Animals are living longer, and that’s a great thing. It means our time with our furry loved ones can last even longer than ever. It also means that pet owners need to be prepared advance of adopting or bringing a new pet home that they will need to commit to loving, caring and providing for their animal longer than they might expect. Sadly many pet owners do the opposite, and dump their elderly animal at shelters or otherwise neglect them. But just as this story about an elderly, sick dog being adopted into a loving home and enjoying his final years in comfort shows, senior animals are just as great as any other pet — and deserve the love, care and compassion regardless of their age. Sadly, most senior dogs do not make it out of shelters once they’re dumped, despite the growing effort by multiple rescue organizations to help older animals who find themselves abandoned by owners who no longer want to provide them care and safety.
Technically, an “older” animal is considered anywhere above age eight, but it can depend on the species as some animals live longer lives than others. A hamster, for example, has a lifespan of up to five years, while dogs and cats can live into their early twenties. You’ll want to consider your ability and willingness to commit to the animal’s lifespan given this. If you think you may not be able to provide for a dog for twenty years, or meet needs that may arise from age, a different type of animal may make a better choice for you instead. We all know puppies and kittens are adorable! But they do grow up and they will be senior animals so be sure to look beyond it and your needs or wants to their own as you select a pet.
A key way to help prepare for your pet’s older years is to talk with a veterinarian about what to expect as your animal ages, what type of care might be needed, what kind of medical issues may arise, so that you can be cognizant of what could be ahead — as well as ways you can help circumvent issues as your fur baby ages such as through diet or exercise. This is the kind of questions you can ask a veterinarian on Kuddly — no office visit required, no high cost needed. You can get all the information you want and need from a qualified, professional vet, and help ensure for a healthy, happy future as your pet of any kind ages.