When you adopt, you are saving two lives - the animal you've adopted, and the animal that can then move into foster or shelter care. Here's where we get to the serious perks of adopting an adult pet!
1. The first is the most obvious. You will be saving their life. Older animals in shelters are more likely to be euthanized because puppies and kitties are more likely to be adopted first. The older pets have to wait and the longer the wait, the greater the risk to their life.
2. The pet is fully grown. Sometimes when you get a mixed puppy, you have no idea that puppy is going to grow up to be so big! That puppy with the tiny paws grew up to be a bear with tiny paws! Whoops. Didn't see that coming! He's not a dog that's going to be stoked to share your studio apartment with you. Trust me, it's happened to someone I know. Generally, you know your cat isn't going to be bigger than 20 pounds, so that's not as much of an issue.
3. Your new pal will more than likely be house trained and know a few of the rules for sharing a home with a human. This means they'll transition more smoothly into your home life. Additionally, no animal is too old to learn new tricks. My cat is now 10 (maybe 11) and he's just learned to use pee pads in a litter box instead of that dusty litter that is HORRIBLE for lungs, cats and humans alike. I've also taught older dogs commands like sit, stay, leave it, and roll over, though if you adopt an older dog, chances are, they'll probably have a few tricks under their collar already. Won't that be nice?
4. Their personality is already developed. Personality is a big component of whether or not your lifelong commitment to your pet is going to be harmonious. Just like people, not every personality works well together. A dog with a high energy level needs an owner that is willing to go out a few times a day and work them. Fitness and energy levels need to match. Pets that require a lot of physical and mental stimulation but don't receive the appropriate exercise become bored, irritable, and destructive. You can take them to training, but unless they get that stimulation, they'll be unhappy and you know how the saying goes, "Happy dog, happy life."
5. They know what you've done for them. I truly believe this. Rescued pets have seen a lot and most adult ones have been through more heartbreak than they should ever have had to endure. They will LOVE you for saving them and this is an especially strong bond. Likewise, adopting an older special needs dog or cat will also be a remarkable bond between owner and pet. You can be happy knowing that you're giving them the love they deserve but may not have received otherwise. So many owners abandon their pets because caring for them becomes inconvenient. Animals can sense this and are hurt by the rejection and the loss of love from their human companions. Giving them a second chance and filling that void for them is so special for you and for the animal.
So there you have it! These are my 5 reasons why adopting an older cat or dog is awesome! You can never go wrong when you're adopting with an open heart to an animal in need. Whether a puppy or kitten, adult, senior, or geriatric, pets bring so much value to our daily lives and all they ask for is our love and care in return.