Tag: dementia care pets

Are Pets Allowed in Retirement Homes?

Will you have to abandon your pet once you move to the retirement home? Pets make for great companions. No one wishes to part with them, especially people moving into retirement facilities.

The process of doing so is isolating enough. If people don’t find retirement homes that allow them to keep pets, their precious animals are sent to the pound without anyone to care for them. We understand that you and your loved one will be anxious in these circumstances.

Fortunately, you don’t have to abandon your beloved pet. The article and this website are good resources for pet-friendly assisted living communities.

Communities That Allow To Keep Pets

Yes, there are 55+ local communities that allow residents to keep pets. These places include retirement homes, assisted living facilities, and continuing care retirement homes.

Rules For Keeping Pets

If you want to keep your pet with you in the retirement home, you need to follow a specific set of rules. These rules apply to the staff as well as the residents.

  1. Your pets should be hygienic. They should have regular baths and their nails groomed.
  2. Cleaning products for the animals should be restricted to reduce the spread of disease.
  3. All residents and personnel are to follow regular hand hygiene before and after contact with the pet.
  4. In case of visitation, animals should be kept on a leash.
  5. Pets are not allowed in the kitchen, dining room, storage areas.
  6. Cleaning of the animal dwellings is to be carried out by designated employees and not residents.
  7. Pets are not allowed to drink toilet water. Instead, clean drinking water should be available to all animals.
  8. Animal food containers are not to be stored along with human food.
  9. Animals should be bathed in a separate utility sink, not in sinks used for human purposes.
  10. If an animal shows signs of sickness, it will be immediately removed from the premises and returned after symptoms have disappeared.
  11. Animals should only be served with commercially prepared food. They are not to be served raw meat and live insects or animals.
  12. Noise complaints must not be filed against your pet.

Failure to follow any of these rules can lead to the eviction of your pet.

Types Of Pets Allowed

Although pet-friendly assisted living communities do have rules and policies as to what kind are allowed on the retirement home grounds. Any high-risk animals such as spiders, reptiles, and amphibians are not allowed in retirement homes. Exotic pets are also not allowed. Certain dog breeds like pitbulls, are also prohibited

They can be specific breeds or a general “no attack type” ban on pet breeds. These animals carry more disease-causing agents compared to others.

Additionally, all your pets must be at least one year old. You should also be able to produce adequate vaccination proof for your pet. They need to have up-to-date rabies vaccination before moving in. Annual health help-ups have also been made compulsory.

Some facilities also limit the size of pets. All facilities require your pet to be home-trained. They should have known behaviors and should not display any aggressive behaviors. For this reason, pets should have at least spent a period of six months in the owner’s home.

Some communities also limit the number of pets allowed per person to usually one or two. You may also be required to pay an additional refundable deposit for bringing your pet to the retirement facility. Make sure to ask for the specific rules and policies for the facility you are moving into.

Factors To Look For When Choosing A Pet-Friendly Facility

Although 75 percent of senior facilities allow residents to keep pets, you still need to look at certain things before you move in. Doing so will ensure comfort for both you and your pet.

Consider you have enough space for you and your pet. You don’t want to be cramped up in a tight space. Check if the place offers a place for your pets to get their dose of exercise. This is especially important if your pet happens to be a pet.

You should also check if the facility offers any pet care services like pet sitters, dog walkers, and cleaners. Also, make sure that there’s a veterinary clinic near your facility. You don’t want to take a long drive when your pet feels sick.

Benefits Of Pets in Retirement Homes

Keeping pets for seniors in retirement homes and continuing care retirement centers poses a lot of benefits for the elderly. Below, you will find a brief description of the said benefits.

1.    Better Mood

Keeping a pet improves the overall mood of the owner. Studies have shown that having a pet significantly lowers anxiety and stress in people. Pets signal the production of serotonin in the body which largely accounts for the reduced stress levels.

Additionally, pets ward off depression. You’ll also find your loved one in a better and happier mood. A pet also gives them more confidence to move about in public and hence better self-esteem.

2.    Improved Physical Health

Pet ownership also affects your physical health. Most of the time, owners are required to walk their pets or engage in some sort of physical activity with them to keep their pets active. Doing so gives seniors a reason to get out of bed and allows them to get some light exercise.

Additionally, keeping a pet has been known to reduce cholesterol levels as well lower blood pressure levels in people. Thus, lowering the overall risk of heart disease. It’s also been known to reduce the risk of arthritis.

3.    Better Social Life

Pets improve your social life. People generally tend to approach pet owners and spark conversations regarding their pets. After all, pets make for great icebreakers. Seniors can also bond with other pet owners when out walking their pets

This is greatly important for the retired and the elderly, who could otherwise be lonely in these facilities. Keeping a pet not only gives them a 24/7 companion but allows them to build new bonds with the people around them.


Pets are incredibly precious to a lot of people. Many of us cannot imagine living without them. Fortunately, we do not have to part with them because many retirement homes allow residents to keep pets, as long as rules and policies are rejected.

Pets provide many benefits physical and  psychological benefits for the elderly.


-Article written by Johny Kershaws