The American Dream, as often imagined and depicted, likely includes a cozy house, children, and of course the family dog, running around enjoying the picturesque front yard. The Atlantic magazine recently reported that pet spending has risen since 1994 and NBC reports that young people are frequently buying houses with their dog in mind.
The housing market has taken note of these trends which has even led to the implementation of ‘dog related amenities’ in new home builds. To ensure the best choice as a loving dog owner looking for a home, consider these few tips:
What does your dog need?
The American Kennel Club registers 190 dog breeds. This means that there are a myriad of variations on the different needs of dogs, depending on breed, age, special health issues and even, well personality. Your dog may be a large breed that can really benefit from a big yard with lots of grass, or you might have an elderly dog that struggles with stairs. If you have a jumper, make sure you have high fencing or walls, or the capacity to add it to the home. Consider the:
· Home layout
· Proximity of neighbors
· Dogs next door
Meet the Neighbors
Believe it or not, not every person is a dog person. Do some investigating and find out whether the neighborhood is dog friendly.
· Are there other dogs around?
· Can you see amenities nearby like pet stores, veterinary clinics, kennel?
· Dog parks or pet friendly restaurants or bars.
It is also important to investigate the traffic. Even the most obedient dogs can wander out and knowing how heavy the traffic gets in your neighborhood is important to note.
Take Note of the Laws
Every city is different and every neighborhood can also have different city laws and ordinances. Being away of the local laws not only informs you whether it is a dog friendly neighborhood, but it tells you important information on laws regarding:
· Pet licensing and registration
· Loose dogs
· When local authorities can impound or euthanize your dog
Once in Your New Home
While dogs can suffer from moving anxiety, it is important to note that dogs often reflect and respond to the stress level and emotional state of their owners. Not letting yourself get stressed out can help your dog keep his stress levels down too. However, the transition to a new home can be a little tricky and taking note of a few things can make it much smoother.
· Don’t wash that blanket! Dogs get accustomed to certain smells, so keep their bedding and toys so when they get to the new home, they have familiar surroundings.
· Stick to the clock. Dogs are animals of habit and they get used to certain routines. One thing to do once you’ve moved into your new home is try to keep their eating and walking schedule consistent, as The Spruce suggests, so that they have a routine to hold onto as they get accustomed to their new place.
· Stay Home. If at all possible, take a day or two when you first move to stick around the house and keep your dog company. Let them follow you around and get acclimated before you leave them alone in a new place.
· Show your dog a lot of affection during the move. Spending quality time with your pup will help ease the transition.
There is a common saying: A dog is the only thing on earth that loves you more than he loves himself. Most dedicated dog owners know this and so we want what’s best for them and their comfort. Most dogs grow to live from ten to fifteen years; it is not a summer fling, but a lifetime of dedication and loyalty. So if you’re looking for a new home know that your dog will be most happy wherever you are, but that keeping a few things in mind can go a long way to providing your four legged companion with the space and amenities that better suit him.
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