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Practical House Hunting Tips for Dog Owners

German Shepherd in front of New House

Buying a new home is an exciting adventure! 

However much you look forward to your new home, finding the perfect place can can be stressful, especially if you have a dog, unless you really think it through. When shopping for a new house as a dog parent, you must plan and prepare in advance to find the perfect layout and neighborhood, not just for yourself but for your your furry family member as well. 

Assessing and defining your dog's needs in your new home is key to making the right choice when house hunting.  Is the neighborhood pet friendly?  Or are the fences tall enough for your agile jumper?  

Many pet parents don't realize the many things to consider when house hunting.  With such an important decision for your family, this is not a process to rush into.  If you are ready to hunt for the perfect home for your entire family - furry family members included - we have you covered with our helpful house hunting tips for dog owners! 

Pet owners House Hunting Tips

There is a lot to consider when you are looking for your new home - is it close to your work, are there good schools, a good transportation system, who are the neighbors, does it meet the needs of your family today and in the future… 
When you have pets, or are planning to get pets, the things that you need to consider expands as you also need to keep your pet in mind. 

The key lies in knowing what you want while understanding your pets’ needs. Are they an indoor pet or do they need a lot of safe space to roam. What kind of pet services are in the area. Is the neighborhood pet friendly, etc. You should also have a general idea of the local laws to ensure move into a pet-friendly neighborhood.

While this sounds like a lot of work, house hunting tips for dog owners may streamline the process. We have rounded up the best advice to give you a helping hand.

House Hunting Tip #1 - Finding a pet friendly neighborhood 

Finding a pet friendly area for your family requires careful research and planning. Many cities, condominium communities, and Homeowners associations (HOA's) have limits on the number of pets, size of pets, and what types of pets are allowed - including which breeds of dogs may be prohibited.  Violating the rules could bring fines or even cause you to be evicted. 

Other rules that may be found include licenses, leashes, fencing, vaccinations, or definitions excessive barking. 

Researching housing regulations is the best way to find out if the area is pet friendly when you are house hunting as a dog owner. Online pet communities are another great place to gather with other pet parents and find the best location for your new home. 

Woman with dog at the dog park sitting under a tree.

House Hunting Tip #2 - Does your Realtor Understand your Pet's Needs and Importance in Your New Home? 

Be sure to interview real estate agents before beginning your home search.  Does the agent have pets of their own?  If the agent is a pet parent themself, they are likely to understand the importance of finding a pet friendly neighborhood and a home that is perfect for your furry friend too. 

An experienced professional who knows the local rules and regulations regarding dogs, could be the perfect fit to help you hunt for your next home. 

Have a deep talk with your realtor about the needs of your family once you select the perfect pet-friendly neighborhood.  Let them know how many pets you have, where they sleep, where they play, and what their specific requirements are.  

If you have a greyhound that is a gifted jumper, stress the importance of a tall fence and a yard with room to run.  If your older dog has arthritis and is challenged climbing stairs, you may prefer a single story home.  

Homes with carpeting as opposed to hard floors may be less desirable with dog like a husky who is a heavy shedder. 

Family with Real Estate Agent looking at a house

House Hunting Tip #3 - What pet services are in the area? 

Often overlooked in house hunting tips for dog owners is the need for pet-friendly neighborhood services. When looking for a new home, check out which pet facilities are within walking distance or a short drive away. 

Having an emergency veterinarian, as well as a veterinarian who values your input on how to care for your dog, pet supply stores, doggy day cares, groomers, and pet sitters close to your new home is important for either everyday use or emergencies.

  • Having dog groomers within short driving or walking distance is convenient for breeds with fur that needs more maintenance.
  • Local pet supply stores are great for finding everything from leashes and collars to snacks to grooming essentials in one shop. 
  • If you require boarding care for your dog during the move, is there a nearby boarding facility?  Check your new area for access to reputable boarding facilities, doggy day care to utilize if you pup gets lonely during your workday, or for the future if you enjoy vacations that may require time away form your dog.  
Dog looking into store at the meat counter

All these facilities in the new neighborhood help to keep your pet happy, healthy, and safe. They will be a great support for getting you and your dog settled into your new home.

Be sure to check out these online apps for pet owners to help you find services in your area as well as to connect with other pet owners.

House Hunting Tip #4 - Are there dog parks or other amenities in the neighborhood?  

If you are relocating to an apartment or condo, or even if you just enjoy going to dog parks, city parks, or long walks with your dog, ensure your new home has access to sidewalks and paths where you can safely walk your dog. If your dog loves to swim is there a beach or lake nearby to walk to?  Walkable pathways allow you to keep your dog safe from traffic when you take them on a walk around the block. 

Taking your dog on walks or to the park is a fun and effective way for you & your dog to exercise.  The green spaces and visits to the park make exercise time enjoyable for your furry friend(s), especially those that spend most of their day at home.

Dog parks are a wonderful way to socialize your dog with other neighborhood dogs, and are especially fun for dogs that spend most of their day at home. Dog parks are an excellent way to meet other dog owners, which will help you to build a supportive community in your new neighborhood.

If you are in need of a dog sitter or walker, check out our helpful tips on finding the right person for the task.

Dogs playing with toy in the grass

Truly pet friendly neighborhood will typically have great options for short or longer term dog sitting.

Before moving into your new home it is also a good idea to walk your dog around the area several times so that they can get familiar and comfortable with the new neighborhood. Take them to the dog parks nearby and introduce them to their future pals.

Search your new area to see if there is a nearby green space or ravine for your dog to relieve themselves and if there is a dog fountain available.

As an extra precaution when enjoying the companionship of other dogs, give their immune system a boost to stay strong and healthy.

House Hunting Tip #5 - Is the yard the perfect outdoor space for your dog? 

If your dog needs a secure fence, you can always add once you move in, right?  Well, perhaps not!  

Many local rules or Homeowners Association regulations will say how high and what type of fences are allowed, it is important to verify before the big purchase. 

Be sure the yard is spacious enough if you have a big dog who loves to run, or secure enough if you have a small escape artist. Be on the lookout for existing areas that will shelter your dog from rain or heat, or ensure you have a way to create that space in the yard.

Does the yard have grass to rest in or go to the bathroom?  If your dog is prone to digging, you may want to avoid too many flowerbeds. 

If your new yard is causing your pup to sneeze, give them some relief from allergies with our Breathe Easy Remedy to relieve congestion. 

Dog sitting outside

House Hunting Tip #6 -

What would your dog think of the new space? 

Tour potential new homes viewing thorough your dogs eye too!  If you have multiple pets, make sure they will all have a safe and comfortable space.  If you have a cat, make sure their litter box is setup properly. Open floor plans are more pet friendly, as are houses with tile or laminate floors. 

If you plan to change the flooring to be more pet friendly, research cost and plan to have this completed before move in.  Any painting projects or big renovations should also be done before your move, as the fumes and dust are not good for your pet to be breathing in.  

If your pup is starting to have trouble climbing stairs due to age, perhaps a single story home may be a better fit for your family.  If single story homes are not an option, have a plan in place to help your dog up the stairs.   

Before move in, pet proof the home and make sure any hazards such as low windows your dog could fall from are addressed. 

Adorable black pug tilting head

Consider not just the needs of your pet today, but also plan for the future. If your dog is a puppy now but will grow into a big dog - do you have sufficient space for their crate and\or dog bed? Will the back yard be big enough for them to explore? 

If you have older pets that may soon be needing extra care and support, does your new home layout fits that need. 

prepare your dog for the move to your family's new home 

Let's be honest - no move is ever stress free. However, most of us don't realize that moving can be stressful for dogs too. 

The good news is, there are several things you can do to easy the transition for your pup. 

Firstly, take the time to plan well to find the perfect neighborhood and home for your entire family. 

If at all possible, take the dog to visit the prospective new home, see how they reach to the yard space.  Go for a walk and explore the new neighborhood, parks, or trails.   

Before you move your dog into the new home, have food and water bowls, toys, their bed, familiar or comforting objects present in the new space for your dog to find and feel at home. 

Dog in House With Dog Bed

Spend as much time as possible with your dog in the new home, and even with the busyness of moving and getting settled, keep as normal of a daily routine as possible.

Have fun hunting for your family's new home! 

Buying a home is one of the biggest decisions most people make in their lifetime. 

Be sure to take the time to plan well, research well, and thoroughly search for and tour homes in the best pet friendly neighborhoods during your house hunting adventure! 

Hire the right agent to help you with this, search for services and amenities, and don't settle for less than your furry friend needs & deserves in the new home. 

Happy House Hunting!

German Shepherd
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