House hunting in the Bay Area is all about compromise. You want two baths, but everything in your price range has one. You’d love an open concept home, but none are in your price range. One place you can’t skimp, though, is on your furry friends. If the house won’t work for them, it will be miserable for you.
How to pick a house for your pets
It might seem weird to pick a house with your pets in mind, but think about it. If the house isn’t pet friendly, you will end up spending a lot of time and energy and possibly heartbreak making up for the fact that your new home just isn’t pet friendly.
1. Make sure your pets are legal
When you buy, you expect that your pets are no one’s business, but most municipalities have limits on numbers and kinds of pets. Many HOAs have size limits and at some condo and townhouse complexes don’t allow pets at all. Be sure to check before signing any papers.
2. Make sure the yard is ready
Do you have a yard? Most dogs like to use grassy areas to relieve themselves. Often a small patch will do, as long as you are diligent about cleaning it up. Are there thorny or poisonous plants? Is there a fence and does the fence have holes? Is the gate secure?
3. Are the streets busy?
When moved from a relatively remote area to a busy street. Our indoor/outdoor cat is still adjusting to being a strictly indoor cat, but he’s safe. Be sure your neighborhood is safe for pets or don’t let them outside unless in your backyard or on a leash.
4. Does your house have stairs?
If you have an elderly dog, especially a large elderly dog, stairs could be a problem. Even if you have a young dog who’s too big for you to lift, you might avoid stairs. Most dogs have trouble with stairs once they reach a certain age.
5. Is the home set up for your pets?
If you have a large dog, you want to make sure that you can arrange the furniture so you have planned of room to walk around and so that your dog will have plenty of room to roam. If you have a cat, you will want to make sure there are places for litter boxes and for a cat tree. Even small dogs need a feeding and comfortable sleeping area.
6. Does your home have carpet
Carpet and pets are not always the best fit. Pets are notorious for staining carpets, and sometimes dogs will mark new homes while you’re not looking. Once a urine stain makes it through the carpet pad, it’s almost impossible to remove. Cats can be even more destructive to carpets. Even if you keep their claws trimmed and give them plenty of places to scratch, they can still scratch up your carpet.
Featured image via Pexels.