Older Pets Need Homes Too | The Pet Encyclopedia

When deciding to adopt, most people want a tiny puppy or kitten. Puppies and kittens are adorable and tiny and it's enjoyable to watch them grow up. However, there are many benefits to choosing an older pet instead of a younger animal.

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When you adopt an older pet, most of the time they are already housebroken. No waking up in the middle of the night and stepping in messes, or coming home after work to messes all over the living room carpet. You also won't have to spend hours working with your pet to teach them how to go outside. In addition, most dogs have learned to sit and stay by the time they are a year or two old, so they already have the basics down. This gives you a good foundation to build upon.


Puppies and kittens can be wild and full of energy. This is great and fun to watch, but it can take its toll after a while, especially if you don't have a lot of energy to spare. In addition, you may not want to come home to find all of your shoes chewed into pieces in the closet floor, or your living room couch shredded while you were at work. An older pet has usually already worked out their wild adolescent energy and will be happy to sit at your feet and be your best friend.


When you adopt an older pet, they usually have been fully vetted. You don't have to worry about puppy shots or kitten shots, or any of the illnesses that affect very young pets. They have also usually been spayed or neutered as well. Most of the time, when you adopt an older pet, you just have to keep up with preventative treatments such as heartworm, flea and tick prevention. This is a definite cost savings, as well.

No Surprises

When you adopt a puppy or kitten, you may have an idea of how big the animal will get, but you can never be sure. That eight pound mutt may turn into an eighty pound bundle of love. That's great, unless you live in a tiny city apartment. With an older pet, there are no surprises. These animals are fully grown and ready to go. You can see what you are dealing with right away, without waiting for those "growing pains" to be over with a small puppy or kitten.

Save a Life

There are many intangible benefits that come when you adopt an older pet. One of the biggest of these is the knowledge that you saved a life that may not have otherwise been saved. Statistics show that shelters and "dog pounds" put many animals to sleep just because of their age. Everyone comes in wanting to adopt the cute kittens and puppies and never give the older pets a second glance. Choosing an older pet not only saves the life of that pet, it also saves the life of another pet by opening up a kennel or spot in the shelter for another needy animal.

The American Humane Association estimates that nearly four million companion animals are euthanized in shelters each year in the United States.Only one in five dogs ever born finds a "furever home" and less than one in eight cats is as lucky. When you adopt an older pet, you help an animal that may have died at a shelter to find love and security. Consider an older pet when you adopt your next best friend.

A Few Dog Breeds

Photo of pomeranian


Type: Dog
Size: Small
Activity Level: Low
Coat: Short, smooth
Temperment: Calm, Playful, Affectionate

Photo of shih-tzu

Shih Tzu

Type: Dog
Size: Small
Activity Level: Moderate
Coat: Long, Wavy
Temperment: Alert, Playful, Affectionate

Photo of great-dane

Great Dane

Type: Dog
Size: Large
Activity Level: High
Coat: Short, smooth
Temperment: Energetic,loving,confident