Written by: Cindy Aldridge of OurDogFriends.org
While having a dog is both a blessing and a joy, it can make house-hunting difficult. Will the landlord accept pets? Is there enough room for your pup to run around? Here are some things you should look for when moving to a new home.
Pick the Right Neighborhood
Almost more than the house itself, it’s important that the neighborhood is pet friendly. Dogs, especially, will spend a good deal of time outside, so make sure there are plenty of areas to take your furry friend for walks. While you explore the neighborhood, look for signs of other dogs. Are there free doggy bags posted along walkways? Is there an open green space for dogs to romp? If there is a dog park in the city, and how close is it to your potential home? Make sure to inspect the dog park and see how the animals there behave. Do the dogs look healthy, and are they getting along? Also take into account if there is a nearby vet and what reviews say about him or her. You won’t want to have to make an emergency visit to the vet late at night if the nearest location is many miles away. Price may be a factor as well. The median listing price for a home in Ottawa, IL, is $155,000. It’s important to compare different cities to see what range is right for you.
Consider the Layout
Smaller homes can be less expensive, but will your dog have enough room to really stretch his legs? You should look at floor plans that offer the optimum amount of space depending on the size and energy level of the breed you have. Pay attention to the locations of windows as well. If they are low to the ground, your dog may not realize that there is a barrier and may run into them. Will your dog be able to navigate the stairs easily as he ages? This is an important thing to consider if you live in an apartment with many floors to walk up. If you’re looking at houses, make sure the yard will be large enough for your dog to enjoy. Is there a fence that extends underground to keep your dog from digging his way under and escaping?
Look at Nearby Traffic
Just because you live in a busy city does not mean you have to live in a high-trafficked neighborhood. You won’t want to live near a busy intersection. No matter how well-trained your dog is, there is always the risk of escape. If your dog does manage to get out, you will want some assurance that the traffic is slow or light.
Know Jurisdiction Regulations
From housing associations to city ordinances, there are so many things you need to be aware of when considering a home. Some jurisdictions may limit the number of animals you can own or how much space is needed for each one. You will need a license and history of vaccinations, but you may also need to be aware of noise ordinances for your city and particular association. Unfortunately, some cities and counties outlaw certain breeds, so research that as well. You may need to make compromises to find a location that meets your specific requirements. If you’re looking at apartments, there are likely to be weight or size limits. If you’re looking to rent, be prepared to have a letter from your vet and a previous landlord detailing your history as a pet owner.
You may have more hoops to jump through than the average home seeker, but finding the right place for you and your pet will be worth the work. A positive, safe environment will be one that both you and your pooch will enjoy together.
Image Courtesy of Pixabay