When you have a dog, you must consider their needs as well as your own as you make many of your life decisions. This includes buying a new home and relocating. If you’re a dog owner in the market for a new home, here are some tips to guide you through the process:
Finding a suitable home
The first thing you want to consider is where you are moving and what kind of home you want to live in:
Whether you’re moving down the road or out of state, the most important aspect of your chosen location is the neighborhood. Your dog doesn’t need a perfect neighborhood, but you should make sure the one you choose is safe and dog-friendly. Ask yourself questions like:
● Are there other dogs in the neighborhood?
● How close is the nearest veterinarian?
● Are there any dog parks nearby?
● Is there a good sidewalk for morning and evening walks?
A great way to determine if a neighborhood meets both your and your dog’s needs is to rent out a pet-friendly vacation home. For example, if you’re looking around Los Angeles, you want a neighborhood that speaks to you both. Long Beach and down the coast have great beach communities if the two of you prefer daily oceanside walks. Or look to Silverlake, which has some of the best hiking, in addition to plenty of restaurants, bars and coffee shops. By choosing a rental in an LA neighborhood that matches up with your interests, you and your pup can get an up-close view to help decide whether it’s the right place for you.
Another important thing to consider when choosing your new destination is the actual property. Some dogs require certain features to truly thrive on an everyday basis. For instance, high-energy dogs do best when they have a large, fenced-in outdoor area where they can run and play. Larger dogs are generally more comfortable in a home with more square footage. Older dogs often need additional accommodations or modifications, such as comfortable flooring or non-slip mats, a doggy door, and/or a single-floor layout. Remember, you can always make modifications to a property if necessary.
Smooth Out the Moving Process
Along with picking out your new location, you will want to strategize the moving process so that it’s as comfortable as possible for you and your pup.
On moving day (and the days leading up to it), consider having a friend or family member watch your dog while you pack. A lot of dogs get anxious when objects are moved around, so conditioning them to moving supplies or even having them out of the home while you pack and carry boxes out could help keep them at ease with the changes. If friends or family aren’t an option, look into hiring a pet sitter. When you’re ready to head out, be sure your pup’s spot in the vehicle is comfortable for them. If they’re not used to riding in the car, you may want to take them on a few short car rides beforehand to get them used to it.
Routine is one of the most important things for dogs. With a change as drastic as relocation, maintaining every aspect possible of your dog’s routine can help with the transition. For instance, during the move and while your pup is settling into the new home, try to feed them, take them out to potty, and walk them at their normal times. Another way to ease their anxiety is to bring along some of their belongings (e.g., blanket, pillow, toys, etc.) for the trip.
Be sure to think of your dog’s needs when you’re choosing your new neighborhood and home. Remember to have someone watch them while you move your items out of your old home, and try to keep some of their routine intact throughout the process. Following these tips will help ensure your new chapter starts off on the right paw.
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