There’s no right or wrong way to pick your next addition to the family. When it comes to adopting a pet, you’re saving a life and opening space for another loved one in the process. But have you considered the pros and cons of adopting young, adult, or senior pets in the selection process? You might find the ultimate match by thinking about age instead of just breed, sex, or size.
Bringing Home a Kitten or Puppy
Nothing is cuter than a new puppy or kitten – so bright eyed, fluffy, and smelling of puppy or kitten breath. In some cases, it’s a blank slate for a new home to rear and train, but they can be a lot of work.
Cute! Omg! So cute!!
Fewer bad habits to break or unlearn
Might be easier to socialize with kids or other pets
Did I mention how cute they are?
In most cases, they’ll be eligible for pet insurance with no pre-existing conditions
You’ll know their medical and behavioral history from a pretty young age
Bigger cost associated with vaccinations, spaying/neutering, training classes, toys, and accessories as they grow
More training needed
They need more attention and potty breaks
Expect more things to get ruined. Accidents, chewing, and scratching are much more likely in young or adolescent pets
Can be scratchy and nippy, which is sometimes a risk for kids or the elderly
You might not get a clear picture of what they’ll look like as an adult. It’s impossible to predict their size, personality, how much they’ll shed, etc.
Adopting a Senior Pet
Senior pets are generally harder to place than their younger counterparts, but that doesn’t make them less special. When you adopt an adult or senior, you’re giving a second chance to a pet that might change your home and life for the better.
More easy going with less exercise needs
More likely to be potty trained and less likely to chew or destroy furniture
Might have already been trained to follow basic commands and can be less distracted during training
Often socialized to more people and situations
So snuggly! You can count on a senior pet to stay on your warm lap longer
What you see is what you get: temperament and personality are apparent, letting you pick the right demeanor to suit you
Shorter term commitment for those with lots of life changes coming along
Might come with some bad habits or you might need to help them unlearn behaviors you don’t appreciate
Might need more potty breaks or assistance with mobility
More likely to incur veterinary costs earlier into the relationship. (These may or may not be covered by insurance, depending on when you got them covered and when the issue became apparent.)
You won’t have as much time with them
If you find yourself liking elements of both young and senior pets, consider an adult dog or cat. Animals over the age of one or two tend to have the best of both worlds. Give it some thought and time and the right pet will manage to find you when you’re ready.