Australia is a nation of pet owners. Close to two thirds of Australians have at least one pet and almost half of us are dog owners. When we consider downsizing and retirement living, it’s a given that we want to take our much-loved furry friends with us. While older retirement communities often had a no pets policy, these days most retirement communities allow pets however it is worth doing your research as some ‘pet-friendly villages’ are friendlier than others!
At Blueheath at The Bower, a retirement village in Medowie, Port Stephens, pets of all shapes and sizes are welcomed. David Kelly, Blueheath Operations Manager comments, “The general consensus at Blueheath is that pets make our lives better. They are an integral part of the lives of our residents and our community”. Kelly advises any pet owner (or would-be pet owner) considering a move to a retirement village or lifestyle community, to review the specifics of the pet policy. Some communities describe themselves as pet-friendly however they place restrictions on the size and breed of pets (eg. allowing only small dogs) while others will allow you to move in with a current pet, but they may have a rule that prevents you from getting a new, or replacement, pet in the future. Blueheath’s policy does not restrict pet ownership but does have common sense guidelines to support and encourage responsible and respectful pet ownership.
Blueheath resident and dog owner Garry McKittrick has enjoyed getting to know fellow residents’ pets and loves seeing the sense of community
they inspire as residents chat while walking their dogs, “Moving to Blueheath has been a great move for us. We wouldn’t have even considered
it if the village wasn’t pet-friendly. My walks with Jayco helped me settle in very quickly - I’d met most of my neighbours within a few