Pets and Senior Housing


Note: This post first appeared at

Pets are an important parts of our lives, and no one wants to leave Spot or Tabby behind when moving into a retirement community.  However, more and more communities are realizing that attracting residents means allowing them to keep their pets.  If you’re hunting for a retirement community, here are some things to keep in mind regarding your precious fur baby:

Ask if they allow pets. It sounds silly, but don’t delay moving into a retirement community just because you’re worried you might have to give up an animal.  It’s not uncommon to see a dog or cat (or even a bird!) in an assisted living or memory care community.  Having animals around helps calm residents and create an inviting atmosphere, so don’t be afraid to ask about a community’s pet policy.

Ask about their policies regarding pet deposits, noise, and pet waste removal.  If they do allow pets, they probably have some policy related to how management handles pets.  You don’t want any surprises after moving in, so make sure that you’ve read up on their policies and procedures.

Ask about their policies regarding orphaned pets.  If something happens to you, what happens to your animals?  In most cases, the animal will go to your next of kin or someone that you request.  However, you’ll need to confirm this before moving in so that your priceless pup doesn’t end up living with someone you wouldn’t approve of.

While having a pet at a retirement community isn’t extremely common, it’s becoming more mainstream.  If you want to bring your animal with you, then make sure that you have a thorough understanding of how the community handles pets and its policies related to their care.