Approximately 44 percent of households in the United States are dog owners, and nearly all of them (95 percent to be exact) consider their pets to be members of their families. If you’re part of this crowd and you’re on the hunt for a new home, you’re probably on the lookout for certain features for your family, including your furry friend. Not only should your new home include dog-friendly features, but the neighborhood should as well.
Although it’s not foolproof, looking for the presence of other dogs is a good indication that a neighborhood is dog-friendly. It also means that your dog will have more opportunities to socialize with other canines. Other signs of a dog-friendly neighborhood include walkability and proximity to a dog park, pet supply store, and veterinarian.
A big part of dog ownerships involves walking your dog. Not only do dogs love going on walks, but they also need the walks for exercise and bathroom breaks, and walks are good for owners too! As such, it’s important to look for a neighborhood with a lot of walkability. When searching for a new home, find one with safe walking options and plenty of grassy areas for your dog to stop and relieve himself. And don’t forget to clean up after him.
Whether it’s within the limits of the neighborhood or just a short drive or walk away, you should be near open places where your dog can run and play. Dog parks are obviously the best choice, but city parks and other spaces that are dog friendly work too. You’re basically looking for an open, green area that doesn’t bear any “no pets allowed” signs.
Being near a pet supply store and veterinarian office is not only a sign of a pet-friendly area, but it’s also a huge convenience for you. If you’re low on dog food or treats, it’s nice to be able to take a short drive or walk to pick some up. Driving across town to a veterinarian’s office not only eats up time in your schedule, but it can also be problematic if your dog were to ever require urgent care.
The house itself should feature a private space for your dog’s crate, bed, and water and food bowls. Make sure the home is large enough so that your personal items don’t overwhelm and clutter rooms, which can limit your dog’s roaming space. Look for storage areas for food and other items, such as grooming supplies, and dog-friendly flooring, including tile, stone, vinyl, laminate, cork, and concrete. You’ll also want to ensure you have a convenient place within the home to bath your dog, whether it’s a laundry room with an industrial sink or a second bathroom with a tub.
It’s important to help your dog adjust to a new home once you’ve moved in. Welcome your dog to her new home with a new toy, and bring her with you when you meet the neighbors. During her first trip to the home, let her explore and sniff around in her own time. Don’t switch up your dog’s routine until she’s settled. Also, keep her personal stuff the same, such as beds, leashes, and bowls.
When searching for a new home, it’s important to look for these essentials that ensure caring for and housing a dog is easy and convenient. Your new home should have dog-friendly flooring, adequate space, and storage. The neighborhood should be walkable and close to a dog park, pet supply store, and veterinarian. Finding a home and neighborhood with these features is sure to keep you and your dog safe, comfortable, and happy.