In your home search keep your pup in mind. We love our furry family members!
By Cindy Aldridge
How to Find the Perfect Place for You and Your Pooch
Are you searching for the perfect place to settle in with your pup? House-hunting can be a complex endeavor, especially when trying to ensure your canine companion is comfortable with your choices. Here are some smart strategies for home shopping with your furry friend in mind.
Spaces and places: house-hunting with your dog
Before going too far in your search, it’s important to examine local laws that could influence your decision. While most people are aware of some basics, like leash laws, many people are surprised at restrictions some places put on dog owners. For instance, some locations limit the number of dogs you’re allowed to have at one time, whether you can breed your pooch, and even what dog breed you own. Beyond the government, there are often restrictions within housing communities, so make sure you don’t commit to home that will put you and your pooch in a difficult position.
Elbow room at home
Some dog breeds require more room to stretch their legs than others, and it’s important to keep those needs in mind when looking for your next home. A spacious interior is a boon on days when the weather is uncooperative, and a fenced yard allows your pup to romp when Mother Nature is more agreeable.
With that in mind, select a home with appropriate fencing if possible. When examining features of dog-friendly fencing, Whole Dog Journal recommends considering your dog’s behaviors and habits. For instance, dogs who love to jump require especially high fencing, and digger dogs might need a barrier below the ground. Also, check specific properties for water hazards because some dogs are unable to swim. If there is a pool or pond, there should be a fence or barrier to keep your pup safe from falling in.
Settling in: make a smooth transition
When it comes to making the actual transition into a new place, remember to be considerate of your furry friend. Save your dog’s personal items to move last, like his bed, favorite toys, food, and water bowls. Create an area in your new home that is comforting to him and similar to his space in your previous home. That way, the change won’t be as upsetting. It’s also important to keep your dog’s old routine, so stick as close to his usual feeding time, playtime, and walks as possible. There’s always the chance that your pup could be allergic to something in his new environment, so if this is the case, make sure to consult your vet on which dog foods may be able to relieve his symptoms (a large bag can be purchased for under $30). When you are at the new place, make it a point to introduce your dog to the yard and which doors he will normally use to go outside. And just in case there are accidents, make sure you keep some appropriate cleansers handy. If you’re not able to remove a stain, you may need to bring in some professional help (in South Lake Tahoe, a carpet cleaning service will usually charge $103 - $285 per cleaning).
Moving across the country can be quite an adventure, and you’ll need to weigh whether to travel with your dog by air or in a vehicle. For flights, Conde Nast Traveler recommends flying non-stop and checking airline requirements in advance. If you’re driving, make sure you get your dog used to traveling in the car ahead of time. If your dog is a senior or has special medical needs, The Spruce recommends keeping him with you for a long-distance move, regardless of your mode of transportation.
A move can be just as stressful for our four-legged friends as it is for us, perhaps even more so since our dogs don’t really understand what’s happening. Sometimes anxiety can manifest in different ways, like excessive licking or chewing, yawning, or whining and barking more than usual. One idea is to amp up his exercise to help him burn off nervous energy, and he’ll enjoy the added interaction with you as well. Another idea is to add interactive toys that help enrich your dog’s life. Remember to be patient with your pooch, and he’ll be settled in before you know it!
When it comes time to search for a new home, make sure you keep your pup in mind. Research locations and properties carefully, think through the dynamics of moving and ease your dog through the transition. Moving with a dog has its share of complexities, but our canine companions make it completely worthwhile.
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