There’s no age limit on being a pet parent, and if anything, having a pet can be even more essential to the well-being of seniors. Yet many senior pet owners run into challenges, especially when it comes to moving into assisted living. If you or a loved one is about to make this change, you can rest assured knowing that there are pet-friendly assisted living communities to be found. Some are more pet-friendly than others, though, so you’ll want to make sure you find the right one.
Questions to Ask
When you’re looking into assisted living communities, the first thing to ask is what their pet policies are. Even communities that allow pets will likely have some restrictions regarding the number and type of pets you can bring with you. Some may even have certain breed restrictions. Besides asking about pet policies, it’s worth digging a little deeper to get a better feel for what life is really like in the community - for both you and your pets.
Just because pets are allowed doesn’t make a community pet friendly. To get a better idea of their pet friendliness, be sure to ask these questions of staff members and even current residents.
- How many other residents have pets? If you have a cat that’s a loner, this may not be a concern. However, as Animal Wellness Magazine explains, dogs are social by nature, which means many are happiest when they have playmates. Being able to play with other dogs is also a great way to ensure your pup gets plenty of exercise.
- Do they provide pet services? Some communities simply allow pets, while others go above and beyond by providing resources to keep you and your pets happy. For example, it has become popular for senior living communities to have dog parks, some of which even have dog park equipment to enhance your pooch’s play time. They may also have staff that can help with pet care, or a concierge who can connect you with services like vets or a dog walker.
Making a Plan for Pet Care
There’s an adjustment period any time you move to a new home, and this goes for both you and your pet. Besides the initial adjustment, it’s also important for seniors to be aware of safety issues and how physical limitations might impact your pet. The great thing is that there are all kinds of gadgets and other solutions that can make caring for your pet easier and safer.
- Less-Mess Litter Solutions: We love the evolution of easier-to-use litter boxes, especially the sifting litter box models. These litter boxes make cleanup less messy, not to mention less smelly, which leaves both you and your cat happier. You can find a variety of sifting litter boxes on the market, so be sure to look for one that’s well-rated that also fits your budget.
- Dog Puzzle Toys: A busy dog is a happy dog, but it can be hard for anyone to keep their four-legged friend entertained all the time, which is why dog puzzle toys are so useful! These can be hard treats that dogs chew, toys that are filled with treats, or even non-treat toys that hold a dog’s interest by giving him a brain challenge.
- Unique Solutions for Pet Problems: Pets give us lots of joy, but caring for them isn’t always smooth sailing. That’s why we love Family Handyman’s easy pet care solutions to common problems. For example, if ants find your pet’s food bowl appetizing, try setting the food bowl inside a shallow tray of water to ward off the ants.
These are just a few of the many solutions you can find for all kinds of pet care issues. When other problems arise, there’s almost always an answer out there - whether online, from your vet, or even other pet parents. Making these changes and moving to assisted living may be an adjustment for you both, but with the right resources, there’s no reason why you can’t continue enjoying each other’s company in your new home.
Guest post by James Hall
Photo credit: Pixabay