Things to consider when adopting a pet later in life

Adopting a pet at any age brings companionship to a family, but for seniors who may live alone, adopting a pet can be a lifesaver for both the human and their furry four-legged friend.

According to the ASPCA, many of the shelters operating nationwide are independent organizations, and there is no reliable means of tabulating just how many dogs enter their shelters every year. However, that number is estimated to be around 5 to 7 million. 

Approximately 3 to 4 million are euthanized, and only 15 to 20 percent are returned to their owners due to microchip or tag identification. The National Council on Pet Population Study and Policy says most of the pets are euthanized simply because there is no one available to adopt them.

Consider the following information when searching for a new companion animal:

Save a life

There may be no better incentive for adoption than knowing you are saving a dog that would probably be on its way to being euthanized. You are also saving the life of another animal that can then fit into the shelter and get a chance for a forever home.

Save money

Purchasing a pet can cost a substantial amount of money. Depending on the breed, some dogs can cost hundreds or even thousands of dollars. When adopting a pet, fees help shelters mitigate the cost of feeding, housing and health care for shelter animals.

Get a healthy dog

Some dogs at shelters do have special care requirements, but the majority of them are healthy. The shelter will have a veterinarian examine and treat the dogs, helping to ensure you start out your life together on a healthy note.

Get a dog that’s already trained

Shelters house animals of all age groups. If a house-trained pet is desired or one that has learned some commands, you may be in luck.

Get a pet that is already socialized

Having spent some time in a shelter interacting with other animals and people may offer a measure of socialization to the pets.