This website is a practical resource designed to provide and generate knowledge. Content includes pet friendly policies, guidelines and models for providers and listings of pet–friendly aged care facilities for older pet owners.

Information and resources have been gathered as part of the
Positive Ageing in the Company of Animals Project
undertaken by Animal Welfare League Australia (AWLA).

Our survey of residential and retirement villages across Australia has gathered data and working models to support the inclusion of pets in aged care settings.
So far, more than 90 per cent of respondents have rated access to pets as very or vitally important for residents. We thank those who have already shared their knowledge and experiences and invite all aged care providers to complete the survey
by clicking the link below.

Take the Survey

When you get older, all that seems to happen is you have to give up things - work, home, mobility, health, loved ones and friends. This program allows our residents to hang on to something - their pet - which is usually their best friend and they can bring them with them during this scary and emotional period in their lives.

Raeleen, Kingscliffe NSW

Be Pet–Friendly

Pets decrease feelings of loneliness and isolation, increase social interaction and provide purpose and meaning to residents lives. Directors of successful pet–friendly facilities have stated that benefits to residents and staff when pets are accessible and well managed should not be underestimated.

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We see the benefits for the pet owner as they quickly become engaged with other residents and staff as they introduce their pet. The benefits spread to other residents and also’s a relaxing and happy moment in time when you stop to pat or cuddle a pet.

Bernadette, Kingscliffe, NSW

How to
Be Pet–Friendly

Whether it be residents’ own live-in pets, shared facility pets or visiting pets, success depends on a strong commitment to ensuring the well-being of pets and people, effective communication and informed policies and guidelines.

Feedback from the aged care sector supports the view that pets in aged-care settings is not a one size fits all situation. Blanket rules are often not fair or compassionate. Case-by-case assessment is important for the well-being of residents, pets and staff.

There are successful pet-friendly models already operating in facilities. Issues are managed through consultation and commitment. Nothing is seen as insurmountable because the effort is rewarded with happier residents who are easier to care for.

Click the link below to access policies, procedures, care plans, guidelines and other resources for achieving a pet-friendly retirement or residential facility.

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Issues can be managed, nothing is insurmountable... the benefits to residents and staff when pets are accessible and well managed should not be underestimated.

Lyndoch Living, Warnambool

There is extra work in caring for pets, but we have seen much benefit for our residents, particularly those with dementia or those who would otherwise feel isolated and lonely.

Facility Postcode 4114


Click the link below for further details on in-home support services for older pet owners, mobile vets, training opportunities, animal adoption and the pets in aged care on-line forum.

If you have further information on any of these topics, please share your information with us here so content can be updated.

Contacts and Links