November is National Senior Pet Month, and pets are living longer than ever due to ongoing veterinary care and balanced nutrition. Are you thinking of adopting a new pet? Consider adopting a senior. Here are five reasons why pets in their golden years should get a forever home.

1. They have better manners. Often, senior pets have already been socialized and learned basic commands, like sit, come, stay, and down. Most are house trained (but if your senior pet needs a house-training refresher, you should be able to get her trained in a couple of days—see number 2 below!). And, if you value your shoes, furniture, and other belongings, a senior pet will be less likely to be destructive than a new puppy or kitten.

2. They’re focused and smart. Unlike their younger counterparts, senior pets can more easily focus on tasks and on learning new commands. Senior pets are attentive and eager to please their humans, so training typically comes easier, whether you do it yourself or call a professional trainer. (If you do it yourself, remember to always use positive reinforcement training methods!)

3. There are a lot of them. Sometimes, a family has to move and can’t take their beloved pet with them. Other times, a pet owner may have health problems or pass away. Whatever the reason, there are many more senior pets than puppies and kittens available for adoption. There’s likely a senior shelter pet out there that will match your criteria.

4. They’re calm. If you want a calm, relaxed companion, a senior pet is your best bet. They’ve already burned all of that wild energy that comes with youth, so you can focus on spending quality time together without having to chase around a hyper puppy or kitten.

5. You’ll be a hero. It’s heartbreaking to think of a senior pet spending her final months or years alone in a shelter. When you adopt a senior pet, you’ll be a hero to that dog or cat, providing the happy ending she deserves and might not have had otherwise.

Our Senior Care program at Dufferin Veterinary Hospital endeavours to optimize the health and quality of life of your ageing pets. Semi-annual health visits and appropriate wellness testing form the backbone of this program, which encompasses owner education and early detection of disease. To schedule an appointment, contact us.