Moving with pets 101

Moving with Pets 101

4 House-Hunting Tips for Dog Owners


House hunting can be a stressful process that usually involves some form of compromise, whether that means location, size, or style. But if you’re a dog owner, you’ve got to think about more than just yourself when considering where you’re going to hang your hat. A recent survey of millennials indicates that dogs are one of the top motivating factors buyers in that generation consider when choosing what type of home and neighborhood to live in—33 percent compared to 25 percent driven by marriage and 19 percent preparing for a baby. Finding the right home and neighborhood for your dog may take a little more effort, but it will be worth it in the long run when you’re all settled into your new home. Here are some questions to ask yourself before house hunting.


  1. Does your dog require a lot of free time outside?


If your dog is used to a yard and you’re considering moving into a condo, you may have a serious problem on your hands. Dogs can develop anxiety and become lonely in a smaller space that doesn’t provide the same simulation as a home environment. This can lead to behavioral issues such as chewing up furniture, barking, and even going to the bathroom out of spite. The average listing price for a home in Miami Beach, FL is $579,000, and a larger home may be a wiser decision so your dog can have ample space (to include a yard) to expel extra energy. Make sure you thoroughly survey the grounds to determine what work, if any, you’ll have to do. For example, you should consider if you need to install a fence, add/remove landscaping, etc.


  1. Is the home near green spaces, dog parks, and walking routes?


While the amount of required exercise for a dog depends upon age and breed, the average pooch needs between 30 and 90 minutes of exercise each day. Not only is this good for your pet’s health, it’s also good for yours! Look for neighborhoods that offer pet- and people-friendly walking and play areas with pleasant scenery and minimal traffic that feel safe.


  1. Are you being mindful of your dog’s age?


While avoiding stairs may not be an option for everyone, keep in mind that steps can be a challenge for both senior pets and puppies alike. If you do purchase a home with stairs, consider placing gates in front of stairs to prevent temptation. Place ramps and/or “pet stairs” near couches and chairs where your pooch likes to sleep as it can relieve pressure on sore and achy joints. If the floors are primarily made of hard surfaces like wood, tile, and linoleum, make sure you provide a soft, warm bed for your pet to sleep on.


  1. Did you let your agent know about your dog?


Don’t neglect to tell your real estate agent that you have a dog so he/she can source options with all the dog-friendly features you are seeking. Be specific with your wants and needs right from the start so you don’t slow down the house-hunting process. While it may not be at the top of your mind, an agent can research pertinent details like HOA rules, local pet ordinances, etc., so you can avoid any potential problems down the line.


Owning a dog means you’re responsible for his well-being no matter what life challenges come your way. Choosing a home with dog-friendly features will only make things better for you in the long run as you’ll have a happier pooch on your hands. A whopping 60 percent of American households own dogs, so feel comfort in knowing you’re not alone in this journey.

Written by Cindy Aldridge for Sobe British Realty