Celebrate by giving an older pet a home!

November is Adopt a Senior Pet Month, and the perfect time to help older pets find a loving family! Many shelters have senior pets up for adoption, and an older, emotionally mature pet can often be a great fit for the elderly, families with small children, or anyone with a slower-paced lifestyle.

Senior pets are fully developed, so shelters and adopters already know the size, looks, behavior and personality of the pet. Older pets are generally calmer, have learned basic commands, and are often already housebroken, which spares adopters the time and effort of training a younger pet.

According to American Veterinary Medical Association (AVMA) member and veterinarian Dr. Ellen Lindell, "Senior pets are very flexible, and they will successfully bond after they find a loyal companion." Giving a senior pet a home is doing a wonderful service, as many older pets reward this kindness with instant love, and remain faithful companions for the rest of their lives.

"When adopting an older pet, it is important to consider they may have senior special needs, such as diet and getting the pet used to a new environment," Dr. Lindell added. "Pet owners adopting a senior pet should also be prepared to deal with possible medical issues."

 To better prepare yourself for adopting a senior pet you can visit the AVMA website, which has information on pet care topics like changes in pet behavior, older pet health issues to keep an eye on, and treatment ideas for common conditions like arthritis. The AVMA has been a trusted resource for 150 years in veterinary medicine and you can check out the Senior Pet FAQ page here.

The AVMA has spent over a century caring for our four-legged friends, and veterinarians can help make sure senior pets spend their later years healthy and happy. In honor of Adopt a Senior Pet Month and the AVMA's 150th Anniversary, consider giving a senior pet a home, and remember to thank hard-working veterinarians for protecting and treating our beloved pets.

For more information about the AVMA's 150th Anniversary, visit www.avma.org.