Caring for Senior Pets

Older pets certainly have much to offer in the lives of pet owners, they can be wonderful, life-long companions. There are several benefits to bringing a senior pet into your life, and adoption can provide a senior pet with a second chance for a loving, forever home. West Loop Veterinary Care knows the special care that is necessary for senior pets, and we always strive to provide exceptional patient care. To do so, we offer several special considerations for our senior patients to ensure they live out their mature years with health and happiness.

Adopting a Senior Dog in Chicago, IL

Defining a Senior Pet

A senior dog or cat is one who is around seven years or older, but the size and breed of the pet figure into this. Smaller animals mature slower and become seniors later in life than larger dogs for example, and smaller dogs and cats tend to live longer as well.

West Loop Veterinary Care Considerations for Senior Pets

Whether you already have an elder pet or are considering bringing one into your life, it’s important to know what West Loop Veterinary Care offers to take special care of your senior:

  • Bi-annual Preventative Care Exams – While young pets only need about one annual physical a year, we make ourselves available to our seniors twice a year to make sure we are monitoring the life adjustments and ailments that are common in senior pets.
  • 45-minute Exams – Usually, our veterinarians can only dedicate about 30 minutes to seeing the average adult pet, however, since seniors have so many unique needs, we’ve accommodated our schedules to ensure veterinarians can spend 45 minutes thoroughly examining our seniors.

So, if you already have a sweet senior in your home, make sure you are taking advantage of all that we can offer them! Please give us a call at 312-421-2275, or request an appointment today!

Benefits to Adopting a Senior Pet

Many individuals prefer to adopt puppies and kittens, often not thinking about seniors. Animal shelters are filled with healthy and active senior pets that need good homes, and if you’re thinking about adopting a dog or cat from your local shelter, seniors can make great pets for several reasons.

1. Adopting a Senior Pet Offers a Second Chance

Unfortunately, many shelters are overcrowded and senior pets are among the first to be euthanized if they aren’t adopted within a certain time frame. By adopting a senior dog or cat, you can provide an older companion with a second chance at life.

2. Senior Pets are Often Surrendered by no Fault of their Own

Many older dogs or cats were once owned and loved by someone, and for whatever reasons, they were given up or left behind in a shelter. Senior pets become homeless for many reasons, and sometimes their owners can’t keep them for reasons that may include allergies, a move, a new job, the death of a guardian, a new baby, or various other life changes. Through no fault of their own, these pets are often overlooked in shelters.

3. Senior Pets Can Be Great, Mellow Companions

Senior pets often make great companions in smaller homes or for owners who live less active lives. They live at a slower and quieter pace. Puppies for example are adorable, and they can be little bundles of energy, but not every owner wants to get up in the middle of the night to let out or deal with teething, chewing, and training. An adult pet has grown out of the active puppy or kitten stage and has already established a temperament that will give you an idea of how he will fit into your family. Senior pets have all their adult teeth, resulting in less chewing and destruction to your home. Also, some older pets tend to do well with young children as they have a lower energy level and may have been exposed to children in their past homes.

4. Senior Pets Usually Have Some Training

Most older pets are already house trained or need very little training to adapt to their new homes. Most of them have already lived in another home and usually have had some training behind them. All these dogs and cats need is time to adjust to the routine of your household. And even so, contrary to popular belief, older dogs can be trained, and they are just as smart as younger ones.

5. Senior Pets Have Developed Their Temperament and Personality

Another benefit of adopting a senior pet is that a senior dog or cat has grown both physically and mentally, and although there might be some changes in behavior seen at a shelter, you should know exactly what kind of pet you’re adopting. You’ll be able to see if he likes cats, knows basic commands, does well with children, and how active he is. By adopting a senior pet in Chicago, IL, you can have a good picture of your next best friend and the life you are suited to live together.

6. Some Senior Pets Have Reduced Veterinary Needs

Depending on the pet’s health, seniors do not necessarily need more veterinary care than a puppy or kitten. Older cats and dogs are usually already spayed or neutered, up to date on their vaccinations, and are less susceptible to diseases and viruses that pose a danger to puppies and kittens.

Senior pets can be wonderful companions, and if you want to open your heart and home to an older pet, you will no doubt enjoy years of wonderful canine companionship, fun, and making loving memories. If you have any questions about your senior pet, please give our animal hospital in Chicago, IL a call at 312-421-2275 or request an appointment today!