Six Ideas for Pet Parents Selecting A Home

A happy dog stands on a wooden floor, looking at its owner.
White dog on the floor with a wooden coffee table and a colorful hexagon decor on top and a nude color sofa with stuffed animals on it.

If your household includes dogs, cats, or other pets, you should consider their needs while seeking to purchase a home. Yes, I do. Despite the laid-back appearance of your canine housemates, certain homes and localities are friendlier to pets than others.

Here are six factors to consider when looking for a house if you have pets.

1. What rules apply to pets locally?

There may be limitations within a Homeowners Association (HOA), a condominium complex, or even the entire city or state, depending on the quantity and breed.

Amy Ference, a Realtor in Bozeman, Montana, and owner of two pit bull mix dogs, advises checking with your state and city governments for breed-specific legislation and restrictions on the number of animals per home. For instance, if you own more than two dogs, Bozeman requires you to get a kennel license.

Possibilities include:

  • Several HOAs or unit buildings set restrictions on the types or numbers of pets you are allowed to own, or they specify that all pets must be leashed in communal spaces.
  • The number of dogs permitted within a unit or even per floor is frequently capped in condo buildings. “It’s essential not to make the assumption that dogs are welcome since you spotted some on your tour,” warns Ference.
  • Check out if your HOA or municipality has any noise laws if you’re living with a dog that frequently barks.

Read Also: Difference Between A Home Inspection And An Appraisal

small kitten with black stripes standing on its hind legs, holding a fence

2. What could be going on with the fence and yard?

It’s wonderful to have a backyard where pets can run around, but bear in mind that you’ll need to either have or build a fence if you want to keep them inside (or other animals out). Check the covenants in your unit or HOA again on this front.

“I’ve seen agreements with limitations on the quantity or kind of outside kennels or dog runs, as well as only allowing subterranean electric fences.” Additionally, most neighborhood covenants forbid pets from roaming freely.

3. Is it safe for pets to roam the neighborhood?

Finding a place that is ideal for walking is important when you have dogs. Living near a park, dog park, track, or other green area may qualify as such. Even if your dog enjoys the commute, consider the sidewalk conditions when going on regular toilet breaks.

“You need to locate a place where you’re happy to walk,” advises Ference. In winter areas, this also implies sidewalks; otherwise, you’re forced to walk on the road, which is quite dangerous, or you have to trudge through the ice and snow, which is tiring.

Avoid the area right next to a major road or highway because of the risk posed by oncoming cars. Pet owners must consider nearby wildlife as well. In certain places, being close to a park means being around foxes and wolves, which can be dangerous to dogs.

4. Do the floors in the house accommodate pets?

Flooring suitable for pets is a serious problem. Flooring expert Debbie Gartner advises using an oil-based poly for dark floors and a water-based poly for light floors.

If you’re going to install new flooring think about using repurposed or distressed wood so that the dings and scratches only give it more personality. Other excellent flooring alternatives include laminate, luxury vinyl, tile, and poured concrete.

So what exactly is lacking? full-wall carpeting. Ference asserts that carpeting has a negative impact on resale value. Dogs and cats will trample on it. Carpet absorbs odors from mishaps, is easily stained, and gathers pet hair.

Pomeranian dog looking up on top of two comforters on the bed

5. Does the house’s design allow pets?

If you’re living with a large dog or multiple dogs, think about the size and design of the house.

If you’re constantly stumbling over the dog, you’ll get fairly tired of your house pretty quickly, Ference warns.

Is the area large enough for the breed of your dog? Is there space for a comfortable cat tree or dog bed? If you’re downsizing, think about how your pet would feel in a smaller space.

6. Can your pet climb stairs safely?

Think about whether your dogs will be comfortable with the stairs if you’re looking at a multi-level home, especially as they get older.

According to Gartner, dogs who are older may develop joint issues that make it harder for them to climb stairs. similar to their owners!

If a multilevel home is what you decide on, search for a place that already includes a rug runner on the staircase or be prepared to put one in. It’s the most common request from dog owners, according to Gartner.

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