5 Reasons Why an Older Pet is Better
I gather that since you're reading this, you might be considering getting a pet. The love an companionship of the right pet is a life enhancing experience. They become a member of the family and can offer protection, warning when there is danger, and entertainment, all in exchange for love and care.
I currently have a cat and a dog. I didn't get either of them as babies. Both were a little older when I got them, although they were still within the young adult age range. I think getting pets that were a little grown up made a huge difference in my family's experience with them. Here are five reasons why I believe forgoing kittens and puppies is a smart decision:
1. Older pets are usually already house-broken. All of the hassle and mess is over with. You don't have to pull your hair out trying to train your pet to go where it should and you don't have to clean up smelly accidents. Sometimes there will be the occasional accident even with an older pet but you are avoiding most of the yuck.
2. Older pets have lost a lot of the crazy, youthful energy, yet they still have plenty to run around and make you laugh. Younger pets can become destructive when they don't get enough stimulation. They can also be incredibly annoying. My cat took to playing with my feet when I was in bed trying to sleep, but it wasn't long before I no longer had to flick her off the bed. Puppies can cry at night and chew on your favorite things. Older pets usually don't do these things unless they are completely neglected.
3. Health care for older pets is straight-forward. Dogs have survived the risk of Parvo. All of the first vaccinations are taken care of and only regular vaccines are needed on a scheduled basis. Pets have typically also displayed signs of any birth defects or other problems and you will be aware of them once they're a little older.
4. Everybody seems to want that cute puppy or kitten, not an older animal. This is a disturbing trend and is the reason there are puppy and kitten mills. Older pets sometimes wind up in shelters when they aren't cute and little anymore, and if they don't find a new home, put down. What an extremely sad thing! Getting an older pet, either from a previous owner or a shelter keeps these loving, beautiful pets from being put down. They still have so much love to give and deserve a loving home.
5. You know the true personality of your pet. You don't have to wonder if they are going to develop annoying habits or exhibit personality flaws you can't live with. A grown pet has established who they are and you can decide if that is the right pet for your family.
Whatever decision you make, whether an new or older pet, please remember getting a pet is a commitment. You are making an unspoken contract with your pet to take care of them and love them no matter what.