When searching for your perfect home, sometimes it’s easy to get caught up in what you want, and forget about what your pets (aka your furry, scaly, or feathered family members) might need, or at least appreciate. If your pet really is a part of your family, you want to be sure to treat them that way and make sure that the home of your dreams is their purrfect home, too.
If you’re moving to a different area, especially another state, make sure you look into local rules and regulations regarding pets. If you’re dealing with homeowner’s associations, for example, there might be size or breed restrictions. It’s also worth noting that some cities have breed-specific legislation, too.
If you have a dog, it’s a good idea to bring him with you before you make an offer on the house. Take a walk around the neighborhood and be on the lookout for dog-friendly parks or trails. Keep an eye out for aggressive dogs that might cause trouble. If you encounter fellow dog-walkers, you can inquire about living in the neighborhood and any potential problems you could face (such as problems with wild animals).
Look for the nearest vet, pet store, groomer, and any other pet services you may need when you relocate. Check out local stores and businesses and see how pet-friendly they are—some may allow pets inside.
In the event you’re moving to an area with a longer commute to work, keep in mind how long your pets will have to go between potty breaks and meals.
Does the house have a backyard? If so, is it safe for your pets? A fenced in yard can be a plus, especially if the house is situated near a busy road. If the road is busy, is the yard/house secure enough to keep the pets out of trouble? These are especially important for dogs or cats who spend time outside.
Check the yard for poisonous plants and other hazards. The Humane Society has a list of common plants that are poisonous to pets, if you want to brush up on your botany.
When looking for a new home, comfort is key—not just for you, but for all members of your household. In your search, make sure you ask yourself if the space can work for everyone. Is there room for your pets to relax? Where can you put the cat tree, dog bed/crate, fish tank, etc.?
Flooring can also play an important role in your pet’s adaptation to the home, but may be overlooked. Is there carpeting? Those carpets can absorb pet odors. Is there tile or another slick surface? If you have an older dog, he might have trouble walking on it without slipping. Does entry into the home require going up steps? Will your pet be able to handle these steps, especially as they age?
When you find the one, make sure you take the necessary steps to help your pet transition come moving day. Keep an overnight bag packed of all your pets’ necessities and keep it with you so you aren’t digging through boxes looking for food and toys.
Inform your real estate agent what pets you have as soon as you start looking for a home so he or she can help you find the perfect home that works for every member of your family!
Sarah is a content writer and social media assistant with a BA in literature/creative writing from Wilkes University. When she’s not spending her days at work writing, reading, and drinking coffee, she’s usually at home reading, writing, and drinking coffee. She also devotes a fair amount of time to HGTV, drawing, and doting on her dog. As a creator, Sarah believes in emphasizing personality through design and DIY projects.