If I move into a seniors’ living or care home, can I take my pet?

Our pets are often one of the most important parts of our lives. Whether it barks, meows, slithers or blows bubbles, the idea of leaving behind a beloved pet can be heartbreaking. Sometimes, this can mean that a senior avoids making a transition, even when it would otherwise improve their quality of life.

In many cases, however, people who are seeking out seniors’ care options can bring their pet with them. When this is not possible, there may be things that can make the transition easier.

Bringing a pet with you

Independent living is an option for seniors who are confident in their ability to live alone safely, but don’t want to worry about things like home maintenance, housekeeping or cooking.

In many cases, seniors who are moving into independent living are able to bring their pet. Often this comes with the requirement that an animal meets certain specifications of a residence, such as weight or behavioural criteria. The person also has to be able to demonstrate that they can look after the animal properly or has someone who can help them do so. It is also important that the have a plan in place for unexpected health incidents, which may take them away from home.

You can book a tour with an independent living home in your community to learn more about their pet policy.

While less common, some assisted living and care homes also allow residents to bring pets with them.

What if this isn’t possible?

Bringing a pet to a new living arrangement is not always possible. If this is the case, some seniors will have a family member or friend who can adopt their pet, either temporarily or permanently. In other cases the animal will need to be re-homed.

In situations where it is not possible to have your own pet, many seniors’ living or care homes will allow four-legged visitors or will have their own resident pet. If animals are an important part of your life (or the person’s who you are supporting), consider asking the operator the following questions:

  1. Are visits from family member’s pets, okay?
  2. Do therapy animals visit this care home often?
  3. Are there pets who live on site?
  4. Can I help care for the animals that live here?

Browse for pet-friendly options on Route 65.

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