Are You a Dog Owner Who’s House Hunting? Chew On These Considerations for Your Canine Companion.

by Tom Jeffrey January 07, 2018

west highland white terrier

Just as parents with small children or teenagers place importance on finding a good school district and kid-friendly neighborhood, pet parents have special considerations too. From the proximity to a dog-friendly park to flooring materials, dog owners should look for certain features when purchasing a new home. When house hunting as a dog owner, it’s important to not only consider what will make you happy and comfortable, but also what will make your canine companion happy and comfortable.

The layout of the home is important for dog owners. Ample closet space for dog supplies is handy, and having a separate room for your dog can be helpful. Older dogs can have issues climbing stairs, so ensure the main floor of the home has everything your dog needs, including space and appropriate flooring. Most pet owners tend to avoid carpeting. Suitable options include tile, hardwoods, laminate, bamboo, and more. There are pros and cons to each option.

While you should certainly consider the size of your dog while searching for a new home, it’s more important to consider the personal needs of your dog’s breed. If you plan to buy a smaller home or a condo, be aware that certain breeds do better in smaller areas than others. Obviously, small dogs are fine, but some large breeds can manage as well. The large breeds of the guarding and sighthound categories, such as Mastiffs and Greyhounds, are laid back and don’t require high amounts of exercise. However, don’t let your dog’s small size confuse you into thinking they need less exercise or that they are getting enough physical activity in the house.

Of course, if you have a small dog that’s accustomed to a large space or large yard, it can be a difficult adjustment period for her. Finding a home with a large, fenced-in yard is ideal, but it’s not a requirement. Small dogs are very velcro in nature, so as long as there is room for them to stick by your side, you’ll likely have a tail-wagging pooch. However, being near a dog-friendly park or other open space is vital, especially for condo dwellers or those with a small yard. Ensure your neighborhood is dog-friendly. Drive through the area and look for receptacles for waste deposits, neighbors walking their dogs or a community dog area. Also, the neighborhood should be walkable with sidewalks and low traffic.

Check county and city code restrictions, as some restrict the number and types of pets allowed within city limits. Also, read the Homeowners Association (HOA) documents. Not every HOA allows pets, and the ones that do may have restrictions on numbers, types, sizes, noise factors, and whether pets are allowed to freely roam the premises. Many HOAs strictly enforce bylaws with severe penalties for violators.

Once you have moved into your new home, it’s important to help your dog adjust. When you introduce your dog to her new home, make it fun by giving her a new toy. Also, allow her to walk through the home and explore with you close by her side, and bring your dog along when you go to meet your neighbors.

Keep your dog’s routine consistent. This doesn’t just apply to her eating and exercise routines, but also to her leash, bed, and food and water bowls. During the adjustment period, your dog may become protective or destructive, and she may bark more or have accidents in the home. It’s important to know that these are usually temporary setbacks, and your dog needs extra attention and love as she works on adjusting to her new home.

House hunting as a dog owner means looking for features that are dog-friendly. Important factors include the size of the yard and home and the home’s layout and flooring materials. You’ll also want to ensure you’re close to a dog park and that your neighborhood is dog-friendly. After moving day, be sure to help your dog become well acclimated to her new home. Ensuring life is relaxing and pleasant for your dog also ensures life is relaxing and pleasant for you.

Thanks to Cindy Aldridge of for writing this article. 

Have a house hunting tip of your own? Please share it in the comments!

Tom Jeffrey
Tom Jeffrey


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