Senior Pets can be just as lovable as their younger counterparts. However, they are often neglected and not considered when people go to the shelters to adopt. In particular, senior cats and dogs are overlooked: young kittens and puppies are valued for their cuteness and longer life expectancy. Dogs and cats tend to age faster than humans, so perhaps deep down, we try to get the most years of them by adopting them when they are young.

However, there might be an elderly animal in your local shelter, with perhaps just as much love to give. They may not have many years on their side, but their experience, as they may have received from a previous home, gives them a great deal of charm.

They might need a little extra care, but that doesn't mean that they don't deserve to live their golden years in a loving home.

Ending up in a shelter after many years in a home can be especially traumatic for older animals. Abandoned pets tend to appear more aloof and shy, but can prove themselves to be just as devoted and loving, if given the chance.

An older pet might be the right addition to your home. November is 'National Adopt a Senior Pet' month and this article aims to bring awareness and shed light on the care and love that these animals need, just as much as the younger ones. Plus, there are a number of benefits and advantages to consider when adopting a senior pet.

They make great company for senior citizens

If you're lonely and need some company, a senior pet might be the best choice for you. As a senior citizen, you might be dealing with some form of physical pain. A 2012 study in Pain Magazine found that therapy dogs provided “significant reduction in pain and emotional distress for chronic pain patients.” In addition to pain relief, senior pets can bring feelings of joy and happiness, just by looking into their wise eyes.

As a pet owner, you'll have to make sure that your pets are fed, walked, played with and groomed. This can help seniors stick to a routine, provide a sense of purpose, and keep their minds sharp.

What you see is what you get

Unlike a puppy or kitten who will go through many developmental changes, an older animal has an established temperament.

For example, if you are an active person, perhaps you would be better suited to a cat or dog who is more independent and less clingy. Shelters, foster parents and previous owners can give you a good idea of whether the animal is the right fit for you or not. In addition to this, because a senior pet is already fully grown, you won't have to worry about it becoming too big for you to manage or to fit in your already existing space.

They are less destructive

Younger pets are always curious and unpredictable. Kittens scale and shred curtains while puppies chew on slippers and just about anything they could sink their teeth into! However, most older adoptive pets are well past the terrible 'destroy and rebel' phases.

Older animals have already been there, done that.

This facebook post shows an example of what owners of young cats know too well.

They are are already trained

An older cat would already be trained to use the litter box, while an elderly dog might already understand when you want it to sit. Older dogs are more attentive than puppies, and they more eager to please their owners.

They can teach younger pets

Older pets are more experienced and have reached a level of maturity that younger pets are yet to achieve. They can even act as surrogate parents for younger pets. In the YouTube video shown below, you can see how 'Grandpa Mason' teaches manners to the foster kittens and how to be a cat.