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Three Things You Need to Know Before Adopting an Older Pet

As a society, we tend to gravitate towards the cute, the adorable, and the young. We getgoogly-eyed when we see a baby, and we can’t look away whenever we see a precious kitten orpuppy on TV or YouTube. It’s for this reason that so many first-time pet owners don’t evenconsider adopting pets that are not over a certain age. We are drawn to adorable baby pets,but there’s nothing that says an older pet cannot be cute and cuddly. Adopting an older cat ordog comes with its own set of perks, and you could easily argue that older pets are actually apreferable starting point for first-time pet owners.

Just like with humans, young pets are completely new to the world and unaware of rules andpotty habits. Taking care of a kitten or puppy requires the owner to train them in all of theseareas, which means you’re likely to encounter lots of messy situations along the way. Olderpets typically will already have a sense of where and when they can relieve themselves, andthey are also well past that wild and unruly stage of life, making for a much more mellow andmanageable option for first-time pet owners.That being said, there’s still a lot to consider when bringing an older pet into your home.Bringing a pet of any age into your home is a big responsibility and is something you should nottake lightly. Here are three things you need to know before adopting an older pet.

Choosing the Right Breed

After you make the decision to adopt, the next step (and for many the most difficult step of all)is to choose which pet to adopt. It’s important not to just consider your emotions when makingyour selection. The kind of animal you choose, and even which breed of that animal youchoose, will present a unique set of needs and challenges.

Larger animals require more space and more physical activity. If you live in a crampedapartment, or you are a self-identified couch potato, then maybe adopting a large active breedof dog isn’t a good decision for you. Another consideration should be your tolerance toallergies. Pet hair traps all kinds of pollen and dander, which can cause problems if you areparticularly sensitive to allergies. Some breeds of dogs are less likely to cause allergies. Withthis in mind, it’s important to do some research and find a good vacuum that can address pet hair and dander in your home, especially if members are your family have allergy concerns.

Preparing Your Home

Before you sign any papers, you should make sure that your home is ready to welcome yournew pet. The great thing about adopting older pets is that you will already have some idea as to what kind of food they enjoy, whether they are house trained, and what kind of toys they enjoy. It’s a good idea to purchase everything you need for them so that your first day together can actually be spent adjusting to sharing a home together.

Making a Smooth Transition

It’s likely that your new furry friend will be a little reserved, or even freaked out, by the suddenchange. Often times, pets at adoption centers come from abusive or neglectful homeowners, sothey may be a little uneasy being in an unfamiliar home environment. The best way to make this first day go smoothly is by following their lead.

Older pets typically come with their own set of tendencies and habits. Follow any instructionsgiven by the adoption service about how and when they will want to potty. Use treats to reward good behavior and show them that you can be trusted. Don’t expect a bond to happenovernight, as those kinds of things usually take time and patience.

After some time together, your new pet will begin to open up a bit. They will grow to know youand love you as their owner, and they will appreciate you for letting them into your home. Overtime, you’ll begin to know who they are as well and learn what kind of personality they have.This is just one of the many joys you’ll discover as a new pet owner.

Post by: Jessica Brody

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