Pet friendly aged care accommodation. Can I take my pet?

What happens to my ‘pet’ or companion animal when i move into aged care accommodation?

As our population ages, many older people will find themselves moving from their family home to aged communities. Sometimes, this can mean companion animals such as dogs and cats get left behind, as the new living arrangements (i.e. retirement village or aged care facility) do not permit ‘personal pets’ (or pet ownership). At this time of our life, it can be quite distressing for older people (myself included) to be forced to relinquish their ‘buddy’ because of insensitive policies that lack an understanding of the human-animal bond. Pet ownership in an aged care setting refers to the residents ‘pet’ living on-site with the ‘owner’.

Are you an aged care provider wanting to be ‘pet-friendly’ but don’t known where to start? Download our ‘Checklist for Aged Care Providers: inclusion of ‘personal pets”.

Are you an aged care provider considering the introduction of ‘personal pets’ or pet ownership, but not sure where to start. Please download Balancing Act Adelaides Checklist for Aged Care Providers: Inclusion of ‘personal pets’ or pet ownership in aged care facilities (September 2021) to set you in the right direction. The Checklist includes:

  • pet policy
  • pet application and pet agreement
  • health check and assessment
  • design and built environment
  • ongoing care and management
  • support ‘pet’ services.

The checklist can be downloaded here (PDF) or via the Resources page/housing design and pets on this website. This checklist was first posted on the Animal Welfare League of Australia’s (AWLA) Positive Ageing in the Company of Animals/How to be pet friendly website (2014).