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Old Dogs Can Learn New Tricks
Date:11/13/2007

JEFFERSONVILLE, Ind., Nov. 13 /PRNewswire/ -- Animal shelters house abandoned older pets, who spend their last days watching people pass by in favor of younger, playful puppies and kittens.

November is Adopt-a-Senior-Pet Month and is dedicated to the life these older pets have left to live and the fulfillment they can bring to the right owner.

"There are a lot of misconceptions about why these animals have been surrendered," said Brent Hinton, former Kentucky Humane Society director and current PetFirst Healthcare CEO. "Most end up in shelters because their previous owner's lifestyle changed, not because the animal has medical or behavioral problems."

Hinton said senior pets make great companions and may be better suited to some pet owners' lifestyles than younger, more demanding animals.

For example, senior pets:

-- Are already litter or housetrained

-- Understand "no"

-- Settle in easily and become instant companions

-- Are loving and grateful to have been given a second chance

-- Have already developed a personality

-- Are accustomed to schedules and do not need nighttime feedings,

comforting or bathroom breaks

"Older pets have a lot to offer," Hinton said. "But it is important to remember they may need more medical supervision than younger pets."

Pet insurance policies can reimburse pet owners for veterinary expenses, and PetFirst's rates do not fluctuate based on a pet's age.

Hinton suggests these tips for keeping older pets healthy:

-- Establish a relationship with your veterinarian and maintain regular

visits

-- Research symptoms of conditions common to older pets and alert your vet

if any arise

-- Do not overfeed your pet; obesity can create health problems and

shorten your pet's life

-- Make sure your pet receives adequate exercise that reflects its ability

-- Use flea and tick control

Although senior pets are often overlooked, Hinton said they can be ideal for households with young children and pet owners who do not have the time necessary for younger animals.

About PetFirst Healthcare

PetFirst Healthcare is a privately owned pet insurance company based in Jeffersonville, Ind. Underwritten by an A-rated insurance carrier and available nationwide, PetFirst provides affordable and reliable coverage for dog and cat medical expenses along with fast and effective claims processing. For more information about individual and family plans and pricing, visit http://www.petfirst.com or call 1-866-937-PETS.


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SOURCE PetFirst Healthcare
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