The 5 surprising truths about senior pets

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A cat, that would benefit from cat insurance, sits on a table.

By: Chryssa Rich
For Pets Best Insurance

No one can deny the joy puppies and kittens bring. Even before I started working for a pet insurance company, I always loved animals. I can’t think of anything cuter than a tiny ball of fur running like crazy around the house and falling asleep in your arms. But most pet owners know how much work a young pet can be, and that’s why some adopt older pets instead.

When you hear the term “senior pet”, you may think of a frail pet who is half blind and can hardly walk. But that’s not the case! In fact, cats and small breed dogs are considered seniors at just 9 years old, and larger breed dogs become seniors as early as age 6. My mother-daughter cats are 9 and 8, and they run, play, chase toys and snooze in the sun just like when they were younger.

Furthermore, there’s no reason to assume an older pet is damaged or defective in any way. They typically end up in shelters because their owners passed away, moved to a non-pet friendly rental, were deployed overseas, welcomed a new baby into the family, or even developed pet allergies.

Before Adopt a Senior Pet Month comes to an end, I encourage you to consider adopting an older pet the next time you’re looking to add to your family. Here are some advantages to doing so:

1. They’re Housebroken and Litter Box Trained
When you adopt an older pet, you almost never have to worry about housebreaking or litter box training. You’ll have fewer accidents to clean up and fewer lunch breaks demanding you to run home.

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2. No Size Surprises
When you adopt a puppy, especially a mixed breed, it can be anyone’s guess how big he or she will get. With senior pets, what you see is what you get. There’s no chance that Lab mix you wanted for hunting will only grow to 20 pounds or that supposed Boxer mix will turn out to be a Mastiff mix.

3. They Let You Sleep
Kittens love to run through the house at night and wake you at 2 AM to play. Puppies being crate trained can whimper for hours and sometimes need a potty break in the middle of the night. All this can lead to quite a few sleepless weeks – even more if your kitten is extra active or your puppy’s bladder takes a while to catch up with his body.

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4. The Dangerous Curious Phase has Passed
Puppies and kittens explore their worlds and cure boredom with their mouths. This can mean frequent trips to the vet for things like foreign object ingestion and accidental poisoning, and both puppies and kittens have been known to destroy furniture, electrical cables and clothing by chewing. While pet health insurance can help with the costs of these vet trips, the number will likely be diminished if you adopt a more mature pet who is less curious.

5. They’re Less Demanding
Mature cats and dogs who have already bonded with humans are more likely to be content just hanging around the house with you. Senior dogs don’t need hours of play every day like younger dogs, and senior cats may be perfectly happy staying indoors and out of trouble.

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As with any pet adoption, look into dog and cat insurance as soon as possible. The earlier coverage begins, the better the odds your pet will be protected before developing a pre-existing condition. Pets Best Insurance is one of the only pet insurance companies with no upper age limits for pets, and no canceled or reduced coverage based your pet’s age.

For more information about pet health and pet insurance, visit Pets Best Insurance.

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