A common misconception about senior shelter animals is that they are “problematic” pets or damaged in some way. While there are some escape artists and jealous lovers that get taken to shelters for behavioral issues, most senior animals are surrendered for reasons that have nothing to do with them. People give up their beloved companions due to things like moves, financial issues, work changes, family allergies, personal illness, and sometimes death. It’s also incorrectly assumed that the bond with senior pets may not be as strong as the one formed by raising an animal from a young age. These pets dearly miss having a family of their own and you can be their hero as well as their forever friend.

Are you calling me old? I'm just experienced. Senior pets need love too.
Are you calling me old? I'm just experienced. Senior pets need love too. 

In honor of Adopt-A-Senior-Pet Month, Wagmo has partnered with three charities that make it their mission to care for and give love to senior pets. When you purchase a Wagmo plan from now until Nov.26, we will donate $10 to one of these incredible organizations:

1.  They make great starter pets.

If you have never had a pet of your own before, it can be very beneficial to adopt one that has had a previous owner. A senior pet is a great introduction to what it means to be a pet parent, and they have probably already gained some human-friendly habits from their last home. One day, if you decide you are ready to try training a puppy or raising a kitten, you'll both benefit from this experience.

2.  Senior pets are probably already house broken and trained.

Unless the animal in question came from a seriously troubled background, most have already been housebroken and know at least a few basic commands. After taking a little bit of time to get to know each other, you'll find it much easier to settle into a routine. For example, a senior dog may be able to make you more aware of their needs, and keep a more predictable potty schedule. Similarly, a senior cat usually only needs to be shown their litter box once and they’ll be able to take it from there.

3. They make great family friends.

Senior pets make great family friends.

It can be hard to juggle the needs and wacky antics of both your brand new fur babies and your human babies. Spending a little time at the shelter with your children and senior animals of interest will let you see right away if they're going to be a good fit. Some shelters may already know which cats and dogs have played well with children in the past and can help guide you into great choices.

4. You get to save a life.

Not every shelter is lucky enough to be a no-kill shelter and senior pets are the first to be euthanized when resources become an issue. You are not only making your furry senior friend very happy when you invite him or her into your home, you are most likely saving them from an early death. You become an instant hero not only to your pet, but to the shelter staff who can't help but grow attached to the animals in their care. Your noble deed will make you feel like an epic champion to the four-legged realm.

5. Older pets require minimal effort.

Senior animals usually have more patience and a longer attention span than their younger counterparts. Whoever said “you can't teach an old dog new tricks” must have missed trying a few tasty treats and some positive reinforcement. Pets of all ages love impressing their humans and will surprise you with how much they can learn when given a little bit of time and love. Older animals require less daily exercise as well as more sleep. They've probably already gotten most of their furniture-clawing, shoe-eating, and all-night crate-whimpering out of their systems. This lets you enjoy the finer parts of pet-ownership, with far fewer training headaches and growing pains.

6. You'll know what you're signing up for from the start.

When it comes to senior dogs, they are already as large as they’re going to get. There won't be any surprises when it comes to size or temperament. Sometimes that tiny puppy can grow up to resemble a small horse or elephant that eats more than a high school football team. Spend a few minutes getting to know a senior shelter animal and you'll find out if they are friendly or shy right away. That being said, it’s good to keep in mind that shy guys may blossom and become more outgoing when they feel safe and loved.

7. They usually have very simple needs when it comes to veterinary care.

It is a myth that older pets automatically mean higher vet bills or more frequent needs for visits. These animals are already spayed or neutered and up to date on their vaccines. If they do have a need for advanced care they have probably already been diagnosed and the shelter employees can educate you on how to best provide for them. More often than not, you won't need to do anything more than basic preventative care, which when covered by Wagmo is a walk in the park.

8. They make amazing companions.

Older pets love to relax and quietly delight in your company. They know how to enjoy a nice brisk walk, but can also meditate in that sunny spot near the window for hours. They aren't as relentless in their playtime needs or late night zoomies, and you will get to feel their gratitude for inviting them into your life everyday.

Adopting a senior pet is a rewarding endeavor that is full of love. You get to bask in their adoration and companionship while allowing their golden years to truly shine. Consider changing the life of a senior cat or dog today, and if that’s not feasible, don’t hesitate to check out one of the amazing charities that Wagmo is lucky to support.