Pets are part of the family. So when it comes time to buy a home, pet owners make their dogs’ and cats’ needs a priority. But what, exactly, makes a pet-friendly home? This buying and moving guide will help you navigate a move with your pets in mind.
Is It Time to Move? How to Buy the Perfect Home for You And Your Pets
Millions of people across the country moved last year. Whether their old home didn’t accommodate a new pet or they were tired of paying pet fees to landlords, those families decided it was time for an upgrade.
A more pet-friendly home isn’t the only reason to buy a home. Maybe you got a great job offer in a new area, you’re growing your family, or you want to move closer to the city or farther away. The important thing is that you understand why you want to move. Whether it’s a pet-friendly house or larger square footage, your motivations for moving are a deciding factor in the home you purchase.
House-Hunting for Pet Owners
A pet-friendly home makes life with dogs and cats easier. When shopping for your future home, look for these pet-friendly features:
- Hard flooring
- Single-story floor plan and/or carpet runners on stairs (for senior dogs)
- Fenced backyard
- Safe sidewalks and pedestrian crossings
- Nearby parks, trails, and green spaces
- Hard flooring
- High ceilings
- Fenced yard and low-traffic neighborhood (for indoor-outdoor cats)
- Large windows with perches
- Screened-in porch or sunroom
- Laundry room or large bathroom for litter boxes
In addition to shopping for these features, pet owners should check homeowners association bylaws before making an offer. HOA rules may restrict the number of pets, breed, noise, and roaming.
After finding the right home, turn your sights to the move.
These are the basic steps every homeowner needs to take before a local or long-distance move:
- Decide how much moving help you want and screen and hire moving companies.
- Declutter and donate or throw out items you don’t intend to move. Inventory everything you plan to keep.
- Collect packing materials and start packing small things that won’t be missed.
- Arrange for a cleaning service to deep clean the old house. Most Milwaukee homeowners pay $114 – $244 for maid services.
- Change your address and set up utility service in the new home.
Moving with Dogs and Cats
Moving is difficult enough for people, and we know what’s going on. For dogs and cats who can’t understand the change happening in their lives, a move is a highly stressful experience.
Before the move, take these steps to get your pet’s affairs in order:
- Update pet microchip data (the average cost of a microchip implant is $45) and ID tags
- Retrieve copies of veterinary records
- Refill pet medications
- Find a new veterinarian
- Arrange pet boarding for moving day (overnight boarding usually costs $25 – $45 per night)
Why pet boarding? Most moving guides tell you to start packing early to save labor. However, pets get nervous when their home changes. Rather than a DIY move that takes several weeks, hire moving help and board your pet on moving day to avoid unnecessary stress and prevent an escape.
There are other things you can do to manage your pet’s stress while moving, such as:
- Get your pet comfortable with his crate
- Avoid feeding pets right before travel, but keep them hydrated
- Always leash or crate pets before opening vehicle doors
- Screen pet-friendly hotels and rest areas in advance
- Set up a quiet, private area where your pet can get accustomed to the new home
- Pet-proof the new house before letting pets free roam
- Monitor pets for signs of stress and illness after the move
If your pet gets severely anxious during moves, talk to your veterinarian about medication to calm your pet’s nerves while traveling.
Whether you’re moving because of your pets or you’re moving and just happen to have pets, it’s important to keep dogs’ and cats’ needs in mind as you buy your next home. When you do, it’s not only your pets who benefit: If your pets are cared for and happy, you can focus on the big move instead of worrying over little details.
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