If you're looking to buy a new home, remember that your dog will move with you. You want to choose a home that's right for you both.
About 36 percent of American households have a dog, so dog friendliness is an important factor in real estate today. Your real estate agent will know what to look for if you tell her that a happy dog is important to you.
Find the right neighborhood
Is the neighborhood dog friendly? There are ways to find out. The best indicator of a dog-loving neighborhood is if you see a lot of pooches out and about. Their owners will take them for walks regularly, and you can meet them on your own walks.
Check out the dog parks nearby. Are there lots of dogs running around, looking happy? If the big dogs are getting snippy with the little ones, this might not be the best park for you. Do the owners keep an eye on their pets or do they ignore them? Do they clean up after their pets? These are all important factors in considering a dog park.
Check out the local laws too. If you're moving to a new town, or even just the next county over, there could be special ordinances or neighborhoods covenants in place for certain dog breeds, number or pets and more. Make sure you do your homework so you don't get an ugly surprise after you move.
Find the right home
When you start looking at homes, know what you are looking for. Do you need a fenced yard? More space for your large-breed dog? A tall fence to keep in fence-jumpers?
Floors should be a consideration, too. Hard floors are usually best for dogs, as carpets hold smells and stains. You can have a carpeted home, but be prepared to use a carpet shampooer when accidents or muddy paw prints happen.
Beware of homes with a lot of stairs in them. If your dog is elderly or will be someday, stairs can be difficult to climb. When he gets old, you may have to carry him up and down stairs or get a ramp for him to climb small flights.
Time to move
Seeing people carrying out all "his" furniture and belongings can make a dog nervous. Consider boarding him on moving day to keep him away from the stress of seeing movers and people coming and going from your house. The will keep him safe from being released outside and keep him from getting aggressive towards strangers in his home.
When it's time to pack up his things, don't wash them. Having the old scents on his toys and bedding will comfort him in his new place to call his own when he arrives.
Let your dog explore the house on a leash before you move in all the furniture. Let him sniff all around the home to take in the smells. Then place him in his room with his belongings, keeping him locked up until the items are moved into the house. Make sure he knows where his food and water bowl are.
Spend extra time with your dog during packing and unpacking breaks to remind him you're always there for him. He'll adjust quickly to his new home and be ready for new adventure in no time.
While it may be stressful for you, it's even more stressful for your pooch, who doesn't understand what's going on.