Many buyers know what they want in a home. They keep features such as high ceilings and natural light in a checklist of must-haves for their next home. However, what many buyers tend to forget are the features that their pets might need.
If you’re looking to move into a pet-friendly home, keep the following tips in mind when deciding on a property. If you’re a landlord who’s looking to buy a pet-friendly home as an investment, it also pays to know what pet owners are looking for in a home.
#1 What are the local pet laws?
Even if you purchase the home, it isn’t guaranteed that you can have pets on the property. Some homeowners associations (HOAs), cities, and states have restrictions concerning pets. For instance, condominiums may limit the number of pets that you can have, while others even restrict the number of pets per floor. Most property owners conduct pet screenings to determine whether the pet can be allowed inside the home. Before buying any property, it’s best to consult a professional property manager or real estate agent to learn about the pet-related laws in your area.
#2 Is the home in a walk-friendly location?
If you have a dog, finding a home in a location where there are dog parks, trails, and other green spaces nearby is extremely important. This is especially true if you are buying a home without a yard. It’s best to avoid properties that are next to busy roads and highways, as incoming traffic will put your pets in harm’s way. And even if the home is surrounded by open spaces, be sure to inquire about the local wildlife. Coyotes and foxes may appear out of nowhere, harming small dogs and cats.
#3 Is the backyard secure?
When visiting the property, don’t forget to inspect the backyard. A pet-friendly backyard should have a good neighbor fence that is tall enough to prevent your dog from jumping over. Make sure that there are no gaps in the fence where your pet (and your neighbor’s pet!) can fit through. You should also take the opportunity to ask whether the people living directly beside your prospective home also have dogs. Fellow pet owners are more likely to be understanding if your dog barks now and then.
Another detail to consider is the backyard’s condition. Is the ground muddy? Does the yard have proper irrigation systems to fight soil erosion? If the backyard is bare, you may have to grow pet-friendly grass if your pets will be using it as their bathroom. Another consideration is whether the backyard is connected to a mudroom where you can clean your pets before they get inside.
#4 Is the flooring pet-proof?
If you keep your pet indoors, you will need to look for a home that has pet-proof flooring. Muddy paws can ruin carpets and sharp claws can scratch hardwood floors. Although if you have hardwood floor you should refinish your floor every seven or ten years so it brings back its original gloss. Read our guide on how to refinish hardwood floors the right way.
Look for pet-friendly materials such as stone, tiles, cork, and bamboo. Vinyl is the best type of flooring for pets, as they are inexpensive, long-lasting, and resistant to scratches and moisture. Dogs love carpets because they’re soft and less slippery, but keep in mind that they’re prone to stains.
If you think you’ve found the perfect home but the only problem is the flooring, a quick fix would be to cover the floor with massive rugs and mats.
#5 Are there stairs on the property?
If you have an elderly dog or cat, you need to consider whether they will need to climb stairs to get inside the home. Think about all of the places that your pet will have to access, including decks, ramps, and porches. Are the steps low enough for short-legged pets to reach? Are there railings that will keep them from falling off? If the home features an open-riser staircase, you may need to board it up to prevent your pet from falling through the gaps.
#6 Is the home big enough?
The size of the home is one of the most crucial factors to consider especially if you have a large dog. If your pet spends most of their time outside, a big backyard will be sufficient. However, if they prefer staying indoors, it’s best to avoid a home that has too many rooms and narrow hallways. Instead, go for an open floor plan where your pet can roam freely. The space has to be spacious enough to fit a dog bed or a scratching post.
#7 Are there dangerous water features?
While most dogs like taking a dip in the pool during hot summer months, water features such as pools and ponds are a major safety risk to both homeowners and their pets. If the potential home has water features, check whether they can be made safe. Can the pool be fenced off? Does the pool have steps that your pet can use to get out?
#8 Is the neighborhood pet-friendly?
Even if the property has a spacious yard, there will be times when you’ll want to take your dog out for a walk around the neighborhood. If you have cats, you might even consider letting them roam free. To verify whether your potential home is in a pet-friendly neighborhood, consider driving by early in the morning or late in the afternoon. This is when pet owners usually walk their pets. Observe your surroundings. Are pet owners walking their dogs on-leash or off-leash? What dog breeds do they have? Do their dogs seem friendly?
#9 What pet services are nearby?
The home you choose must have access to essential pet services such as veterinary clinics. When your pet needs urgent medical attention, you don’t have the luxury of time to look for the nearest animal clinic. You should familiarize yourself with these emergency services beforehand.
Similarly, you should ensure that there are pet stores nearby. This saves you time so that you don’t have to drive into town each time you need pet supplies. Make sure there are professional groomers in the area so that you can quickly drop off and pick up your pet for their regular grooming.
If you’re looking for a fur-ever home, Luxury Property Care has several rental listings that might just be what you and your pets need. Get in touch with our real estate agents today to learn more about our vacancies. All of the properties under our management have undergone rigorous inspections to guarantee the safety of their residents — including their furry friends.