This is How to Find the Perfect Home for You and Your Dog
Choosing a new home is exciting, and it is important that you make sure your potential new home will be a good fit for each family member, including your dog. Choosing a home that has enough room for him and is in a dog-friendly neighborhood is a must so that you and your dog are happy and comfortable from move-in day and beyond.
1. Find a Pet-Friendly Realtor
Most people rely on realtors to find the right home for their families. Choose a pet-friendly real estate agent who knows about the pet ordinances in your prospective new city in addition to the homeowner’s or condo association’s rules for your potential new home. Pet Friendly Realtors will consider your requested pet amenities when searching for a new home and will understand the importance of finding a neighborhood that welcomes dogs and allows homeowners to erect fences or dog runs to keep their dogs safe.
2. Does the Home Have Enough Space for Your Dog?
People often make sure that homes have plenty of bedrooms and bathrooms to accommodate their family, but you also need to make sure that your prospective new home has plenty of space for your dog, too. Smaller homes or condos are not ideal for large-breed dogs like Great Danes or high-energy dogs like Border Collies and Dachshunds.
If you do have a high-energy dog, you also need to make sure that your new home has a large yard or is situated close to a dog-friendly park. Walking one of these energetic dogs a few times a day will not give him the amount of mental and physical stimulation he needs, and he may resort to chewing or getting into other kinds of mischief in a new home that does not give him room to run and play.
In addition to checking the home’s square footage, assess its layout and determine whether it will make your pet comfortable. Some dogs are happy when they can see out windows while the family is away, so you should consider a home with windows near floor level. If you have an older dog who has difficulty climbing stairs or avoiding accidents in the house, make sure there is adequate space for him and his crate on the first floor and that the flooring can withstand his accidents.
3. Is the Neighborhood Dog-Friendly?
When you have a short list of potential homes, visit the neighborhoods with your dog. Are there clear, spacious walking areas removed from high-traffic areas? How many walking paths welcome dogs near your prospective home? Is there a dog-friendly park nearby? When you walk him through the neighborhood, do loose dogs come running to you and cause a problem? Are neighbors happy to see you walking your dog, or do they tell you to stay off their lawn?
Getting a feel for the neighborhood with your dog is one of the best ways to determine whether an area will be a good fit for your family. You won’t know whether you and your dog will be comfortable there until you give it a test run.
4. Acclimating Your Dog to Your New Home
After you find the perfect home for you and your dog, acclimate him to make the transition as smooth as possible. Everyone will be stressed, and your dog may be overwhelmed and unsure if you don’t help him through the process. Visiting the neighborhood is a good first step. You also should gradually pack for the move and make sure you keep his favorite toy and dish handy on moving day.
Pet-proof the house as much as possible before move-in day to ensure his health and safety while you are preoccupied with the chaos of the move. Place his bed, toys, and water and food dishes in his area as soon as possible to signal he is home and give him a familiar place to stay comfortable. Remain patient with him until he is comfortable, and don’t overwhelm him with a parade of new neighbors until he settles in for a few days.
With some forethought, you can find the perfect home for you and your dog. Start by working with a pet-friendly realtor. Then, make sure potential homes have enough space for your dog and are in dog-friendly neighborhoods. When you’re ready to move in, acclimate your dog and make the transition smooth for him.