year old when we rescued them.

  • animal crazy25 5 years ago

    Yes definitely. People can be a bit selfish about pets and often older ones are left on the pet shelf or booted out. This is a huge mistake as they are amazing. I foster an older pet cat as vet bills are an issue I cannot adopt, but she is an amazing pet who is loving and affectionate, intelligent and dignified. You can learn so much from pets.

  • Qtkeaton 5 years ago


  • biminibahamas 5 years ago

    You bet, older pets are cool!

  • owengraven 5 years ago

    When we people are old, we get healthcare and support. When our pet gets old we tend to throw them out.

    Since I'm a kid my parents always took thrown out pets, and they are always the most lovely ones, thanking you for saving them.

  • LynetteBell 5 years ago from Christchurch, New Zealand

    I most certainly do. Sometimes their circumstances are that their owner was also old and has passed away. That is a really sad situation. All animals deserve a chance whatever the age.

  • LilibeanNP 5 years ago

    100,000,000,000% YES!!

  • randomthings lm 5 years ago

    Absolutely! They are such loves and in need of a home. Great idea to adopt an older pet.

  • Pam Irie 5 years ago from Land of Aloha

    Oh absolutely they do! I love all animals, but a senior animal is truly grateful to have a wonderful home and to be loved. They are usually already housebroken and they just make the best companions.

  • Deserthorse 5 years ago

    all pets deserve a new chance. No need to housebreak and older pet usually. Enough said!

  • BunnyFabulous 5 years ago from Central Florida

    definitely. There are lots of pets who need homes and sometimes it's inconvenient to have to raise up a puppy; especially if you have a young family where kids take up most of your time. Much easier to get an already socialized dog that the kids can enjoy just as much. Actually my preschooler prefers older dogs. Not as hyper and they hold still long enough for her to pet them.

  • mouse1996 lm 5 years ago

    Just because they are older doesn't mean that they aren't still active and loving as a younger animal. Older pets need love too.

  • Marilyn Thompson 5 years ago from Washington State

    You bet, our English Cocker was 7 when we adopted him and he is wonderful!

  • Karnel 5 years ago from Lower Mainland of BC

    Sometimes adopting an older pet is the best, my parents just adopted a dog that's 12 yrs old and he turned out to be a perfect pet for them.

  • FunkyFriendsFac 5 years ago

    Yes! I got my older kitty from the pound and he loves me to bits!!! :)

  • Michelle 5 years ago from Central Ohio, USA


  • spids1 5 years ago

    Damn right!!

  • Sher Ritchie 5 years ago

    Our family adopted, or perhaps better to say was adopted by, a very old black cat who had wandered our neighbourhood for years. He let me talk to him one afternoon - almost beside me - then the next day he followed one of our other cats inside the house. And he lived with us thereafter. He had the sweetest character, he was intelligent, kind, loving and enjoyed pats so much he would grin! We've found that older animals make the most amazing pets - that 'can't teach an old dog new tricks' saying is nonsense.

  • LisaDH 5 years ago

    Every animal deserves to be loved.

  • Lorelei Cohen 5 years ago from Canada

    No question on the matter. Take that kitty home!

  • SianaL 5 years ago

    I rescued a older dog off the street. She is the sweetest most caring, gentle, cute dog in the world! I love her and definitively think adopting older dogs is better than puppies!

  • bordercollieluvr 5 years ago

    Yes! It breaks my heart when a dog or cat give their love to a family - then the family dumps them at a shelter - abandoning them when they get older. A dog or cat is a LIFETIME commitment - not a disposable item. They give us unconditional love- we owe them that much in return.

  • Heidi 5 years ago from Benson, IL

    A lot of the older ones are good pets that their former owners couldn't afford or just dumped. I know they can have problems but they can also be well-trained, well-behaved and know how to act around children.

  • Marilyn Thompson 5 years ago from Washington State

    Certainly, our dog was 7 when we adopted him and he is wonderful

  • IMKZRNU2 5 years ago from Pacific Northwest

    Some of my most favorite pets I adopted when they were at least 5 years old.

  • rallo-smith 5 years ago

    They most certainly do and I have a few real great ones myself.

  • Harriet 5 years ago from Indiana

    My son has an older dog and an older cat and they are great pets. I would certainly consider an older animal for a pet.

  • Susan Deppner 5 years ago from Arkansas USA

    Absolutely! Our first dog was an older pet who needed a new family. She was an awesome dog!

Never thought about it....

Submit a Comment

  • bilafond lm 3 years ago

    My first pet is a cat. so never thought about it.

  • Rose Jones 5 years ago

    Actually I think older pets do deserve a chance, but I am going to argue the other position as a devil's advocate. They might say "I want a puppy so I can raise it up the way I want." Indeed, but on the other hand, older pets are not as rambunctious as babies, and seem to have more common sense. "Older pets have more health problems." - That could be true, and you should factor in veterinary bills before you adopt any pet. Of course there are a lot of puppy immunizations and spaying that you will not have to do.

1. Less Energy Level - Not So Demading

Grown cats are - grown ups. It means that they don't need constant supervision, they don't sleep/eat/poop every hour or so as when they are just few months old, and their character is pretty much developed and as such is - less demanding. It is the same with dogs.

Web Sites About Pet Adoption Information

There are many great and informative web sites that can give you right answers when it comes to this subject.

Also, you can find animal shelters in your area and find out more about it.

2.Old Dog, New Trick? - You Bet!

Older dog can be trained and can learn a discipline! They can quickly adopt to new environment and create a bound with new owner. Rescued dogs are often very loyal companions and appreciate new, loving home.

We adopted a 13 years old dog who grew up in a yard and she immediately learned her place and limits in our flat.

"We can judge the heart of a man by his treatment of animals."

Immanuel Kant

3. Home Alone - No Problem

If you have a busy life and don't spend much time in your home, older cat or a dog might be good solution: over the time we took few cats from shelter to stay with us after they've been neutered ( to stay in sterile place ) so they can recover and have better chances of finding a home ( all of them are happy with new families, btw ). Cats just find a nice spot and have a nap during the day! They will explore your flat but in a graceful way. Older dogs are the same: leaving them for working hours shouldn't be a problem - most likely they will - have a nap.

4. Special Bound - Gratitude

It is true when they say that what you see is what you get - you immediately know the size of an animal, how it behaves...and then there is this special bound that develops between you and the dog or the cat. Cats are, I believe, more independent while dogs are more involved in our every day activities, but both will show you love and appreciation.

Few months ago I had food poisoning so I was in bed for couple of days - I felt weak and couldn't get up. Our dog ( who's been with us for a month at that time ) was constantly by my bed, just looking at me, licking my hand...she actually took care of me.

Clean Up After Your Dog!

This practical doggie waste dispenser pack is very helpful. No more forgetting to take a bag along with you and awkward situations or silly solutions to clean up after your dog!

5.Great Company - No Doubt About That

Many dogs and cats from shelters are socialized because they already lived with humans. If you already have a pet, they should get along quite fast if you properly introduced them. To be honest, having two instead of one pet can be helpful because they keep each other company.

Both, cats and dogs are great companions, they love to be around us as we love to have them around.

There Are Many Other Reasons To Adopt An Older Pet - Great Promo Video

Global Awareness Is Important - Poem from Montgomery County Animal Shelter

I think this poem is great closure for this topic.

Feel free To Share Your Story! - Or just Say Hi!

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    • writerkath profile image

      writerkath 4 years ago

      Thank you for putting the word out to adopt older animals. YOU are an angel! Hopefully your heartfelt words (along with that heart-tugging poem above) will help convince people. Here's some Squid Angel dust that will hopefully help get the word out more! :) Kath

    • WriterJanis2 profile image

      WriterJanis2 4 years ago

      We adopted an 11 year old dog and were blessed to have her for 5 years.

    • GardenHarbor profile image

      Nikki Schilling 4 years ago from Pennsylvania

      wonderful topic :) every family should have an older pet :)

    • profile image

      DebMartin 4 years ago

      Thank you for speaking out for the older critters in our lives. Blessed.

    • ShariBerry profile image

      Sharon Berry 4 years ago from Michigan

      We just had our beloved Jack put to sleep and I'm just not ready to get another pet but when I am, the first and foremost priority will be a shelter dog or a rescue dog. We still have our Joey but he is not fond of cats and since he is almost 5 years old I don't think there is much chance in changing his mind or I would definitely get a cat.

    • Ninche profile image

      Ninche 4 years ago

      @Snakesmum: I'm glad you adopted an adult cat, I'm sure she will bring much joy to you!

    • Snakesmum profile image

      Jean DAndrea 4 years ago from Victoria, Australia

      Glad I found this lens - today I've just adopted an adult cat from a shelter. She's already taking control of the house!

    • profile image

      SuzyShopping 4 years ago

      As the owner of a rescue greyhound I can only encourage people to give one of these marvellous dogs a home. they are gentle, quiet and loving dogs that do NOT need the huge amount of exercise that people think they do. The also get on very well with cats providing commonsense is used in the first introductory few days - I have three Siamese cats!

    • Diana Wenzel profile image

      Renaissance Woman 4 years ago from Colorado

      So happy you chose to focus on this important topic. I want to see the older animals at our shelter live out their lives as a member of a family. It's the least we can do for them. That poem is powerful.

    • profile image

      JoshK47 4 years ago

      What a wonderful lens - older pets deserve love, too! Blessed by a SquidAngel!

    • SandyMertens profile image

      Sandy Mertens 5 years ago from Frozen Tundra

      Our dog was 18 months old when we adopted him. I would certainly adopt a pet much older too.

    • GiaDoberman profile image

      GiaDoberman 5 years ago

      I'm all for adopting animals at any age. I adopted a 5 year old doberman pinscher and he has been the greatest addition to our family ever. He adjusted very well and was easily trained just as any younger pet would have been.

    • sociopath-free profile image

      sociopath-free 5 years ago

      Older pets deserve the best. They've overcome a lot and deserve love.

    • aesta1 profile image

      Mary Norton 5 years ago from Ontario, Canada

      I like older dogs. They share my silent moments comfortably.

    • profile image

      FernHollow 5 years ago

      Wonderful information! I wish more people would feel this way and adopt.

    • profile image

      anonymous 5 years ago

      It would be better if people would stop abandoning their pets but circumstances change that may make taking care of a pet impossible. Still we have way too many cats and dogs being left out on the streets to fend for themselves, or abandoned at churches or just left behind. Very unfortunate.

      Your article brings to light some of these animals problems.

    • sharioleary profile image

      Shari O'Leary 5 years ago from Minnesota

      What a great lens! I have to agree with everyone of your reasons. Older animals need homes as well as the babies do.

    • spids1 profile image

      spids1 5 years ago

      Great to see this lens on the homepage, it might encourage a few more people :)

    • animal crazy25 profile image

      animal crazy25 5 years ago

      LOL! I love the not so demanding section. I think that must depend on the pet. Holly is 100 times more demanding at 18 than Masie ever was. This isn't for the most part due to her age (currently 198). I just think she has always been treated like royalty and so just expects it. Also she cannot eat much at one time and will not eat food unless it has just been put down so does need feeding a lot.

    • biminibahamas profile image

      biminibahamas 5 years ago

      Wonderful lens ... thanks for sharing this useful information

    • aviwolfson profile image

      Avi Wolfson 5 years ago from Massachusetts

      Great lens, thanks for sharing!

    • LynetteBell profile image

      LynetteBell 5 years ago from Christchurch, New Zealand

      A lovely lens

    • randomthings lm profile image

      randomthings lm 5 years ago

      Great page. Animals are such loves and nice to have around. We adopted our greyhound when she was 4. So she wasn't old...but she had been around the block. She adapted nicely to our house and is a loving family member.

    • Pam Irie profile image

      Pam Irie 5 years ago from Land of Aloha

      Our dog was a senior when we adopted her. She has been the best companion we've ever known. Blessings. This is a great page!

    • Wednesday-Elf profile image

      Wednesday-Elf 5 years ago from Savannah, Georgia

      We had an older dog for 3 years and he was an absolute joy. Our family gave him love, but it was nothing compared to what he gave us in love, joy, companionship and happiness!

      Wonderful story. Thanks for sharing.

    • Deserthorse profile image

      Deserthorse 5 years ago

      Adopted an older dog. It was wonderful just like this lens.

    • BunnyFabulous profile image

      BunnyFabulous 5 years ago from Central Florida

      Next time we get a dog, it'll be an older one from a shelter or pet rescue. I'd rather focus my energy on raising my children and enjoying an adult dog rather than raising a puppy. No dog is too old to be loved and cared for.

    • checkyourvibe profile image

      Cathy Slaght 5 years ago from St. Petersburg, Fl

      As a dog lover, I ended up getting my arm twisted to take a rescue cat- they were going to put her down. I love this cat! We've had some adjustments, but she's been such a wonderful addition to my life. Enjoyed your lens and hope it encourages others to take in an older rescue cat or dog.

    • Hobgoblin LM profile image

      Hobgoblin LM 5 years ago

      What a great lens! I;m sure a few more dogs and cats will be adopted - and maybe a few less abandoned! - because of it.

    • profile image

      mouse1996 lm 5 years ago

      Our recent dog is a shelter dog. He had mange and if it weren't for us adopting him he would have just got worse and perhaps die. We've been through a lot with this guy. He has some serious issues, but he is our big guy and we love him. Great lens.

    • profile image

      anonymous 5 years ago

      I was just here a couple weeks ago and am so pleased to return to congratulate you on front page honors for this heart warmer!

    • aruraza profile image

      aruraza 5 years ago

      Lovely thoughtful lens. Thanks for creating it and raising awareness.

    • Belle13Dreams profile image

      Belle13Dreams 5 years ago

      Love your lens! Very sensible!

    • Shoputopian profile image

      Karnel 5 years ago from Lower Mainland of BC

      What a great story, I've always felt sorry for the older pets.

    • ae dc profile image

      ae dc 5 years ago

      i am currently considering adopting an adult dog.. thanks for this

    • BlueObsidian profile image

      Kimberly 5 years ago from Oregon

      We adopted a two year old cat recently - by no means old, but old enough that he was getting passed over for kittens. He is so mellow and easy going that he was the perfect addition ot our family! A kitten just wouldn't have fit as well.

    • FunkyFriendsFac profile image

      FunkyFriendsFac 5 years ago

      What a wonderful lens - Everyone loves a kitten, that's why I chose the oldest cat I could when I went to the pound and I have been rewarded with the most loving, affectionate kitty as a result! :)

    • PaigSr profile image

      PaigSr 5 years ago from State of Confussion

      With our family there is no such thing as a young or old pet. With my parrents if the cat needs a home they tend to walk in and stay. In our house we have had a mother and son move in when our neighbor could not take the cats when moving. Their names were Ms. Priss and Buddy.

    • MJsConsignments profile image

      Michelle 5 years ago from Central Ohio, USA

      We just "adopted" from the parents of a friend who passed, a 10 year old American bulldog. He's a joy and we're thrilled. He blended easily with our family and with our 6 year old pug dog.

    • ArthurF LM profile image

      ArthurF LM 5 years ago

      My cat Mr. Bigglesworth is an older adopted pet. He comes from an abusive home but he is the sweetest cat I have ever had. I cant imagine why anyone would want to hurt any animal but especially my cat. Thank you for this wonderful lens.

    • spids1 profile image

      spids1 5 years ago

      I have nominated this lens for Lens Of The Day and I encourage everyone to do the same because I have been thinking of getting a dog and reading your lens has got me really thinking of adopting from a shelter

    • Gypzeerose profile image

      Rose Jones 5 years ago

      Lovely lens, pinned to my cat and also my dog board and squid angel blessed. My dog Buckwheat is getting older and he actually is the most wonderful now: at 8 years of age he is not as frantic and demanding as he was when he was younger, but still plenty of energy to play in the park. (He's a border collie mix - they are very active.) Someone told me that he is probably ideal now to do something like visit folks in a nursing home, because he is not so reactive as he was when he was younger, he is more easily trained to do this new task. Great lens, I wish you good luck in getting your word out.

    • Gypzeerose profile image

      Rose Jones 5 years ago

      @SteveKaye: Steve Kaye, you have a heart of gold.

    • profile image

      SteveKaye 5 years ago

      I adopted an older cat that had been used as a kitten machine by breeders. Finally, this cat could enjoy a brief time of being in a home where she was cared for.

    • Sher Ritchie profile image

      Sher Ritchie 5 years ago

      I love your lens - 100% agree! We've adopted both older cats and young kittens and (just personally) the older cats are much easier to live with, for all the reasons you've mentioned. The kittens are adorable and have grown up into wonderful cats, but the older cats 'understood the boundaries' in a way the younger cats haven't managed (yet).

      I love the poem "I adopted your dog today". Congratulations on being featured on the Squidpaws 2012 monsterboard.

    • aka-rms profile image

      Robin S 5 years ago from USA

      We adopted a 4 year old cat and he's turning into a wonderful pet. Took him a while to make the adjustment though. If you have patience you'll be rewarded. :)

    • profile image

      Lindrus 5 years ago

      Thanks for this beautiful lens! I love your photos, very well done!

    • Lady Lorelei profile image

      Lorelei Cohen 5 years ago from Canada

      Older pets are generally more suited as adoptions to older individuals. They are generally calmer, sleeping much of the day, and oh so very happy to have found a wonderful home. My daughter had adopted a 16 year old cat when the owner could no longer keep her. The bond they shared was amazing, and although Gammas passed away at the age of 18, the 2 years that they had together was filled with love and play. Two hearts bonded together as one and I know that Gammas was beyond grateful for the home she had found so late in her life.

    • bordercollieluvr profile image

      bordercollieluvr 5 years ago

      I volunteer for the Border Collie Rescue in SC. Great lens!

    • chas65 profile image

      chas65 5 years ago

      My only problem with adopting older pets is it is just so ahrd when we lose them. They are part of the family and bring such joy to us, but the farewell is oh so hard. great lens Thanks from a fellow Rocketsquid.

    • profile image

      anonymous 5 years ago

      "I Adopted Your Dog Today" is the perfect closure for this wonderful presentation of adopting an older pet to love in your forever home and you had me in tears more than once here. Yes, the measure of a person can be taken in how they treat animals...I believe that. This is very dear, thank you! Many would hesitate in adopting a 13 year old dog but they do respond to love and kindness so very quickly.

    • mysweetjane lm profile image

      mysweetjane lm 5 years ago

      @rallo-smith: I can't understand it either :( People sometimes behave unbelievably

    • WildFacesGallery profile image

      Mona 5 years ago from Iowa

      I love this. My current dog is 13 and I adore her. All the points you mentioned are true. Old dogs adapt quickly and deserved to be loved. Blessed.

    • kristalulabelle profile image

      Kristen 5 years ago from Wisconsin

      Great and heartfelt topic! I enjoyed the read!

    • IMKZRNU2 profile image

      IMKZRNU2 5 years ago from Pacific Northwest

      Having been involved in rescue for many years I have to agree that the older ones are my favorite choice. You can even give them a "new" name and they will learn to respond to it quickly. A lot of the dogs we got into rescue we did not know their original names. Thanks for sharing this awesome lens!

    • rallo-smith profile image

      rallo-smith 5 years ago

      I will never understand how or why someone could or would dump a pet that has loved them unconditionally for years. No excuse would be good enough with exception of when the owner has died. Sad truth is, it happens all to often. Great share speaking up for those deserving pets.

    • SusanDeppner profile image

      Susan Deppner 5 years ago from Arkansas USA

      You made excellent points about adopting an older dog. Our first two dogs were older when we got them and were fabulous, loyal, great pets. The next arrived on our doorstep as a puppy stray - loved her, but what a lot of work! Many years later, we got our puppy Daisy. She's four now, at a wonderful age, but will be our last puppy. I'm too old for the work of puppy training! Great topic!