Carol-Ann Palmieri & Al Mussi's Blog
You've probably seen tons of information on finding the best home for the needs of the adults, children and even elderly members of your family, but what about your four-legged family members? Not all dogs are created equal, and if you're going to be a good dog owner, it is important to think of your pets' needs as well. Don't have a dog yet, but want one? Plan in advance by purchasing a home that will already have everything you need.
If you have or want to have outdoor pets, it is essential to ensure you have enough space. Some cities have specific space requirements depending on the size or breed of your dog, but even if they don't, you want to be sure your dog isn't uncomfortable. A dog who is used to large running spaces can go nuts with only access to a small townhouse patio or yard. No matter what size of yard you choose, remember that you will be in charge of cleaning it up. Pet defecation is more evident in a smaller yard; especially if you have a large dog. Plan to train your dog to use only a particular area of the yard as his "bathroom" and prepare the are with scoopers or bags so you can regularly clean it up.
Your dog will also need a space to call his own that's far enough away from the bathroom area. Try setting up a covered area or a dog house to give him somewhere to go. If you live in a high-precipitation area, make sure your dog as a dry refuge when it's pouring out. Similarly, in snowy climates, make sure your dog house is well insulated and equipped with a warm bed to keep them comfortable all winter long.
For indoor only or indoor/outdoor dogs, your interior layout and features come into play. Smaller dogs with furry feet often get going super quickly indoors and can slide around on tile or wood flooring. Plan for that by including rugs in walking spaces and keeping low walls clear of dangerous objects into which your dog might slide. Interior dogs can be especially hard on a carpet. For best results, ensure you have a heavy-duty rug that can take some damage and is easy to clean, such as the same carpet you would choose for small children. Watch the length of your dog's nails, since overly-long sharp nails can gouge your flooring and paint jobs.
Tell your real estate professional about any pets during the buying process so they can assist you in finding that special property for your four-legged friends.