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Pet friendly retirement villages

Written by Ryman Healthcare
on May 22, 2024

At Ryman, we believe moving to a retirement village can open the door to a new, richer stage of your life.

For many of us, pets are an important aspect of this stage of life, so taking your furry friend along with you to your new home may be essential.

At Ryman, you are welcome to bring your pet to one of our pet friendly retirement villages if they are suitable. Please reach out to the village manager, they will be happy to discuss the possibility of your fury friend moving into the village.

Once your pet has been approved, it’s just a matter of managing their move. Dogs and cats are creatures of habit, and we understand moving can be stressful for them. This is no different when you’re transitioning them to retirement living, where there are plenty of new faces and areas to become familiar with.

It’s all about patience and understanding during this period, and a few clever strategies can make this next stage of your lives together easier on them. 

Here’s how to make your move into a pet friendly retirement village as seamless as possible:

1. Preparing for the move

Prepare your pets to move to a retirement village in advance. This can be done by familiarising them with:

1. Packing items: Gradually familiarising them with packing items such as empty moving boxes and animal crates. This can help them feel less anxious when these new objects come out during the move.  

2. The new village and surrounding area: If you have a dog, try to take them for a short walk around their new retirement village’s suburb and home prior to moving if possible; let them explore and become familiar with the space. 

Another important thing to remember is to get your pet’s registration and microchip information updated with your new retirement village’s address and contact information. 

2. Keeping calm on moving day

You may want to have your pet stay with a friend or relative for the day or keep them in another room or crate away from the activity of the big day. This should reduce stress and the risk of them escaping.  

3. Maintaining your pet’s routine

Stay consistent with routines such as feeding times and walking schedules, both during and after the move — consistency can help reduce their stress. 

4. Rewarding them with treats

Once you have moved into a pet-friendly retirement village, consider bringing along some special treats for them to have at your new home. This can help to ease their anxiety and build a positive connection to their new environment.

Try hiding treats around their new space to discover and keep them busy. The K9 Natural and Feline Natural treat range is full of nutritious and tasty treats to entice even the pickiest of eaters. 

5. Slowly settling your furry friend into a pet-friendly retirement living

Once everything has been moved, step-by-step introduce your pet to its new surroundings by: 

1. Setting up a designated space with your pet’s belongings such as their bed, toys, and blankets. This provides them with comfort and security that’s familiar.

2. Avoiding freshly washing their bed or blankets. This is because their scent on these is a big source of the comfort for them. 

3. Introducing them to their new surroundings, giving access to one room at a time so the space feels less daunting, particularly for cats who can easily be overwhelmed by new spaces.  

Tips for moving with cats


It is recommended to avoid giving cats access to the outdoors for at least two weeks as they’ve been known to attempt to wander back to their old home and surroundings. They typically adjust to their new surroundings after this time, although every cat is different. 

It is important to note that many councils in Victoria, including Monash, Whitehorse, Bayside and Greater Geelong, have curfews which require cats to be inside homes between dusk and dawn. Remember to research local laws before allowing your cat to leave the house.

Tips for moving with dogs

Be sure to check your new retirement village home is fully fenced without any hidden gaps before letting them explore outdoors at dog-friendly retirement villages. Allow them to sniff around and take in the space and take them on regular walks around the retirement community to get them familiar with all the new sounds and smells.  

Bev and Jon Stills 3-3840x2160-cd463bc

Keeping these tips in mind for your dog can help them settle into the retirement village quickly and make a lot of new friends. Pets can be a great excuse to start up a conversation with other people in the community. You can take them for a walk around the village to get to know some of the other residents.

You can get to know the other residents by attending pet-friendly social events. There are regular dog walks at many of our villages, including this one at our Deborah Cheetham Retirement Village in Ocean Grove:

Contact us about finding a pet-friendly retirement village near you

Ready to learn more about our pet-friendly retirement villages? At Ryman Healthcare we have a range of retirement living options, suitable for you and your pet.

Reach out to our team to find out more about how we can support you and your pet’s move to one of our vibrant villages. 

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