Making Room for Pets in Your Active Lifeby Emily on July 1st, 2018
When your best pal has fur, feathers or maybe even scales, you have a buddy who will reward you greatly you for taking them into your home. In return for seeing to their daily needs, pets can encourage us to exercise, provide us with purpose and even function as social lubricants, making it easier to make new friends. If you have an animal companion or are thinking about adopting one, we’ve got some tips to help you make room for pets in your active lifestyle.
Finding a Pet-Friendly Home
Nearly 70% of US households have a pet and a lot of those folks are what the demographic charts call “seniors.” That’s why Taylor Morrison offers homes with companion-animal amenities to many of our new communities, including those for active adults 55+, that make them pet-friendly havens for senior living.
Pet Washing Stations
The older we get, the harder it is to wrestle a dog into the bathtub, especially a dog that hides out when he hears the water running. Imagine how much easier bathing a pooch of any size can be with a built-in washing station. You can see one in the Fowler model home at Heritage at Vizcaya, a new community in Round Rock, TX.
A Built-In Doggie Den
Dogs (and some cats) love to have their own private hideout where they can feel safe from rambunctious grandchildren and other home invaders. The model home at Esplanade at Highland Ranch in Clermont, FL, shows how an unused cupboard can be converted to doggie den. In this case, the designers used the laundry room, but the space under a stairway, or a little-used linen closet would work as well.
There’s nothing better than a safe space just for dogs to romp and run (with owner supervision, of course). Finding it can be challenging unless you live in one of the many Taylor Morrison communities that offer Bark Parks. Along with allowing your dog to socialize, a Bark Park is a great place to meet neighbors who share your love of dogs.
Social Spaces for You and Your Pet
This is among the many things that sets Taylor Morrison 55+ communities apart. The Clubhouse can be an ideal spot for meet-ups with fellow pet parents to arrange play dates and exchange tips about food, treats, vets, groomers and more.
Best 55+ Pets
The best pets for seniors are those that fits their lifestyle. But here are some special considerations if you’re thinking about adding a companion animal to your 55+ home:
- Is a golden retriever the right dog for your golden years? Sure, if you have the time and energy. Dogs, even little ones, need daily walks. They’re also pack animals who want to be part of your pack, not stuck alone in a garage or a yard all day. If you travel a lot and can’t take your dog with you, you’ll need to arrange for a reliable walker/sitter, or be prepared to foot the hefty boarding bill. And, when nature calls, your dog can’t pick up after itself. Think about that before you open your home to a 150-pound Great Dane.
- Cats don’t need to be walked, bathed or groomed (except for regular brushing and claw trims). They don’t much mind being left alone, either, as long as there’s fresh food and clean water. Even so, don’t go off for days on end without arranging for human care. Kittens can be destructive and downright wild, so think about adopting a senior kitty who will be purr-fectly happy with a soft lap to nap on.
- Rabbits, gerbils, hamsters and even rats can be great companions when you’re short on space. Just know that every animal has special needs and special considerations. Rodent types like to gnaw things, for instance. That can include your antique table and their cage door.
- Birds are ideal pets for seniors and many species are quite companionable. Some can be trained to do tricks and even talk. Just be aware that they do have special diet, health and environmental needs.
- Fish and reptiles are also wonderful choices for people with limited space. No, you can’t cuddle up with a chameleon or walk your Tetra. But they can be fascinating to watch. They are not low-maintenance, however. Tanks and terrariums need to be kept scrupulously clean.
The Pet Bill of Rights
You’re a pet lover, so you know your buddy has the right to a safe environment, a quality diet and fresh, clean water. But here are some other things every pet is entitled to in a truly pet-friendly home:
- Regular wellness checkups with the vet. Just like us, pets need annual or even semi-annual visits to their doctor. Having a pet insurance plan that covers wellness can help with costs.
- Microchipping. This is an inexpensive, effective way to ensure a lost pet can be reunited with its owner.
- Grooming. Needs will differ depending on the breed or species, but don’t overlook it. Lack of proper, regular grooming can lead to health problems.
- Playtime. Maybe not so much for fish and reptiles, but most species derive big benefits from regular play. The exercise keeps them toned and healthy. But play also provides mental stimulation that keeps your pal from growing bored, anxious or depressed. In short, play makes your pet happy and tired, and a tired, happy pet is less likely to engage in destructive behaviors.
- A Forever Home. Many animals end up in shelters when their owners pass away. Make arrangements in your will for the care of your beloved pet.
We’re Pet People, Too
At Taylor Morrison we know that for many of you homeownership and pet ownership go hand and hand. We’ve got that covered. Find more pet-friendly communities with an active, vibrant lifestyle that reinvents the concept of “retirement community” at Living.TaylorMorrison.com.