Have you been considering the addition of a four-legged loved one to your family? Are you already pouring over images of plump little puppies and pint-size kittens that have you ready to make a dash to your local animal shelter? For many of us, puppies and kittens are irresistible, but like any potential pet, what is right for one family or adopter may not be right for another. Puppies and kittens have a ton of energy and require signifi cant attention and training. They can make wonderful pets for someone who can make the time commitment, but they are not the only option for those seeking a loving companion. November is ‘Adopt a Senior Pet Month’ and in case you’ve never considered bringing home an adult, we want to encourage you to give these loving animals a second look. Many people are reluctant to adopt a senior but it’s important to remember that the word senior in the animal welfare world can refer to dogs and cats seven years and up, and most seven-year-old dogs and cats don’t display any behavior one would associate with slowing down. Senior pets are often vibrant, healthy and active, and most have long lives ahead of them. Those that are a little older and not as energetic can actually make the best companions of all. Many of us lead incredibly busy and hectic lives, and as much as we love our pets, the idea of returning home after an exhausting day to a young pet that has been sedentary for eight hours and is ready to climb the walls, can be less than ideal. All dogs and cats require some activity and socialization, but young pets require the most. Puppies and kittens can have boundless energy, and if they are not expending it with you in a healthy way, they can easily become destructive. Many pieces of furniture and clothing have become innocent casualties of a young pet’s boredom. In contrast, older pets would love nothing more than to spend a large chunk of the day cuddling beside you. They can still enjoy playtime or a brisk walk but they are just as happy to keep you company while you read or watch your favorite television show. Additionally, many senior pets have already learned the ropes of family living. They are often housetrained, and have mastered all their commands so they don’t require much in the way of training. While many people assume that senior pets are the ideal match for seniors, older animals can also be an excellent choice for a home with children. Senior pets are gentle and tolerant, and can make loving, patient, safe companions for kids of all ages. There are thousands of loving senior dogs and cats available for adoption at shelters throughout the United States, and this November, Bideawee is giving adopters an additional incentive by waiving the adoption fee on all animals seven years and older. To views a full list of Bideawee’s available animals, please visit www.bideawee.org/adopt Melissa Treuman is director of communications at Bideawee.