Moving with Fido: House Hunting Tips for Dog Owners
● First, choose the right type of home for your dog. Consider the breed, energy level, age, and size, among other factors. If you have a large dog, a house with a yard is more suitable than a smaller condominium with no yard.
● Consider the safety of your pet. If you have a highly energetic, sporty breed, the American Kennel Club (AKC) recommends purchasing a home with a fenced-in yard so your pet can get plenty of outdoor exercise in a safe environment. If your new home has a yard that is not fenced in, ask yourself whether you can afford to install one. You might also consider negotiating the price with the seller to help make this project more affordable.
● Thoroughly inspect the home for any pet hazards, such as holes in fences, walls and other possible escape routes. This also includes exposed wires, poisonous items, or any choking hazards. If you have a small child in addition to a dog, this step applies for both.
● Check breed restrictions with your homeowners association (HOA) or condo board, suggests Realtor Magazine. Sadly, owning the home doesn’t necessarily override local restrictions on certain breeds, such as pit bulls or German shepherd dogs.
Moving with Dogs
Of course, finding the perfect home is only half of it. Once you’ve found a home, you’ll also need to consider moving with your pet and helping your dog get acclimated to a new home.
Rather than stressing your dog with a sudden change of environment, take things slowly. Gradually pack up your items and take them to your new home in smaller loads, if possible. This is less shocking to your dog. On moving day, ensure your dog’s safety by hiring a pet walker or securing Fido in a back room. The ASPCA advises blocking hiding electrical cords and securing all windows for your pet’s safety.
One of the most important moments during the entire moving process happens when you introduce your dog to your new home. Your dog’s introduction to the new home helps set the tone for his or her comfort level in your new living space and it should not be overlooked or underestimated. Start slowly. Try to maintain a calm, peaceful atmosphere.
After moving day, you’ll probably be eager to unpack your belongings, start decorating and finally get settled into your new home. Try not to get so swept up in this process that you also forget about helping your dog adjust to this transition. Dogs don’t understand the moving process the way that humans do. You might find that your dog is confused or even stressed by the moving experience. To help your dog acclimate, provide toys and treats while he or she explores the new home.
When it comes to purchasing a new home, you want to make sure you find something that is comfortable, safe and appropriate for all humans and pets in the household. This is part of being a good, responsible pet owner. Your dog is part of the family, too, and deserves consideration for his or her safety, well-being and happiness. By considering these factors before you buy a home, you’ll ensure an easier move and a happier transition.