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Tips for the House-Hunting Dog Owner
You might own a dog, but you’re the one on the hunt – for a new home. And you’ve decided you won’t stop looking until you’ve found the right one for you and your canine companion. Right now, 60 percent of U.S. households have a dog, while one in nine Americans move each year. So for anyone who falls into both categories, here are some house-hunting tips for you to follow.
The Right Home and Neighborhood
Picking the right home with your dog in mind will depend a lot on your pet’s needs. However, one amenity that has many advantages no matter what breed you have is a yard. Dogs love to roam, and a yard allows it to run around while you’re away at work. Install a doggy-door to let it pass outside as it pleases, but make sure there’s a fence so that it doesn’t run away. At the same time, decide whether the neighborhood is dog-friendly. Are people walking dogs? Do they have fences? Is there a dog park nearby? If you answered “yes” to most of these, you might have just found the right neighborhood for you.
Also, if you’re interested in buying a foreclosed home – likely for the financial incentive – the house you purchase might need some work. At the same time, a property in foreclosure may not be a money-pit. Ninety-two percent of respondents to a recent poll who bought a foreclosed home said that it was move-in ready. Meanwhile, 36 percent expected a discount on their purchase, only to discover that many foreclosed homes sell high. In Richmond, Virginia, for instance, the median price of buying a foreclosure property was $250,000, whereas the median property value in the U.S. is $188,900. Whichever house you move into, make sure that it provides enough space for your dog to roam, whether it’s a Pomeranian or a Great Dane.
Finally, the big day’s here. Moving is consistently ranked among life’s most stressful events. And if you think you’re the only one stressed out, think again. You’re probably spiking your dog’s anxiety, too. So, to calm it down, follow these steps. Stick with your same routine. (Feed it, walk it, come home and give it a chew-toy.) During the move, lavish attention on it. (Scratch it, hold it, give it another walk when you get there.) And after all the cardboard boxes are piled up, clear a space and put down a doggy bed so that your pet can enjoy an oasis of peace amid the clutter.
Landing on Your Feet
Once you’re moved in, make sure your new digs are pet-proofed. Close the toilet lid. Put the trash cans in a slide-out cabinet. Store lotions, cleaners, and medications out of reach. Place children’s toys and games where they belong. Check every nook of your fence to make sure there’s nowhere your dog can escape. Meanwhile, keep walking the dog around the neighborhood. Venture a bit farther every day. This way, your dog can enjoy some brisk exercise but also not be overwhelmed by the novelty of this strange new place.
Adjusting to your new home is going to take time for you and your dog. At first, your pooch might be unsettled enough that it barks, urinates on the floor, or follows you around whining. That’s okay. Household order shall return (eventually). For now, maintain the schedule that your dog’s used to so that one more thing you bring from your old house to your new one is a sense of routine and stability.
Article written by Medina James, DogEtiquette.info.