Always ask whether your pet is allowed before considering to move into a retirement scheme
An increasing number of retirement schemes are allow people to bring their pets – that might be a faithful dog, a doted-upon cat or even a friendly budgie or two
There are so many benefits to having a pet as you get older – from providing company to helping you maintain a healthy lifestyle and even boosting your self-esteem.
Caring for a pet gives a sense of purpose and structure to the day, while allowing the opportunity for an older person to remain in a caring and nurturing role. Pets can even act as social catalysts, enabling better person-to-person interactions.
If you are the owner of a much-loved pet then one of the first questions you are going to want to ask before considering moving to a retirement scheme is whether they will be able to come with you.
Most properties now allow pets
The good news is that an increasing number of retirement schemes are allowing people to bring their pets – that might be a faithful dog, a doted-upon cat or even a friendly budgie or two.
A pet makes for a wonderful icebreaker when you first move in. After all, who can resist stopping to pet a friendly dog and having a chat with the owner? While musing over the night-time escapades of a pet cat can make a great talking point with neighbours.
There are a few things you need to consider however, when purchasing in a retirement scheme. It might be pet-friendly, but you need to make sure that you’re going to move into a property where your pet will be able to live comfortably alongside you too.
You should also check that there is a veterinary surgery close by. If you have a dog, then access to an outdoor area where they can stretch their legs in between walks is a must. You’ll also need to make sure you have enough space indoors for their basket, toys and bowls.
How to help pets settle in your new home
Don’t worry if they seem unsettled for a while after the move – remember, they need to adjust to the sights and sounds of this new environment as much as you do.
The big worry when it comes to cats is whether they will try to make their way home to your old property, or get lost in their new environment. But if you think ahead, these issues shouldn’t be a problem.
One trick to help them settle in is to furnish your new home with their scent, even before you move in. Over several days, take a soft cotton cloth and rub it gently around their face then dab this cloth around your new property at cat height, so that your pet feels at home and bonds quickly with the territory.
It is important that your cat stays confined to the property for two to four weeks, because this will allow them time to get used to and “know” their new home before they start exploring the surrounding area.
Make sure they have some form of identification (the type of collar that snaps open is the safest) with your name, new address and contact phone number in, and it’s a good idea to get them microchipped if they aren’t already.