Your dog is part of the family, so it makes sense to start home shopping with your pooch in mind. Many home buyers seek features that make every member of the family happy, including their four-legged kids. Here are some tips to help with your home buying venture.
Features to Consider
When looking at potential homes, keep in mind the flooring which will best suit you and your dog. Many pet owners prefer hard surfaces underfoot. HGTV recommends tile as a top choice. It’s durable, easy to clean, and resists stains. Hardwood flooring is lovely but may not stand up as well to toenails, and naturally porous surfaces such as brick, stone, or marble may stain. Carpeting is the least preferable choice since it traps odors and pet hair. It is also the hardest to clean and the easiest to stain.
If your dog will be going in and out of the house to the yard a lot, consider what area will be subject to that wear and tear. Some dogs like to play in the mud or tend to bring in briars; you might like a space to clean Fido up before he wanders through the rest of the house. Some entryways and mud rooms will lend themselves well to the task, offering great layouts and flooring. Other homes might provide a perfect spot outside for grooming your dog.
Look at the layout of the house and think about how much living space your dog will need, both inside and outside. Some dogs are little couch potatoes and other dogs love to stretch their legs in the great outdoors. Experts suggest not only considering whether the yard is fenced, but how much of it your dog needs to burn off energy and stay entertained. When weather isn’t agreeable, will your dog be too cooped up inside? Some dogs find navigating stairs difficult, especially in their golden years. Will you have trouble carrying your dog up and down levels? Is the porch or deck a suitable place for Fido to hang out with the family?
Be sure to check on rules and regulations of potential homes. If a property you are considering is part of a homeowners association or is a managed condominium, there may be restrictions on pets or fencing, or it may involve additional fees. Some authorities suggest that if you are looking into a dog-friendly condo, you might prefer a lower level. You wouldn’t need to navigate stairs or elevators, and some offer fenced patios to keep your pooch contained.
Box Up Your Things
When you find that perfect property and it’s time to get packing, the AARP recommends that you prepare your dog as much as possible. Establish a schedule and stick to it throughout the process; feed, walk, and snuggle at the same times every day, then carry that routine into the new home.
Keep your dog’s personal things, such as bedding, toys, bowls and leash, so that those items will be familiar in the new place. Set them up in similar locations to where they were in the old home so your dog can find them easily.
Throughout the move, make sure your dog is safely contained. You might find it helpful to board your dog on the day of the move. Consider hiring through a service such as Rover.com to avoid stressing your dog in the chaos of the event.
Once moved in, introduce your dog to the new home and yard, allowing plenty to time to sniff around and learn where things are. If your dog is used to accessing the outside through a doggy door, have one installed.
Home Sweet Home
Following these tips will help you find that perfect place for you and your dog. Match the features that you need with the home you want, and prepare for the move so that you and your dog enjoy a smooth transition. By thinking things through and making a great choice, you and your dog will settle into your new home right away!
This special guest post was written by Cindy Aldridge with OurDogFriends.org – check out this website for resources and articles that will help you be a responsible dog owner and be your dog’s best friend.