Guest Blog by Cindy Aldridge
When it’s time to buy a new home and you have a dog, there are many factors to consider. First, you must find a location suitable for your entire family, those with paws included. Second, you have to think about what you’re going to do with your furry friend on moving day. Keep reading as we touch base on each one of these issues.
Choosing a home for a species-blended family
Buying a home when you have a dog is much like buying a house for a growing family. There are a few things that should not be negotiable. These include:
- Having enough space for everyone — It’s true that dogs are social animals, and as such, they will likely want to be with you most of the time. But, even your dog needs a space to call his own. Sometimes, dogs will simply move away when they don’t feel like being bothered, especially with the children of the family who might not understand personal boundaries, according to animal therapist Robin K Bennett. Make sure your future home has enough room for everyone to spread out when needed.
- A fenced yard — A fenced yard not only keeps your dog on your property but also helps keep other animals away, too. If you’re looking for a home in the Philadelphia area, keep in mind that it costs between $1,487 and $6,000 to install a wooden fence. This is a reasonable expense, but one that you should factor into your purchase decision if a home you’re eyeing lacks a fence.
- Access to veterinary facilities — Depending on your dog’s age and overall health, you can expect to visit the veterinarian between once per month and once per year. But even if your visits are spread far apart, it’s a good idea to purchase a home within just a few miles of a veterinarian’s office or emergency animal clinic. You never know when an accident will happen, and minutes matter if your pet is injured or critically ill.
What to do on moving day
You finally found a home that fits your needs. That’s great, but now comes the important – and challenging – task of getting through moving day. No matter how far or near this move may take you, you should always plan to:
- Remove your dog from the home when movers are on site — Your dog is likely already going to be anxious come moving day. He will have noticed that your pattern has changed and, unlike you who already knows what’s happening, all your dog knows is that things are different. Plan to leave your pet with a friend or family member or, if you have no one available, look for a pet sitter online. City Pet Sitters offers advice on how to choose the right person for the job.
- Stock up on toys and treats – VCA Hospitals explains that there is no way to fully determine how long it will take for your dog to settle in. For this reason, make sure to keep a stash of treats and fun toys around the new house. This will encourage positive exploration. Further, avoid the temptation to get rid of his old bedding, as familiar smells will be comforting during a nerve-racking time.
- Make sure his chip is up to date – If your dog is not microchipped, now is the perfect time to get this done. If he happens to run away from you during the commotion of moving, you will want to make sure that animal control agents can track you down for a family reunion.
Buying a home and moving into it is an exciting process. But when you have pets, it is one that requires lots of planning. So don’t forget to check off some of your dog’s wants and needs as you look for your new forever home, and make sure you’re fully prepared when the day comes.