Many active adults are animal lovers and research has shown that the love of a pet can enhance a person’s physical and emotional happiness. Yet those who are considering moving to an active adult community often worry about the potential restrictions on pets, particularly when it comes to dogs. While it is important to find out about a specific community’s rules before moving in, animal lovers will be relieved to know that there are many pet-friendly active adult communities throughout the country.
Know the Community Restrictions
In most active adult communities there are few restrictions when it comes to owning a pet, particularly for those who live in single-family homes. Those who live in attached homes—such as townhomes, duplexes, or attached villas—are often allowed to own pets as well, though there may be additional restrictions.
Regardless of home type, some communities may limit the number of pets in each home. For example, a community may limit each homeowner to a maximum of two dogs or two cats.
Apartment-style condominiums (whether garden or high-rise) are more likely to have pet restrictions. Some buildings limit dogs to those that weigh under 25-pounds, and others may not allow dogs or cats at all. Apartment buildings frequently limit the number of pets as well and may have additional rules in place to deal with "problem animals," such as aggressive dogs or those that bark excessively.
Read the Rules
Even pet-friendly active adult communities will often have some rules regarding pets, particularly when it comes to bringing dogs out into the community. It is common for communities to have rules that say dogs must be on a leash and only turned loose in a fenced-in yard or in a community dog park. This is both for the safety of other residents and for the safety of your pet.
Active adult communities also commonly have rules about cleaning up after your dog when taking it out for walks. Failure to follow these rules could result in fines or other disciplinary actions.
Meet Me at the Dog Park
Many pet-friendly active adult communities feature their own dog parks. These fenced-in areas allow dogs to run off the leash and their owners to mingle with their fellow animal-lovers. Dog parks come in many varieties and the better ones usually offer separate areas for small-, medium- and large-sized dogs. A community dog park will have its own rules and regulations to keep things running smoothly, and failure to follow the rules could result in being banned from the park.
Communities to Consider
Just a few of the active adult communities that offer their own dog parks include SaddleBrooke in Arizona, Del Webb Naples in Florida, Sun City Shadow Hills in California, Village at Deaton Creek in Georgia, and Ardiente in Nevada. Here is a list of even more pet-friendly communities to consider.
When researching communities, remember that the rules are in place to help residents get along. Don’t let stories of overly restrictive communities keep you from considering an active adult community, but do research a particular community’s rules before moving in. There are many pet-friendly active adult communities that will be happy to welcome both you and your four-legged friends.