Pet policies at care homes and retirement villages

Category: Caring

As a pet owner, it’s natural to wonder if your beloved pet can come along when you move into a care home or retirement village.

Pet therapy elderly lady stroking kitten

Each Bupa Care Home or Retirement Village have a separate pet policy. Therefore it pays to enquire about it before you decide which new home will suit you and your pet best.

Pets at The Booms Care Home

The Booms Care Home in Thames has a warm and welcoming attitude towards pets, and cats are a common sight around the corridors.

Sharen Landy, The Booms Care Home Manager said, “pets are like family members and often mean more to resident’s than we realise. It helps them feel more settled and the care home becomes more like their own home”.

Currently three resident cats called Cefar, Pumpkin and Puss share a room with their owners. The Booms also have an aquarium, a house cat and dog residing at the care home. At one point, they even had birds and chickens roaming the gardens.

Five things to prepare before you move

1. What to do when you’re not allowed to bring your pet

If the care home or retirement village don’t allow pets, you might be able to arrange ‘visiting rights’. This means that your pet can visit you on a regular basis.

2. Who will make sure the pet gets proper exercise and nourishment?

It’s your responsibility to properly feed, groom and exercise your pet. If you find it difficult to care for your pet yourself, you need to arrange for someone to help you. If you don’t have a friend or family member to help out, an animal sitter might be a good solution for you.

3. How many pets can you bring?

Most care homes or retirement villages only allow one pet per resident. Judy Port, Retirement Village Manager at Tararu Village said "We have a one pet policy and our residents are particularly sensitive towards dogs”. Yet, it might still be worth asking, as it’s up to the manager to decide. One time, Sharen Landy allowed one resident to have a cat and an aquarium.

4. Who will take the pet to the veterinarian if it falls ill?

If you don’t have the ability to take your pet to the veterinarian yourself, it’s important that you have appointed a person to make sure that the pet receives the medical attention it needs. If the worst happens to your pet and you wish to get a new pet, it’s worth knowing that not all places allow this.

5. What is the policy in case something happens to you?

To reduce unnecessary stress and worry to what happens to your pet in case something happens to you, its good to make arrangements beforehand. Appoint someone who will take care of your pet while you are in the hospital or to arrange a more long-term solution if need be. It might also be a good idea to make provisions in your will.

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