← Back to Blog

We offer pet-friendly independent senior living

Senior man with small dog sitting in a park.

Pets bring a lot of comfort and joy to our lives. They greet us at the door with enthusiasm, cheer us up when we’re feeling blue, and give us a reason to get out of bed in the morning (that food bowl isn’t going to fill itself!). In return, we give them a loving home, feed and care for them, and lavish our furry friends with love and attention.

At Atlantic Shores, we cherish the special bond that residents have with their pets. Our pet-friendly policy encourages residents to bring their pets with them or to adopt a pet after they move in. And you don’t have to own a pet to have the pleasure of interacting with animals at Atlantic Shores. Tucker, our therapy dog, can often be found in the fitness center, encouraging residents to work that little bit harder. Our assisted living and memory care areas are also visited regularly by the SPCA “canine crew,” allowing those residents there to enjoy animal companionship without the responsibilities of owning a dog.

Finding special occasions to show our appreciation for our animal friends isn’t difficult with the number of pet-themed holidays every month. August is no exception, here are three to take note of:

  •   August 8: International Cat Day
  •   August 10: Spoil Your Dog Day
  •   August 26: National Dog Day

The benefits of pet ownership

Nearly half of all U.S. households have a pet, with dogs and cats remaining the most popular choices. According to a national poll, pets can boost healthy aging for older adults. The research shows pets can lower blood pressure, reduce stress, raise blood oxytocin levels, and, in some cases, may reduce direct pain. Owning a dog may even help you live longer. Here are five reasons why pet ownership is so good for us.

Calmness: Snuggling with a pet raises the level of “feel good” hormones such as serotonin and oxytocin in our bodies. These natural chemicals promote feelings of calm and relaxation.  

Daily exercise: You just move more when you have a pet. Dogs and cats need activity and play to stay healthy. Getting up to let a pet out or in, cleaning up after them, playing fetch — all these movements are forms of mild exercise.

Companionship: Pets love us unconditionally. They’re companions who don’t care how old we are, what we look like, or what we can or can’t do. This bond we rely on deeply affects our happiness and outlook.

Purpose: Caring for an animal creates a predictable routine. Feeding, walking, grooming, play — these activities are rooted in the here and now. They help us focus on the moment, instead of dwelling on the past or future.  

Connection: Life can be isolating as you age, but the majority of pet owners feel pets make them more sociable. This is certainly true of our senior living community in Virginia Beach, where our residents love showing off their pets and sharing photos and stories about them. 

We welcome your pet!

When you choose Atlantic Shores, you can be confident your pet will love it here as much as you do. Our pet-friendly independent senior living community offers an exceptional lifestyle for more than 600 residents and their animal companions.

Many of our residences feature a private balcony, patio or deck where you and your pet can enjoy fresh air and sunshine. And you’ll have fun exploring our walkable campus with its paths by landscaped gardens and ponds, and nature trails around Lake Redwing. Our central location also puts you within reach of everything in Virginia Beach your pets need to live well. Contact us — we’d love to show you and your pet around!