House Hunting with a Dog: Stress-Free Tips for Pet Owners
House hunting can be a stressful and time-consuming process for many people; there are so many things to take into consideration when looking for a new home, including space, cost, location, and whether it has the things you and your family need to remain comfortable. If you have pets, their needs should also be taken into consideration as well, but there are extra challenges that come with that. Safety and comfort are two high priorities, but you’ll also have to think about the size of the yard, whether it’s fenced, and how dog-friendly the neighborhood is. Fortunately, the process can be made much easier by thinking about these things beforehand.
One of the easiest ways to ensure that your pet will love your new home is to make it safe and comfortable for him, so if the house you love doesn’t have a fence, consider adding that into your budget. A sturdy fence will allow your dog to get some exercise without the fear that he’ll get lost or hurt, and it will also help to keep him healthy if there are other dogs in the neighborhood. The average cost of a wood fence is $2,751, although this number will change according to the size of your yard. In order to get an accurate estimate, consider that lumber costs between $7 and $15 per foot, and labor will add $10 to $30 per foot.
Find the Right Home
The home you choose should be the right one for your family, but it should also be the right one for your dog. If he’s older and there are lots of steps to climb, consider how that might affect his health. You should also think about how big the yard is and whether the house has slippery tile or hardwood floors. One aspect of house hunting that many pet owners forget to consider is whether the home is close to a dog park or is in a dog-friendly neighborhood. These days, many communities have restaurants, bars, and other businesses that allow dogs.
Plan the Move
Planning a move can take some time, but it’s important to think about the details beforehand so there will be no nasty surprises. Think about moving day; where will your dog be? Is there someone you trust who can keep him safe during all the activity? If he tends to wander, it might be a good idea to have someone watch over him while the movers do their thing (pet sitters charge $20 - $40 a day on average). If you’ll be moving out of town or to another state, consider the best way to travel with your pet; if he’s not used to being in the car, take him on a few short trips before moving day to help him get acclimated. Make sure you pack his favorite comfort items as well.
Help Him Settle In
One of the hardest parts of a move for pets is getting settled into a new place, especially if they’ve lived in the same home for a long time. Dogs can become anxious and will exhibit new behaviors when stressed, which can make a move more difficult. Help your pup settle in by taking him to the new house before the move to let him get used to the smells. Place his food and water bowls, bedding, and toys in places similar to where they are in your current home to avoid confusion. If you can, take some time off work the first week so you’ll be home with him. This can help ease the transition and will make it easier on him when he has to be left alone.
Finding the perfect home for your entire family can be a major undertaking, but if you can prepare ahead of time, the process will be much easier for both you and your dog. Make sure he’s safe and comfortable the entire time, as that’s half the battle.
Thank you for your time and consideration!