Thinking about adopting a senior dog? Yay for you (and boo to anyone who dumps their older dog at a shelter)!
There are many benefits to adopting an older dog. Unlike their younger brethren, seniors are usually calmer and better behaved. Despite these qualities, they have a harder time finding forever homes. In fact, the vast majority of dogs adopted from shelters are younger than a year old, according to the ASPCA.
To help raise awareness of older dogs (and cats) needing forever homes, National Adopt a Senior Pet Month is observed every November. And to help more of these pets get adopted this month, the pet food company Stella & Chewy’s has pledged $25,000 to pay the fees for dogs and cats over four years old adopted from shelters and rescues across the United States. The company is also providing adopters with a free bag of pet food.
The Wisconsin-based company is named after founder Marie Moody’s dogs Stella and Chewy, who she adopted as seniors. So far this month, Stella & Chewy’s has paid for at least 35 senior pet adoptions, its website reports. If you’re rescuing a senior dog or cat (again, yay for you!), you can fill out an adoption reimbursement form online.
These are some of the benefits of adopting a senior dog, according to the ASPCA:
- Older dogs are easier to train. It’s likely that they’ve already been potty-trained and know some basic commands.
- You’ll instantly know the dog’s full-grown size and activity level, so it’s easy to determine if they’ll be a good fit for your lifestyle.
- Senior dogs don’t have teething issues and probably won’t destroy your belongings.
- Even if a dog spent years with their previous owner, they will quickly bond with you. “In fact, owners often easily form bonds with older pets due to the animals’ typically calmer dispositions, their familiarity with home environments, their experience dealing with other animals, and previous training,” notes the ASPCA.
Many thanks to Stella & Chewys for helping to get older pets adopted. Hopefully they’ll inspire other pet-related companies to do the same, so even more of these dogs can find the loving homes they deserve.