If you are looking for an assisted living apartment for you or a loved one, the transition can be an emotional one. One of the most worrisome aspects of the transition is wondering whether a beloved dog can accompany you or your relative to the apartment. 

Thankfully, many assisted living apartments accommodate tenants with pets. Apartment policies vary in their pet policies, but you can take steps that will better ensure that the apartment staff and other residents will welcome the new dog.

Is the Dog is Healthy?

All assisted living facilities will require proof that the pet is up-to-date on vaccinations. If you do not have documentation that you can give to the staff, contact the dog's veterinarian for copies. Usually, a rabies tag is insufficient proof that the dog has been inoculated; furthermore, most facilities will require vaccinations against additional diseases, like parvovirus and distemper.

Your chosen assisted living apartment might also request that a veterinarian place the dog on flea, tick, and worm prevention medication. If the dog contracts any of these parasites, the other people and pets in the facility are also at risk.

Is the Dog Obedient?

Before moving in, give the dog a refresher course on manners and obedience. No assisted living apartment will put up with an unruly animal that disturbs other residents or poses a danger. If your dog exhibits common behavioral problems, address these issues before move-in day.

  • Barking. Dogs bark for a variety of reasons; sometimes, barking is welcomed, like when someone knocks. Excessive barking is never welcomed, however, especially in an apartment where residents live close together. Dogs bark out of boredom, anxiety, fear, and aggression; to overcome this problem, you must first identify the reason behind the dog's incessant barking.
  • Destruction. Dogs and puppies alike can wreak havoc on the carpeting, furniture, walls, and doors of an apartment unit. Dogs that destructively chew and tear things usually do so for the same reasons that result in excessive barking, like boredom or anxiety. With enough exercise, confidence, and access to appropriate chew toys, most dogs overcome this problem.
  • Puppy behaviors. Puppies are not automatically born with social skills, but because they are so small and cute, they frequently get away with bad manners. Unfortunately, these puppies grow into adults that retain these bad behaviors. An adult dog that still jumps on people, play bites, exhibits neediness, or bolts out the front door is a frustrating pet to own. Other apartment residents will not be as patient, either, as these behaviors can seriously injure or scare others.

You should also consider teaching the dog some basic obedience commands, like sit, stay, and heel. A well-behaved dog can enhance an assisted living apartment facility and improve the lives of staff members and other residents.