Is a Mature Pet Right for You?
For any prospective pet owner, one of the biggest decisions you’ll have is whether to adopt a young or a mature pet. Many people assume that mature pets come with a laundry list of issues and immediately dismiss them as an option. In reality, there are many misconceptions about mature pets that need clearing up before you should make any decision.
Mature Pet Misconceptions
1. Older animals are at shelters because of health issues.
Animals arrive at shelters or your local SPCA for many reasons. It may be that a senior can’t look after their pet anymore or that a family situation has changed, and the pet can’t continue with them. It’s worth asking about your prospective animal’s story to learn about their situation and decide whether they’ll be a good fit for your family.
2. You won’t want to miss the puppy/kitten stage.
While young animals are certainly adorable, they come with some challenging behaviors you’ll have to accommodate as they grow. Some chewing, potty training, and general mischievousness may come with your younger animal. An older animal is likely past those stages and may have a calmer temperament than a puppy or kitten.
3. They only have a few good years left.
When cared for properly, cats and dogs can live well into their late teens. They’ll be grateful for your kindness and will likely develop a great bond with their new family.
4. They have bad habits.
Mature animals have likely had the opportunity to live with a family before and are used to being around people. They may already be house-trained, receive obedience training and respond to commands. A visit with the animal can give you a good idea of the animal’s personality, as opposed to a younger animal who hasn’t developed its habits quite yet.
5. You can’t adopt a purebred.
If there is a certain breed you have your heart set on, there may be a breed rescue organization in your area that can help you locate mature pets in need of homes.
There are a few other things to consider when selecting a mature animal. For example, when adopting a puppy or kitten, you will experience your pet growing up and navigating their way around the world. Watching them respond to their first command, become successfully house-trained, and figure out the stairs can be very rewarding. Puppies and kittens are also undeniably cute and fun to have around. Whether those moments are deciding factors is a choice only you can make.
Whatever you prefer, adding a pet to your family will be an exciting and fulfilling experience regardless of their age.