Senior Pets

Fortunately, during COVID, shelters are nearly empty. We know that many people have more time, and more time means saving an animal. Dogs, cats, chickens, and guinea pigs found homes and are living their best lives. 
What about senior animals? How many seniors are finding forever homes? There are many benefits to adopting seniors. Here are five reasons. 

  1. Did you know that senior pets are great candidates for seniors? Senior pets are typically slower and don’t have all that puppy energy. It’s an excellent match for someone elderly that wants a companion; they don’t have to take on long hikes. 
  2. Seniors are typically less destructive, so if you live in an apartment or a home with a small yard, the right pet will be a perfect fit!
  3. Old dogs can learn new tricks. Don’t think Fido can’t learn some additional skills just because they’re older. In fact, seniors typically already know how to sit and even stay. 
  4. A senior pet’s health is transparent, and your vet can work with you on any health issues that need to be addressed. With a puppy, you never know what the future will bring. 
  5. Seniors are so grateful to have a family. They will tell you with their eyes and hearts how much they appreciate you bringing them into your home. 

The owner of Salty’s Pet Supply, Fang! Pet & Garden Supply, and Three Paws Neighborhood Pet Supply recently adopted a senior dog from The Pixie Project in Portland, Ore. She also adopted a senior cat, Smokey, from Multnomah County Animal Shelter. 

Here’s their story, and Nancy Fedelem answers some critical questions too and explains why adopting a senior pet should be on the top of your list!

Meet Reggie!

Cute Reggie!

Reggie “Hot Potato” Howl is a14-year-old min-pin, weighs 4.5 pounds, and has no teeth. He became part of our family at the beginning of COVID from the Pixie Project. He’s fully enjoying his retirement.

Here’s Smokey!

Sweet Smokey!

Smokey “Razor Paws” Howl is a 10-year-old gray domestic shorthair cat. She was adopted from Multnomah County Animal Shelter in December 2019 after spending over a month at the shelter because her lifelong owner unfortunately was moved into hospice care. The shelter environment was not to her liking; however, she’s enjoying being the queen of her new castle. 

Q & A with Nancy Fedelem

What are the benefits of bringing home a senior dog or cat? 

Adopting a senior animal has so many benefits, no kitten or puppy craziness, they just want a place to relax and enjoy their golden years. Senior pets still have lots of joy and love to add to a family it’s more about quality than quantity of time together. 

Why do they make great pets? 

I think sometimes people assume that older pets are not any fun, but that’s where they are wrong. Older pets have a great personality and traits like any younger pet. They want treats, to play with toys, and love spending time with their people. In fact, they might be even better because they don’t get bored when you binge-watch TV. They cuddle in and ask “where’s the popcorn?” as they drift off for a nap.

Tell me about Reggie and Smokey!

For both Reggie and Smokey I knew they would be a great fit the second I saw their pictures online. Smokey’s eye spoke to my soul and I knew she would do well in our home. She would be the only cat in a quiet house and has the entire upstairs as her domain, perfect for her to decompress and grieve the loss of her owner that loved her very much for the last 10 years. When I met her in person at the shelter she purred and head-butted my hand, ate a treat, and hissed at me…. She’s still doing all those things but has added cuddling, and storytelling to the list. She a very talkative cat and is enjoying her new home. 

I have a soft spot in my heart for min pins. Reggie found himself down on his luck and spent a night at the shelter before heading into a foster home. Luckily I am friends with his foster mom on social media and saw her post about him… I sent her a message and we set a time to meet the next day and he came home with us. The only requirement was that he could get along with our two other dogs and he did. He’s been a breath of fresh air during a pandemic, he’s a joker and an expert at enjoying everything, plus he’s so cute he breaks your heart.  

Did Reggie come with ‘manners’?

Reggie came with some great manners. He is potty trained! He has a bark and body cue to let me know he needs to go outside, it just took him a few weeks to train me.  He knows how to sit but we don’t ask him to because his knees are bad. He is mostly deaf so I’m guessing he knows a lot of other commands but I haven’t figured out the right way to communicate them yet. He knows to come when waved at and to wait at stairs because he’s too small to go up or down them himself.  He also knows how to demand you pet him by putting his head under your hand and has the cutest “Reggie” dance when he’s excited or wants to be picked up.  It’s really fun to discover everything he knows. Every day he does something new that shows just how smart he is and that he was loved at his last home.

What’s the best thing about adopting a senior? 

One of the best things about adopting a senior pet is knowing they are going to have an amazing retirement. Dog beds everywhere, treats, and lots of cuddles and love. Things happen in life and sometimes pets need to find a new home. Senior pets often have a hard time finding those homes. Adopting a senior pet helps the shelter system save more animals. I wish we had a bigger house because I would be happy to adopt more of them.