Adopting Adult Pets

When considering getting a new pet, we often think of bringing home a puppy or kitten. However, adult pets are just as loveable and can sometimes even be a better fit.

Dr. Christine Rutter, clinical assistant professor at the Texas A&M College of Veterinary Medicine & Biomedical Sciences, explained the advantages of adopting an older animal.

“Adult pets are typically not as motivated to destroy property, such as shoes, blinds, and furniture,” Rutter said. “Adult pets are often already housebroken or take to housebreaking quickly, which saves the rugs and carpeting.”

In addition, adult pets are less likely to break the bank. Depending on the health status of the adult pet when it is adopted, it is possible that caring for adult pets is less expensive than puppies or kittens.

“Juvenile pets need a series of vaccinations, deworming treatments, and may even need to be spayed or neutered,” Rutter said. “Just like people, young animals are also more susceptible to infections and viruses, which can land them in the veterinarian’s office. The cost of these services add up.”

However, older pets also can come with their own challenges. Rutter said it’s common for adult pets in shelters to have a range of special needs, from simple fixes to complex treatments.

“It’s always important to have a veterinarian evaluate any new pet and perform a routine health screening,” Rutter said. “A veterinarian can also assess the approximate age of an adult pet and make recommendations for follow-up intervention and care, if needed.”

As you should with any pet, be sure to look for signs of illness at home. Any weight loss, excessive drinking or urination, decreased appetite, pain, or chronic diarrhea or vomiting should be reported to a veterinarian.

While each animal is different, caring for an adult pet may be an easier experience than raising a puppy or kitten. If you are considering adopting a pet, be sure to give an adult pet a chance.

Pet Talk is a service of the Texas A&M College of Veterinary Medicine & Biomedical Sciences.