We love senior pets!

senior pets



Hello CHS Supporters!

It is a busy month here at Calgary Humane Society! With a HUGE influx of cats and birds at the shelter, our adoption staff have been working non-stop to help place them all in great homes. If you’ve stopped by the shelter you may have noticed our line-ups are a little longer than usual. We thank you all for your patience!

November is our celebration of senior pets! Adopting a senior pet can be a very rewarding experience, and we have many adopters at CHS who arrive at the shelter specifically in search of a senior animal to bring home. Today on the blog we’re bringing you a Q&A with some of our most popular senior animal adoption topics.

Do senior animals get special veterinary care at CHS? Great question! The answer? All animals at CHS receive care based on the assessment of our incredible veterinary team. If you are a 2 month old puppy or a 19 year old cat, you will receive the vet care that our veterinarians determine is the best course of action. That being said, during the physical exam, senior animals do receive a few extra tests to ensure everything is working in tip top shape. A urinalysis and geriatric blood test are standard features of the health exam for senior animals at the shelter. Why? Unfortunately some problems, like early stage kidney issues, can be difficult to determine with just a physical exam. By running a few additional tests our vets are able to make sure every animal is ready to retire in a loving home.

Why adopt a senior pet? TONS of reasons! Here are 10, right now!

  1. Grey muzzles are always distinguished
  2. Senior pets are usually past the “get into everything I shouldn’t” phase
  3. They are experienced in the fine art of snuggling
  4. They have a lifetime worth of experiences to whis-purr in your ear (see what we did there?)
  5. Senior animals usually have decreased activity needs, so while they would love to join you on a walk they are also happy to curl up at your feet when you arrive back home
  6. Every animal deserves a safe and loving retirement home
  7. Senior animals appreciate a second chance and will never let you forget it
  8. They have a lot to teach us about growing old with grace
  9. They are quick to figure things out – all that life experience teaches an old dog a thing or two!
  10. They have great house manners. Many senior animals have spent plenty of years learning how to live politely in a house, and they would love to show off their skills!

Are senior animals hard to adopt out? Senior animals are harder to adopt out than kittens or puppies, for sure. That being said, at Calgary Humane Society we have lots of amazing adopters who open their home to senior pets! For senior animals that stay a little longer at the shelter our incredible volunteers and adoptions staff try to spend some extra time each day giving our older critters some extra love and attention.

Won’t a senior pet pass away after just a few years? Sometimes yes, sometimes no. Many senior pets adopted from Calgary Humane Society spent many happy years with their adoptive families while time may be shorter for others. The fear of a limited life is probably one of the #1 reasons why some adopters are shy to adopt a senior animal, and it’s understandable. It is always sad when a pet passes away, but a piece of advice from my vet the other day really put this in perspective, and I wanted to share it with all of you:

“No matter how long you have with your pet, you’ll always wish it was longer. It will never be enough time, whether you have two years or twenty years. So focus on quality, not quantity.”

Giving a senior pet a safe and loving home in their golden years can be a very rewarding experience. If you are thinking of adopting a senior animal, but you have concerns, please talk to one of our adoption counselors at the shelter. They can talk to you about the specific animal you are considering or provide more general information, depending on what you need.

Do senior animals need lots of vet care? As animals age their care requirements do tend to go up, so it is important to have realistic expectations. Many vets recommend that senior animals have two regular check-ups per year for health monitoring, compared to an annual appointment for younger animals. Some animals may also require additional dental care or medical care as they age, but this is not true for all pets. At Calgary Humane Society our adoptions team will give you a full description of the pet’s vet records before you complete the adoption, including any need for ongoing care noted by our vets. If a pet does have a medical condition you may wish to phone your regular vet to discuss the implications of the condition before you commit to the adoption. In special cases we may even have a mandatory pre-adoption hold with a special request to research certain care needs prior to making the adoption decision.

Do you have a question about senior animal adoption? Ask us on our Facebook page!