Adopt a Senior Pet—Enrich Your Life by Rescuing an Older Dog in November
Adopt a Senior Pet month is celebrated every November in the United States. It is a time when animal lovers open their homes to senior pets through adoption. Older pets can have special needs of some type. They require quality care, lots of patience, and a special kind of love.
Professional options for adopting senior pets
Currently, professional pet-care options are widespread and consist of something for everyone. There are two major organizations of pet sitters that provide superior care for those who adopt a senior pet.
- The National Association of Professional Pet Sitters (NAPPS) consists of the only non-profit organization for professional pet sitters.
- Pet Sitters International (PSI) is the world’s largest educational association for professional pet sitters. It advises pet owners in specific areas. Using the services of a professional pet sitter can ensure certain things.
- The most important is that senior pets maintain a healthy and safe routine.
- “Physical and mental exercise is critically important for senior dogs and cats, as it keeps them entertained and helps them burn excess calories,” explains PSI President and Founder Patti J. Moran. “Professional pet sitters can ensure that senior pets benefit from regular physical and mental activity, even when their owners are away.”
The purpose of pet sitters or pet-care organizations is to provide quality care for aging pets or those who are ill while owners are traveling, going to school, or working long hours. They also provide services to exercise your pet during the day if you are unable to do so yourself.
During the summer, they will check on your pet’s water and feed them if needed. It may even be necessary to have them drive your pet to a grooming salon or to your veterinarian for an appointment. One thing is for sure. Getting rid of a pet because you do not have time to care for them for one reason or another is considered “old school.”
I have always thought the perfect home for an elderly dog is with a person who is middle age and up. These are the people who can easily provide 24/7 care and love with all their heart. Older people are lonely, as most of their families live far away. And most elderly dogs have been abandoned in shelters by previous owners. To adopt a senior pet during the month of November provides these elderly dogs companionship, and prevents loneliness intheir new owners over the holidays.
The Personality of an Older Dog
Puppies find it difficult to follow rules because they have not been taught them yet. Senior geriatric dogs cannot follow rules because they have forgotten them or what they are. This is the mindset you will need to face when you choose to adopt a senior pet.
The combination between the two dogs is not as much of a behavior problem as it is a mind problem. “Handle every situation like a dog. If you cannot eat it or play with it, just pee on it and walk away.” (Puppyleaks.com/author unknown)
Older dogs can get dementia and Alzheimer the same way we do as humans. They cannot describe how they are feeling but they can get just as lost as we do. I have seen our girls get lost in the house they have spent their entire life in and even forget who I am.
One thing’s for sure. The personality of an older dog is completely different from a younger dog, beginning with the most common behavior problem for older dogs, separation anxiety.
Those who are not prepared for caring for an older dog may find separation anxiety difficult to deal with. Knowing the symptoms help you deal with the issues.
- Excessive saliva
- Overly exuberant behavior
- Excessive urination and defecation
- Continuous barking and howling
- Extremely anxious
- Decreased ability to cope
- More anxious
- Difficult to relax
The first week is generally the time where your new dog is adjusting and adapting to your home, and his personality may seem dull or perhaps fearful. Give it time. Usually after this first transition week, the real dog starts to emerge. It’s important to stay as neutral as possible during this transition time, stick to routine, and not coddle the dog overmuch. Depending on where he came from, and how much you know about his background, it’s normal for a newly adopted dog to lay low for the first week or so, and not blossom until he begins to feel comfortable and trusts you. Too much babying during this time can actually reinforce undesirable behavior and even create bad behavior, as some dogs will learn to “work it” to their own advantage.