Dogs are more than just domesticated animals. In fact, I hate calling them animals and even worse, calling them ‘domestic’. Our furry friends are a lot like us. They need time, affection, attention, and love in a safe and comfortable environment. Just like we do.
And that’s why, if you have a dog, it’s important that you ensure your home is dog-friendly. With so many other priorities to think about when home buying, it’s easy to lose track of what Fido needs.
We’ve made a list of things you, as a dog owner, might want to either seek or require when house-hunting.
Good fencing helps keep dogs at home and safe. To inspect the fencing, follow it all the way around the yard, looking for areas of weakness, gaps where a dog could escape, or places where a little digging can make a lot of trouble. Fencing can be expensive to install, so home buyers thinking about purchasing a home and installing fencing afterwords should talk to the contractor during the escrow period to ensure that a new fence is an option you’ve budgeted for.
2. Dog-Friendly Landscaping:
Check to ensure that the flowers, shrubs, and trees on the property are not poisonous to pets. Some common yard flora that can be poisonous to pets include perennials like chrysanthemums, irises, some annuals including begonias and shrubs, and bushes such as azaleas and certain oak trees.
3. Outdoor Space:
You’ll probably be happiest with your own yard or proximity to a dog park or walking trail that allows pets. In absence of those things, dog walks will be most enjoyable if the area has sidewalks. Also keep in mind that if you hire a dog-walker, they may charge extra if they have to transport your dog by car to a green area.
4. Built-in feeding stations:
This is more convenience than requirement. You can either find a home that already has these or scope out the kitchen for a place to instal them. It’s clean looking, and you can avoid tripping over water dishes with a simple built-in pet feeding station. Nestled into your kitchen cabinets, the built-in feeding station prevents accidents and keeps your kitchen looking tidy.
Any entry room is a great idea with a dog. It reduces the possibility of your dog slipping out through the front door, and offers an indoor place for you to wipe your dog’s paws on rainy or muddy days before going all the way into the house. Add some decorative hooks for leashes, collars, and harnesses and you’re all set.
6. In the Garage
So you want to give your Labrador a hose-down? Or a quick spa treatment without a trip to the groomer? AND you’d like to do it without having hairballs clogging up your kitchen or bathroom drains? That’s not too much of an ask! What you need to look for in your new pet-friendly home is a floor drain (for large breeds) or a large utility sink (if you have a dog under 25 lbs) with a hand-held shower head. You can also add a spot for bins of food and accessories, so they are out of sight and neatly tucked away when not in use.
A little bit of planning goes a long way in helping you streamline your daily routine, starting with finding your dog friendly home.