The Best Tips for Finding a Pet-Friendly Senior Living Community
Owning a pet provides numerous health benefits when you’re a senior. Not only do pets offer companionship, but they also help you stay active and even benefit your mental health. If you already own a pet, the thought of separating from him when you move to a senior community can be heartbreaking. Luckily, more and more assisted living facilities will allow pets for senior residents. If you want to take your companion with you on the next step in your journey, learn what you should consider in the sections below.
What Makes a Community Pet-Friendly?
First and foremost, you will want to check
whether a senior living community has a pet policy in place. You can call local assisted living facilities directly for more information. Alternatively, A Place for Mom also offers this comprehensive list of facilities that reportedly accept pets.
If you have a service animal or an emotional support animal (ESA), keep in mind that the rules are a little different. Under the Fair Housing Act, which protects the rights of those who own service animals or ESAs, you can often bring your pet with you even if a community does not have a policy in place.
While many senior living complexes accept pets, some will be better suited than others. If you have a pet that stays indoors or in a cage all the time, you don’t have to think too much about pet-friendly amenities in the area. With a dog, on the other hand, there’s a bit more to consider.
Since you’ll be taking your pooch out for walks and other activities, it’s important to think about the neighborhood’s suitability for dog ownership. Ideally, the neighborhood will have dog-friendly indicators such as safe places to walk and open space nearby to play.
What Pets Are Best for a Senior Community?
Some senior living facilities accept a wide range of pets. However, it’s more common for a community to restrict certain animals based on their size, weight or breed. SeniorHousingNet points out that you may also need to pay a deposit before you can bring your pet with you. The amount of your deposit may depend on the type of animal you have.
If you currently own a pet, it’s important to consider how he will adjust to life in a new home. Smaller pets will usually be better suited for life in an assisted living facility, as they naturally need less space to live happily. Even if your new community accepts large dogs, your companion might feel cramped in a small living space.
Despite your best efforts, it’s sometimes not possible to bring a pet with you to a senior living community. In such cases, there are several options for rehoming your pet so he can live with another family.
How to Get Settled With Your Pet
Most of the time, transitioning to senior living with a pet is easier if you have owned the pet for a while before moving. Not only will your pet adjust better if he’s already comfortable with you, but it’ll also be easier to settle into life at your new place if you don’t have to worry about training your pet and establishing a routine for the first time.
Upon moving, you will also have to think about your pet’s veterinary needs. For example, it’s usually necessary to show proof that your pet’s vaccinations are up-to-date before you can move in.
You’ll also want to make sure your pet is comfortable in his new home. A snug dog bed can make sleeping easier for your pup. If you’re a cat owner, a self-cleaning litter box can make for simple cleanup, and a cat water fountain can give your feline continuous access to better-tasting and purer water.