Moving With a Pet: Questions to Ask a Senior Living Community

A senior woman sits with her dog at a senior living community

A main concern for a senior who is considering a move to a senior living community is losing his or her pet. This shouldn’t be a reason for worry as many residences are accepting and even encouraging pet ownership if you are able to care for it yourself. If you are looking to make the move to independent living and planning to take your four-legged friend with you, finding a community that allows pets can be a major factor in your decision.

Benefits of Pets for Seniors

As more senior living communities are allowing pets, they are recognizing that animals can be the best medicine for its residents. They realize that seniors are happier and feel safer when their pets are around. Other benefits of seniors having a pet include:

  • Staying active – Taking a pet out for a walk can keep you on the move.
  • Depression deterrent – Having a pet to take care of gives seniors a purpose and can help ward off depression.
  • Better mental health – A pet can reduce stress and loneliness.
  • Make new friends – Having a pet can lead to new friendships with other pet owners.
  • Protection – An animal, especially a dog, can provide an added layer of protection if living alone or if a stranger approaches.

Questions to Ask Each Facility

Each senior living community will have its own rules for pets, so it’s important to check with each one individually before making a final decision on your future home. Some won’t allow pets at all and others may allow them with various restrictions. Use this list of questions to learn if a facility is the right one for you and your pet:

  1. Do you allow pets?
  2. Are there any restrictions on the types of pets or breeds?
  3. How many pets do you allow one person to own?
  4. Are there safe spaces available for walking or playing with a pet?
  5. What are the requirements for collars and leashes?
  6. Is there a pet deposit required?
  7. Are rooms large enough for a pet?
  8. Are there convenient areas to take your pet to the bathroom?
  9. Do you have any pet age or training requirements?
  10. What are the vaccination requirements?
  11. Does your facility offer any pet services such as grooming?

Considerations Before the Move

In addition to figuring out if a community will fit your lifestyle and your pet, you need to go ask yourself a few questions before making your final decision. The new living space will need to be a good fit for your furry friend.

  • Do you think there enough space for your pet?
  • Will it be okay if confined mostly indoors?
  • Can you care for your pet by yourself? For example, if your health and mobility decline, do you have a plan on who could help you care for it?
  • Can you afford your pet? Pet ownership can be expensive, especially when added to the costs of a senior living center. Be sure your budget can handle all of these expenses.
  • If you have a large dog it could be more difficult to find a community that allows big animals. This means you might have to expand your search or sacrifice things like location and price to find the right place for you and your pet.1

Life With Your Pet at Advent Christian Village

Finding a senior living community that fits your needs and lifestyle is a serious choice, especially if you have to consider the best one for your pet as well. Advent Christian Village welcomes and encourages its residents to bring their furry friends with them. Here you will find a variety of living options for you and your pet. Contact us today to learn more about our pet policies and to schedule a visit.


  1. Assisted Living for Seniors with Pets. www.caring.com. (accessed Jan 22 2019).
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