Older animals may fit into your home better and more easily than untrained, undisciplined babies, however appealing. And older pets have plenty of character and love to share. So when you’re adopting, be sure to consider these three advantages of a mature animal.
1. You can get to know the animal’s character ahead of time.
You can’t know what a baby animal’s friendliness, energy level, or trainability will be — you can only influence these things. But you can really get to know older animals beforehand by learning their history and spending time with them.
This is helpful when fitting an animal into a family with children. Or you may need a docile animal who doesn’t mind sleeping while you’re at work and won’t jump on visitors. An older, sleepy cat is less likely to kill birds or scamper out into a busy street. On the other hand, many older animals are still frisky and up for games, if that’s what you’re looking for.
2. You can choose an animal with the training you want.
Your pet will depend on you for everything. That can be a tall order. Animals not only have to be house trained, they have to adapt to your family and their routine.
But if you’re short on time you can select an animal who is already well disciplined. You may need a pet who is crate trained, or one who won’t chew or claw the furniture. If you require more specialized skills or a certain breed, an older animal can be cheaper. My mother got a fully trained guard dog at a significant discount because the dog was being retired from breeding. Well-trained older animals can help you avoid problems and get the most out of living with a pet right from the start.
3. You’re doing an extra-good deed.
Despite the advantages of older animals, they are less likely to be adopted than their cute young counterparts. Some of them may have handicaps or health conditions that further reduce their chances. But at least you can find out about these before you adopt. And when you do bring an older animal home, you know that without you your pet might never have known love. It may be my imagination, but I believe the older animals we have adopted have been extra grateful, extra wonderful pets.