Finding the Perfect Home for You and Your Dog
Guest Post by Cindy Aldridge
Americans love dogs. We spend billions of dollars on them each and every year. Millennials are even adopting four-legged friends rather than having kids and starting families of their own. In fact, a recent survey found that one-third of millennials that just purchased a home factored their dog into their decision-making process more than the idea of a future with children.
The thing is, your dog’s needs should come to mind when looking for a new house. Owning a dog is a huge responsibility. Having enough space and proper boundaries in the home helps curb unwanted and destructive behaviors like chewing foreign objects and furniture, relieving themselves indoors, howling, barking, pacing, scratching doors or windows, escaping or darting out the door, excessive licking, and eating random objects on the floor.
How Much Space Does Your Dog Need?
The amount of space a dog needs in a home is relative to his size and age. In general, we can say the larger the dog is, the more space he likely needs. Likewise, we can assume that older dogs tend to have more mobility problems, so they don’t necessarily need much space to use.
However, these are generalizations. When it comes to your dog, it really is up to your judgment. Some large dogs — the noble Great Dane comes to mind — make great condo dogs. Likewise, there are some smaller breeds like the feisty Jack Russell Terrier that need tons of room to run around. What your dog needs depends more on his personality and the lifestyle he is used to than it does on his size, age, and breed.
Location, Location, Location
You may not think of this, but finding a new place in the right location can make your life so much easier as a pup parent. Finding a new house in a neighborhood with plenty of pet amenities ensures your dog will be welcomed in the new area. When looking at a new house, observe the types of businesses and facilities around the neighborhood. If you see things like doggie daycare, pet bakeries, dog parks, trails with waste stations, pet boutiques, and restaurants with patios that appear to be dog-friendly, you are likely in a place where it will be easy to get the resources you need to take care of your four-legged friend. Of course, you’ll also want to research home prices in your area.
Introducing Your Dog to a New Home
Dogs are not really big fans of change — they prefer sticking with what’s familiar. To ease anxieties that may result from a change of environment, set up an area just for your dog. Generally, the area doesn’t need to take up much space — just enough for his bed and maybe a couple of toys or a bone. It’s simply an area where he can go to feel comfortable and get away from excessive noise. Also, set up his food and water bowls in a place that is sensical and in a spot relative to where they used to be. Once you bring your dog home, introduce him to where his bed is and where his food bowls are so he knows these two essential places right off the bat.
Let him walk through the house and explore on his own terms. Establish boundaries regarding where he is not allowed and observe him playing in the backyard, if you have one. The most important thing is getting your dog back on his normal schedule as soon as possible. A new environment is easy to get used to, a new schedule can make things even more confusing for your pup. Be sure to feed him, walk him, and play with him around your normal times, and don’t neglect your usual bonding activities. In the end, you provide your dog with feelings of security.
When introducing your dog to your new home, you’ll likely notice that your dog is introducing pet hair and other messes to the home. As such, it’s important to address those small messes as they occur before they become overwhelming and out of control. In addition to pet-safe cleaning supplies, considering investing in a top-quality vacuum that will address things like pet dander and hair. Reviews can help you select the best model, so read through them carefully.
The responsible pet owner looks for a new home with the needs of their dog in mind. While most large dogs need more space around the house, the actual size of a new home should be determined by the individual dog’s needs. Finding a home near pet-friendly amenities makes life more convenient and enjoyable. Finally, slowly introducing the dog to his new home with his securities in place will help ease the transition.