As you get older, you might be considering a move to an assisted living facility or retirement community. But what does this mean for any of your four-legged friends? If you currently have a faithful companion, be it a dog, cat, bird or anything in between, you surely don’t want to get rid of them. Your pet is part of your family, and you would never leave them behind. Not to worry, we have a few tips to help you find the perfect retirement home for you and your pet.
A pet-friendly home is very important for your long-term happiness. Luckily for pet owners, most assisted living facilities are pet-friendly. However, not all retirement communities are created equal. Finding the right fit for both you and your pet can be tricky. You need to consider the various pet-friendly and human-friendly amenities as well as your overall budget, especially if you’re on a low-income.
Asking the Right Questions
Before agreeing to move in anywhere, you need to ask certain questions in order to avoid confusion with the property owners. Certain places may have weight limits on pets or only allow specific breeds or animals. For example, not all places will be welcoming to your pet snake or your large Pitbull. However, all of this can be negotiated since pets are considered a holistic part of care. Therefore, learning what you can and can’t get away with your pet is important during the questioning period.
Also keep in mind that at certain facilities, it is your right to have a pet. Affordable housing subsidized by the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) must allow pet ownership. So, unless there is a specific ban in the area, a living facility cannot deny access to your pet if they are part of HUD. There are lots of retirement homes to choose from. A website like Seniorly.com can help you sort through all your available options and determine how pet-friendly one place is compared to another.
Your Pet Question Checklist:
- What kind of pets does this facility allow?
- How many pets can I have?
- Does pet size matter?
- Do rooms and have enough space for me and my pet?
- Are we near a park where my pet can exercise and go for walks?
- Do you have pet services such as pet sitters or dog walkers?
- Do I have to pay a pet deposit or any other extra fees?
- Do I need to provide veterinarian documentation?
- Is there a vet nearby?
- If something happens to me, will there be anyone to take care of my pet?