Puppy vs. Adult: The Advantages of Adopting an Adult Dog

Adopting a Family Pet From the PoundWith their adorable Buddha bellies and tiny yips, it makes sense why those looking to adopt make a beeline for puppies. At The Pet Experts at Elmhurst Animal Care Center, we agree that puppies are pretty sweet, but what you may not consider is how much work they can be. That’s why we encourage you to consider adopting an adult dog!

With over 4 million shelter animals across the United States, adopting an older pet just may save a life. Because puppies and kittens are usually the first to find homes, adopting an adult dog is a compassionate decision that can be very impactful…but that’s not the only benefit!

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Keeping Your Senior Pet Safe and Comfortable This Winter

iStock_000043604038_LargeMost of us could live without the cold weather, snow drifts, and icy sidewalks, but these conditions can also threaten the safety and wellbeing of your senior pet.

Due to some of the health challenges commonly faced by older pets, winter seems to hit them especially hard. Difficulties include joint stiffness, arthritis, and other mobility issues, as well as compromised immunity and sensitivity to cold. Continue…

Cataracts and Your Pet

Cataracts are, unfortunately, one of the most common eye problems in pets.  They are opacities in the lens of the eye and can affect any age, species, or breed.  Most cataracts are inherited, but pets with diabetes, trauma to the eye, or other ocular inflammatory diseases can also develop them.

Some cataracts can result in complete blindness.  Many pets do well without any type of treatment, however others develop problems such as glaucoma secondary to the cataracts.  Others may suffer decreased quality of life related to blindness.

There is no way to reverse cataracts, however a surgical procedure can be performed by a veterinary ophthalmologist in which the affected lens is removed.  This procedure, which is quite delicate, involves extensive aftercare.  In the carefully selected patient, however, it can almost completely restore vision.  Consultation with an ophthalmologist can help determine whether your pet might be a good candidate for surgery.

 

November is Adopt a Senior Pet Month!

Here are the top 10 reasons to consider adopting an older pet when making an addition to your family!

  1. Happy Senior DogBy taking home a senior pet you are making a statement- to your friends, your family, and to society, that these lives are valuable too!
  2. An older pet is more likely to already be housebroken. No puppy puddles!
  3. You know what size pet you are getting!
  4. They are ready to go- you can immediately start the fun activities associated with pet ownership like going for walks as they probably can already walk on a leash!
  5. Your love and attention won’t ever go unappreciated.
  6. Because senior pets are usually the last to be adopted and the first to be euthanized in a shelter, you can feel good knowing that you have very likely saved a life.
  7. You will be ensuring your new older pet a comfortable, happy life instead of one in a shelter.
  8. A senior pet is not likely to demand as much attention as a younger animal- by adopting a senior citizen you can finish your cup of coffee in peace!
  9. What you see is what you get.  You can more easily assess temperament, health issues, and other behavior traits in an older pet.
  10. You can go to sleep each night knowing that you have made a good choice.

And remember, bring your newly adopted pet to us for a first exam, parasite check, and rabies shot – all FREE!

 

Aging Gracefully

Senior DogPets often require special attention as they get older.  Here are a few common areas where they may need a little help:

Loss of vision/hearing:

Senior pets may not hear or see as well as they once did.  There is often nothing that can be done about these changes, so we must help them as much as possible.  Do not startle pets that cannot hear or see you coming.  Avoid rearranging furniture and other objects in the household if your pet does not see well.

Difficulty getting around:

Arthritis is a very common problem in the older pet.  There are many ways to help your pet get around, though.  Steps or ramps made can help your senior animal continue to enjoy car rides or sitting in the window.  Your pet may require a softer place to rest.  There are also a variety of medications and treatments that can help with arthritis pain.

Changes in personality:

Older pets may not be as tolerant as they once were simply because they hurt.  Take this into consideration, particularly when they are around small children who may not always be gentle.  Pets can also suffer from a form of dementia known as cognitive dysfunction.  Any major changes in personality indicate the need for an examination by your vet.

Accidents in the house:

Loss of housebreaking may indicate a health problem that should be investigated immediately.

If you’re noticing these or any other changes in your aging pet and would like to discuss his care, please feel free to contact us.