Thanksgiving may be what immediately comes to mind when you think of November, but it’s also Adopt a Senior Pet Month. They’re often overlooked in favor of puppies and kittens, but older animals can make wonderful pets.

According to the American Veterinary Medical Association, dogs and cats are generally considered to be seniors when they reach the age of seven. However, pets’ behaviors at this age (and beyond) can vary widely.

If you’re thinking about giving a senior pet a loving home, there are some things to consider.

One big plus when it comes to older pets is that their characters are typically established. What you see is generally what you’ll get, so it’s easier to tell if their personalities are a good match for you and your lifestyle.

While there are always exceptions, senior animals tend to be calmer. Older dogs and cats may already be house trained, and they probably know some simple commands. This can be a major benefit if you’re interested in having a pet but aren’t able to handle the demands that come with having a puppy or kitten.

That said, there can be some challenges that come with bringing a senior pet into your home.

Because they are already set in their ways, older cats and dogs may take more time to get adjusted to a new living environment. This isn’t always possible, but getting information about the animal’s past life experiences or anxieties can be helpful.

We tend to start developing more health concerns as we age, and it’s the same for our pets. Chronic diseases, arthritis, mobility issues, hearing and vision loss, and cognitive dysfunction are some of the conditions that can affect older animals.

Regular veterinary checkups are particularly vital during their senior years in order to help prevent or reduce the impact of these problems. The dietary needs of pets may change as they get older as well, so you’ll want to work with a veterinarian to determine the right food choices.

The truth is that taking on a pet—whether he’s a two-month-old or a 12-year-old—is a huge responsibility that requires significant time and resources. If you’re ready for the challenge and the rewards of having a pet, consider giving a second chance to an older animal.

Do you already have a senior pet and need a sitter? We at Lazy Days Pet Sitting have experience working with older animals and their unique care needs. Take a look at our services and get in touch to schedule a free consultation.

Disclaimer: The contents of the Lazy Days Pet Sitting Service website and blog are for informational purposes only. None of the material is intended to serve as professional veterinary advice. The provided information cannot be used to diagnose or treat pet health issues.