Yappy Hours A Feature Of Assisted Living Centers in Florida

Photo: Courtesy Carlisle Naples Assisted Living Community
Photo: Courtesy Carlisle Naples Assisted Living Community

While Yappy Hours are typically found at hotels and bars, a retirement community in South Florida has jumped on the 4-legged trend.

At The Palace Coral Gables,  a Yappy Hour is held monthly as part of the luxurious rental community’s activities.

Organized by the community’s social director, Pam Parker, Yappy Hour is one of the most anticipated monthly get-togethers for The Palace’s dog owners. The humans love the opportunity to mix and mingle while their pooches explore their fellow canines.

Wine and finger-food is served while Fido is given special treats. Parker takes pictures of the pets with their owners and each person receives a memento as well as bag of dog treat favors.

Knowing their potential customer would not relocate without a beloved pet, The Palace adapted a pet policy and requires a nonrefundable deposit of $500 for pet owners moving to the community.

At The Carlisle Naples, a luxury independent living community in Southwest Florida, the pet policy allows dogs up to 25 pounds with the stipulation that a resident is able to provide care. The community’s amenities include a dog park and about 20 residents have dogs, mostly Shih Tzus and Lhasa Apsos.

“With the growing number of seniors owning pets, senior communities recognize the changing needs of resident pet owners,” explains senior housing marketing consultant Janis Ehlers. “Whether it’s Yappy Hour, dog parks or mobile vets and grooming, when communities want to be competitive, they have to provide services.”

Dogs play a vital role in their owner’s life and Shirlye Jacobs of Estero, Fla. will not even consider a community that wouldn’t allow for her dog, Daisy, who she adopted two years ago.

“Wherever I move, my dog has to go too,” she said. “My life would be empty without Daisy. I exercise more and have made many friends at our local dog park.”

Recognizing that residents may want to adopt a dog was incorporated into Sandwood Village’s “Welcome Waggin” event.

Theerancee Schmidt, field market manager for the 55+ community in Naples, said the community has invited Collier County Domestic Animal Services and Naples Humane Society to bring dogs for residents to adopt.

Senior living communities that acknowledge their residents and pets share a common bond are well on their way to staying ahead of the game.