Planning a move to a retirement villa is an exciting time. You'll have a new home, new leisure activities, and plenty of opportunities to make new friends. However, if you already share your home with a furry friend or two, you'll need to ask some important questions before you move in. While most retirement villages are pet-friendly, the policy on pets can vary from location to location. Getting all the information you need before moving ensures you won't be hit with any upsetting surprises.
What's the Pet Policy?
The first thing you'll want to do is ask for a copy of the pet policy for the villa you're considering. Some older villages may have a strict 'no pets' rule, but that's uncommon nowadays. What's more likely is a policy that allows certain pets at the discretion of the village manager, or limits certain types of animal but allows others. For example, a lazy cat might be fine, while a large, boisterous puppy might not be allowed. A well-behaved pet could be no issue, while one with behavioral issues might be unwelcome. Read the policy carefully and be sure to ask questions if anything isn't clear.
Can You Discuss Your Pet with the Manager?
Even if the pet policy seems perfect, having a quick chat with the manager about your pet is a good idea. You'll be able to ask questions about points that might not have been clear, like, "Can I get a second cat after I move in?", or, "Is it okay to keep my pet's kennel in the communal garden area?" If the manager has any concerns about your pet, you should be able to allay their fears. You can also ask questions about other residents with pets, and the challenges they might have faced.
Is There Enough Outdoor Space for the Pet?
Once you're sure your pet is allowed, you'll need to make sure that your new home is suitable for them. For cats, a safe, secure garden away from main roads is essential. For dogs, you'll want to make sure there's plenty of space to walk and exercise them nearby. For animals which live outside, like rabbits, you'll want to make sure there's space for a hutch and run. Ground-floor accommodation is usually best for pets that need outdoor access.
Moving to a retirement villa is a great adventure for you and your pet. Make sure everything runs smoothly for both of you by asking these important questions before you move in.