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House-hunters have a typical list of criteria which must be considered when scouring potential properties. Obviously, price, yard space, and the house itself are primary considerations. In addition, more forward-thinking considerations such as the school district’s quality, demographics of a given neighborhood, and kid-friendliness must also be weighed.
For dog lovers, they must also consider what their dog is going to think of the new abode. While human concerns will likely be foremost, choosing a home and/or property that is not dog-friendly will likely result in ample regret soon after moving in. For conscientious owners, particularly those who do not have plans for children in the near future, there are some doggy-centric factors which should be at least considered in the home-hunting process.
Is Your Dog Allowed in the New Neighborhood?
The ASPCA refers to ‘breed-specific legislation’ as laws which ban or regulate certain dog breeds in a county, an effort intended to reduce the number of dog attacks against humans. While you may know that your pup is not a threat to humans, many laws take a blanket approach that does not consider individual circumstances.
Obviously, if your dog’s breed is not permitted in a certain county, you must choose between the dog and living in said county. For many, that choice is obvious, but finding out that Old Yeller is not permitted to live in the home you just put a down payment on can be a crushing revelation. Always do your homework on the local laws before moving into a new home.
In addition, certain homeowners associations will have their own rules and regulations when it comes to dogs, and these must not be overlooked either.
Consider the Yard, if Not the Local Parks
Your dog is going to need somewhere to stretch their legs, and preferably that means a grassy location which does not require the dog to be on a leash. While a personal plot of land in your backyard is ideal, it is not always plausible.
Depending on the specific city and one’s personal finances, the yard which comes with your home may be extremely limited or virtually nonexistent. For this reason, an accounting of the local dog parks, their proximity to a prospective home, and the scenery and amenities of the park are important considerations.
Floors and Layout are Critical
It can be easy to overlook the flooring in a new home, but dog owners should know better. Some dogs tend to track in more mud than others, so a home with white carpet that you cannot afford to replace is probably less than desirable in such an instance.
Tile and wood tend to be recommended for more active, rambunctious dogs, but expensive wood floors can get scratched easily and irreparably by dog nails, which must also be considered.
Your home’s little details may be more important than first meets the eye. For older dogs who are less than active, a home in which stairs will be frequently used by the owner may lead to a dog who feels obligated to be near you, and in turn compelled to use the stairs as often as you do. Consider your dog’s inability to stay away from your side, and how stairs could negatively affect their daily life and overall health.
In addition, and without exception, some days it will rain. We aren’t recommending the purchase of a mansion beyond your means, but some space for the dog to roam when being outdoors is not an option is important.
Upon moving in, finding a new veterinarian is one of the first tasks which should be checked off. The American Veterinary Medical Association has some tips for how to go about finding a new doggy doctor. In addition, having toys, a bed, and other familiar aspects of your old home will help the dog feel comfortable in the new house as quickly as possible. Aside from these considerations, time is the only factor that will allow for you and your dog to consider the new home, well, home. Here are some tips to help prepare your dog for a move.