Our fur babies are loyal members of our families, so what happens if someone can no longer care for their fur baby? How can family and friends help to keep them together? 

A common question asked in retirement communities is ‘are you pet friendly?’  Most residences are pet friendly but what a lot of people don’t think about is ‘what are the next steps if I can’t care for my pet anymore?’ 

No matter what stage you are at in life, our cats and dogs are our best friends and family members. Many articles and papers have been written about the bonds between a pet and its owner and there is no argument that separating an owner from its fur baby can be traumatic. Here are some resources available and support systems to help an aging loved one keep their pet as long as possible. 

  1. Find a retirement community that is pet friendly. There are several retirement residences that are pet friendly and allow both cats and dogs. Finding somewhere that allows you to bring your pet can help to increase the amount of time you can keep your pet. One factor to consider is many retirement residences will require the pet owner to be able to care for the pet themselves. If this starts to become an issue there are ways to bring in support. 
  2. Families provide help.  If family members are close by and able to provide support with feeding, walking the pet and changing litter this can help alleviate a lot of the work for the pet owner. To ensure success with this it does require a schedule and for family members to commit to the schedule. 
  3. Hire in help. There are several different companies in and around Ottawa that can provide help with pets from taking them on walks, feeding them and making sure their health is okay. You can hire a dog walker in your area to come a couple of times a day and bring the dog out for exercise. For feeding your pets and cleaning up after them you can consider a home care company to come and help with these tasks. Lastly, there are some mobile vets that will come to your home which makes veterinary check ups easier.
  4. Families consider adopting. Sometimes keeping a pet with an aging loved one doesn’t work out anymore. Having a family member adopt the pet can allow for frequent visits still. If this is not possible there are a few organizations within Ottawa that can help rehome animals.


Need a little extra help taking care of your pet? Or want to discuss how you can bring your pet to a retirement community? Call us at Solva Senior Living and we are more than happy to discuss services and programs to help you or a loved one thrive.