Old age is not a disease!

By Patricia Durocher • 10 August 2020

Here’s a riddle: which type of animal is the most difficult to adopt, despite being well-behaved and healthy?

Older animals!

We receive animals from a few weeks old to 20 years old at the shelter, but it’s definitely the older ones that have the most difficulty finding a family.

By the way, how old is old? Well, the answer is very different for each person, but we find that animals over 5 years old are much less popular and stay at the shelter much longer. Yet many dogs can live for 10 to 15 years, and cats for 15 to 20. They’ve got dozens of great years ahead of them!

It’s time to demystify the preconceived ideas we have about older animals.

  1. They will never be able to adapt to a new environment. FALSE. Animals have an incredible capacity to adapt. For some, they may just need a little more time.
  2. I won’t be able to educate him in my own way. FALSE. Animals learn throughout their lives. Patience and good training techniques are essential.
  3. He’s more likely to get sick. FALSE. Animals can be just as sick at 2 months as they are at 10 years, and the immune systems of puppies and kittens are much more fragile. An animal with a healthy lifestyle (good food, doctor’s appointments, exercise) can live a very long life.

In short, older pets are just like any other, with advantages!

  1. They are often already clean and educated.
  2. Most will be more subdued and require less supervision than a kitten climbing the curtains or a puppy nibbling shoes. There’s no better companion for watching TV or taking a nap!
  3. They have their final size. No nasty surprises like when the supposed Labrador puppy ends up being the size of a Great Dane as an adult.
  4. Their temperament is already established. It will be much easier for an adoption agent to recommend an animal that really suits your lifestyle when you choose an adult. The puppy’s and kitten’s character will evolve enormously, and a box of surprises awaits you.
  5. You really make all the difference for his animals. While kittens and puppies leave in a flash, the older ones wait patiently. They’ll be really grateful if you give them this chance.

In short, her animals are perfect for adopters:

  • Having little experience with animals
  • With little time for education
  • Wishing to make a less long-term commitment
  • Wanting to make a difference in the life of an animal


Even though old age generally frightens us all, it’s a beautiful stage of life and shouldn’t be considered an illness. As the saying goes, to be old is only to be young for longer than others.


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