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House Hunting Tips that Will Help You Find a Home For You and Your Dog

Finding a house that will make you happy is tough.  Finding one that meets the needs of both you and your furry best friend makes it even more challenging.  Here are some tips to help you find the perfect place for you and your pooch.

Find a pet-friendly realtor.  Your real estate agent can be your best advocate in finding a home that will work for you and your dog, so look for someone who understands your interest in finding the right property.  Vetstreet suggests this is your most important step in locating a great home, so do some research.  You may want to make a list of questions about local ordinances and pay attention to an agent’s response when you ask about area amenities.  Are you being informed about nearby dog parks and great dog fencing, or does the realtor focus on just the house and price?

Fence or no fence.  If you intend to allow your dog the freedom of the yard, a fence is your safest option.  When purchasing a property without a fence, you should take into account the level of traffic in the area.  Even if you normally walk Fido on a leash, dogs sometimes slip out and tragedy occurs.  Also, some professionals suggest looking carefully at the landscape to ensure it’s dog-friendly.  You may need to make major modifications if that fenced-in yard you want is filled with poisonous plants.

Sidewalks and such.  When viewing properties, the AKC suggests taking a look at the neighborhood to decide if you can comfortably walk your dog there.  Are there appropriate sidewalks, or will you need to edge into traffic more than you like?  How close is the nearest dog park, and will it be manageable getting there as much as you want?

Inside the home.  Examine the layout of potential homes with your dog’s personality and activity level in mind.  For example, does your dog manage stairs well now and in the future?  Navigating steps with a senior who weighs a dozen pounds isn’t a big deal, but if your pooch weighs as much as you do, it may become hazardous in his old age.  Also, is there sufficient space for your dog to stretch his legs and play?  Even if you plan to make vigorous, outdoor exercise part of your routine, weather, illness or schedules may sometimes interfere, and some experts recommend ensuring the interior environment will be conducive to the arrangement.

Learn local laws.  Some areas restrict the number of pets allowed without permits, and some homeowners associations have their own rules.  Some authorities limit fencing options. Before selecting a home, make sure you’re aware of the restrictions, so you aren’t disappointed when you’ve moved in and it’s too late.

While you look.  If you know you will be moving, there are steps you should take to prepare your home and even prepare your dog for the transition.  Begin packing gradually, and don’t get anxious or upset during the process.  A dog will pick up on his owner’s emotions, so it’s important not to get stressed.  Save packing your dog’s things for last, and unpack them first.  The familiar belongings and smells will help your dog feel comfortable in the new home.

Also, it’s important to establish a routine well in advance of introducing your dog to the home, and then maintaining the routine once in the new home.  Dogs feel more secure with the structure of a set schedule and will acclimate better to the new place with the continued routine.

Perfect for your pooch!  House hunting is challenging for dog owners, but with a few guidelines, you’ll be set for success.  Find a great realtor, examine properties carefully, do some research, and prepare your dog along the way.  Before you know it, you and Fido will be in the perfect place in no time!

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