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Seniors with chronic medical conditions and limited mobility can often enjoy a higher quality of life at an assisted living facility. However, seniors with pets may be hesitant to relocate to assisted living. According to the Chopra Center, owning a pet can help relieve stress and even improve your heart health, and plenty of seniors also find that having a pet around wards off loneliness. Some people assume that assisted living facilities will not accept their furry friends, and the idea of saying goodbye to their animal companion feels unacceptable.

However, this is just a misconception. Pet-friendly assisted living facilities are a valid housing option for seniors. Here’s a step-by-step guide to finding an assisted living community that will welcome you and your pet with open arms, from guest author, Nick Burton:

Start Your Search Online

 As you begin your search for the perfect assisted living facility, it doesn’t hurt to ask around for recommendations. But if you want to bring your pet, you’ll probably need to do some additional research online. Relying solely on word of mouth may not point you in the right direction.

 Search for key terms, and then check out the websites for affordable communities that interest you for further information on their pet ownership policies. Some facilities will have breed and size restrictions for pets; others may charge pet owners additional fees.

 Make sure you consider your own needs as well. You want to ensure that you’ll have access to the amenities you need. DailyCaring recommends asking about the staff-to-resident ratio, social activities, and the medical care available on-site.

 Remember that if you have a medical issue that requires round-the-clock care, assisted living is unlikely to meet your needs. In this case, a nursing facility will be the best fit. These facilities employ skilled medical professionals who can monitor your health and well-being. If you’re looking for a skilled nursing facility in your area, check reviews and research pricing before scheduling a tour. 

Tour in Person


Before you decide that a facility will be the perfect home for you and your pet, it’s smart to check out a few different assisted living communities in person. During these tours, you’ll have the opportunity to personally ask the staff about pet ownership at the facility. If you think you will need assistance to care for your pet, see if the facility offers these services. You’ll also get the chance to see what your living space would look like and determine whether it would be comfortable for your pet. What’s more, you may even get to talk to some resident pet owners about their experiences.

Taking Care of Your Pet

 Once you’ve made your final decision and scheduled your move, you’ll need to ensure that you have all the supplies your pet will need. They will likely feel a little confused and anxious in a new environment, but having all of their old toys and gear in place will help ease the transition and make it easier for you to care for them.

 You might want to consider purchasing some useful new equipment as well, especially pet supplies that will help you keep your space clean. For example, if you have a cat, cleaning up can be smelly and unpleasant, but getting a sifting litter box can help limit messes. Find a quality, budget-friendly option with positive customer reviews. Ideally, you’ll want to purchase one that is simple to set up and use.


Get Settled In

 Now that you and your pet are all moved in, it’s time to help them adjust to their new life. You should aim to get into a regular routine with your pet as soon as possible. Try to stick with consistent feeding times, and keep plenty of treats on hand to reward them for good behavior!

It’s crucial that your pet gets used to the presence of healthcare professionals and other staff in your living space, so be patient while they learn to trust these strangers. Take them to explore different areas of the community so that they can learn more about their surroundings.

 Moving into an assisted living facility does not have to mean rehoming your beloved pet. Today, there are plenty of communities that will allow you to bring your pet with you. When you find the right facility, you and your pet can begin this new chapter of your life together.


Nick Burton is the co-creator of Our Best Doggo. He is a proud parent to three rescue dogs, together with his wife, Mary. When they lost their oldest dog, Willie, a 15-year old lab/terrier mix, the couple decided to create a website where they can share all types of dog information to help people cope with mourning the loss of a furbaby. Visit them at Our Best Doggo


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