With all the crazy ways some people spoil their dogs, sometimes you may question if you are going overboard, but when it comes to picking out a new home, you really want to make sure it’s dog-friendly. Your dog is part of the family, so you want a home that fits his needs as well as your own. There are various things to take into consideration:
Picking a Home with Enough Space
If you own a teacup chihuahua, you don’t really have to worry about how much space your new place has. But if your dog is larger or even just very active, he needs enough room to play. There’s a good chance your current place is a good example to use -- after all, most people choose their pup’s breed based on their existing living space.
But say you find the current situation a bit cramped; this is the perfect opportunity to go up in square footage if needed. On the other hand, say your dog is older and doesn’t get around as easily as he used to; downsizing from a two story to a one story will make life easier for him. One thing all dogs need is a space of their own where they can find peace and quiet. It doesn’t have to be a whole room. A warm corner under a window outfitted with his bed, blankets, and favorite toys will give him a place to go when he needs some alone time.
Picking a Safe Home and Area
Most dog owners need some sort of yard. Having a safe, outdoor area where they can sniff around, enjoy good weather, relieve themselves, and get some fresh air keeps a dog happy and active even when their owner is busy. However, if you are going to let your dog outside, you need the area to be fenced. According to HomeAdvisor, it costs an average of $2,304 to install a wood fence in Atlanta.
Even if you supervise your dog’s outside time, their prey drive can distract your dog enough from obeying your commands. With an errant squirrel in sight, they can’t even hear you telling them not to run across the street! Speaking of which, finding a house in an area with a low speed limit can help prevent accidents in case your dog does get out.
Picking a Place with Amenities
More and more areas are becoming dog-friendly with walking trails, refresh stations, waste deposits, and dog parks. If that sounds like something you’d be interested in, let your real estate agent know you would like a place near amenities you and your dog will enjoy. If you are looking around at areas on your own, check out local parks as well as dog-friendly businesses like grooming studios, daycare, and bakeries. Chances are, those kinds of businesses opened up where they chose because they noticed plenty of dog-owning neighbors in the area.
Acclimating Your Dog
Once you’ve made it to your new place, you want to make it as comfortable as possible for your pup. You should use your dog’s familiar leash, dog dish, food and bed. The more secure your dog feels, the smoother the transition will be. Dogs need a space of their own where they can hang out in peace and quiet. Spend a little extra time playing with your dog your first days in the new house and give him a couple extra treats or chews (many treats can be purchased for under $5). This will help him see that this strange, new place is home and he can associate it with positive things.
When picking a new home, you want to take your dog’s needs into consideration. You want to find a place with enough space for him to play as well as an area for him to escape and relax. Safety is a concern -- most dogs need a secure, fenced-in yard. Nearby amenities will help you pick a dog-friendly neighborhood. Finally, you need to find a place in an area where you can get home in time to let your dog out; if not, you will need to make arrangements for someone to care for your pup.
Bark ATL extends a special thanks to our guest blogger, Cindy Aldridge of Ourdogfriends.org