ANIMALS 101 – THINGS TO CONSIDER WHEN CHOOSING A NEW HOME AS A PET OWNER
Whether you’re a renter, looking to buy or a homeowner looking for more (or less) square footage, house hunting is no easy task, especially if you have a pet to consider. Once you find what you think might be the perfect house, you’ll need to make sure it will also be a good fit for your furry family members.
Our No.1 rule when choosing a new home for you and your family is to ensure that your pet can come along. Although there are very few exceptions, it is always sad to see people move without their pets. Ukrainians take their pets out of a war zone, but those who move to another town, dump their pet on an already overwhelmed animal welfare system.
TIPS WHEN HOUSE HUNTING
Dr. Karen Becker & Pets Best have a few tips to help your family determine if the next place you move to will be a good fit for you and your pet.
WILL YOUR PET BE MOSTLY INDOORS OR OUT?
Will your pet be running around in the house or the yard? If the answer is indoors, choose a home with wide spaces and hallways so your pet has plenty of room to move and play. Also consider a home that has an area inside that you can “fence off”, or has a separate room where your pet can relax when guests come over.
If your pet will be an indoor/outdoor pet, keep the flooring in mind too. Although wood floors are popular, they scratch easily. From a practical standpoint, if you’re planning to redo your flooring, choose one that is resilient, stain-proof and easy to clean and disinfect if necessary. Tile, sealed concrete and sealed stone are better options than carpeting. If you prefer carpets, remember that muddy paws are part of the pet package. Try choosing a colour that won’t show a lot of wear and tear.
If your pet is mostly outdoors, make sure there’s room in the yard for a cozy dog house and plenty of shade for warm summertime weather.
DO OTHER PETS LIVE CLOSE BY?
Sometimes it’s great to have other pets live nearby so your fur family can interact and meet new friends. Nevertheless, some pets struggle with their fellow furry neighbours. Knowing your pet’s personality will help you determine if he or she needs more space.
ARE THERE PET FRIENDLY COMMUNITY FEATURES CLOSE BY?
Choosing a neighbourhood with convenient access to a veterinarian and/or outdoor spaces like walking areas and parks for pets is very important. Some things to look for in good walking paths include spacious areas with little threat from traffic, pleasant scenery and different route options.
IS THERE ENOUGH SPACE TO RUN AND PLAY?
Is the backyard big enough for you and your pet? Remember the energy levels and needs are more important than the size of the breed. Is the yard properly fenced and pet-friendly, or will you need to do some immediate work? Remember that an upgrade in housing for you doesn’t always equate to an upgraded yard for your pet. If you are moving to an apartment, make sure the square footage of your dwelling is appropriate for the type of breed you own. Apart from regular walks, they also need activities like nose work for stimulation. You can create pet-friendly spaces in your yard, such as a play area, water feature, perhaps a marking post and if you’re thinking big, a sensory garden. For people with horses, goats and other outdoor animals as pets, a house with at least an acre of land is desirable.
KEEP YOUR PET’S AGE IN MIND
Other features that may appeal to pet guardians are homes with a master bedroom on the first floor, particularly if their pets are elderly and can’t easily climb stairs and especially if they are showing signs of arthritis. Puppies can also struggle with stairs as they continue to improve their coordination.
It seems pretty simple, but many real estate agents don’t ask if potential home buyers are pet owners. Tell them, so they can focus on homes that can be more pet friendly. Some homeowners’ associations and landlords or local governments have limits on the number, size and type of pets allowed, so do your research ahead of time.
SOME OTHER PET-FRIENDLY FEATURES
- Dog door
- Pet washing station
- Safe animal outdoor water feature
- Built-ins for food dishes and animal beds
- Cat litter closet
TIPS DURING MOVING
Moving can be stressful for people, so just imagine how anxious it can make your pets in a new environment. These challenges don’t come with a formula solution, but here are some tips that should make the experience a bit calmer for your beloved pets.
- Prepare and overnight kit.
- Contact your vet for records & medication if you move out of the area.
- Keep your pets away from the action.
- Take your pet in your vehicle.
- Don’t let your pet out until you’ve arrived and the yard is secure.
- Update their info at the vet, microchips, insurance, or anywhere else needed.
- Take special precautions when moving with birds, guinea pigs and fish.
- Treat your new lawn before you arrive, if you use chemicals treatments (which all pose a danger to your pets).
Please consider your pets as a priority when you move and if you are going to dump them on an already overwhelmed welfare system, then donate to that organization and do not get pets again!
Next week we will look specifically at a cat-related topic for the cat-guardians.
WHEN YOU KNOW BETTER, DO BETTER!
#moving #newhome #petfriendllyhome #tips