In the state of New Hampshire, some Assisted Living Communities allow seniors to have pets. The most common types of animals allowed are dogs, cats, birds and fish. Communities typically do not allow reptiles as they may carry a number of infectious diseases that can cause serious illness in people.
In Independent and Assisted Living Communities where the residents have their own apartments or suites, dogs and cats are typically allowed. Dogs usually must meet a weight limit. Residents are responsible to have their pet up-to-date on vaccinations, control the noise level and animal must have a friendly temperament towards other residents. Typically residents must be able to physically care for their pet. In addition to feeding, they must be able to walk dogs and scoop litter boxes. Although it is not common, some communities will help take care of a resident’s pet. In some instances, residents may have to purchase an air filter due to odor and to reduce allergens to other residents. If you own or intend to own a pet, it is important that you review the community’s “Pet Policy” before moving in.
Most assisted living programs based within a private residence do not allow dogs or cats due to limited space. Because residents live in such close quarters dogs and cats are considered fall hazards and have a higher probability of affecting other residents with allergies. In addition, it would be unfair to the pet to confine them to a bedroom.
Most Assisted Living Communities and Nursing Homes incorporate pet therapy within their calendar of activities. Although rare, some communities do have a community cat. Most all communities encourage families, friends of residents and staff to visit with pets.