Pets matter. Your dog isn’t just an animal, your cats have preferences and personalities, and really, pets are family members (I know my own dog is, anyway!). So when you buy a home, what do they think? Will your pets love your new place just as much as you do?
Here are five factors to keep in mind if you want to buy a wonderful home for you and your pet.
1. Neighborhood noise. Is the house right next to I-5, or is it tucked away in Laurelhurst? Constant loud noises can overwhelm pets—and they don’t have the option of retreating to an office during the day. Your pets value peace and quiet just as much as you (if not more than you).
2. Parks and piddle-places. Your dog needs regular walks, and it certainly needs places to relieve itself. Is there a small neighborhood park tucked away on the street? If a home doesn’t have a yard, does it have a place for your dog to “go” within a minute’s walk of your front door? These don’t have to be large areas—but they have to be close. Your early-morning self won’t be too gung-ho about long, necessary bathroom treks. Just remember: that swanky two-bathroom apartment downtown could be a zero-bathroom apartment for your dog.
3. Stairs. Remember when your puppy encountered stairs for the first time? Super cute. But when your dog nears the opposite side of its life, those stairs become just as difficult to manage again, but this time without the cuteness. If you have an old dog, or if you plan on staying in a house for many years, make sure it doesn’t force your dog to tackle a huge number of stairs on a regular basis.
4. Pet-purposed places. Does the home have an out-of-sight location for a litter box? What about a large laundry room or mudroom where you can wash your dog after a muddy hike? A home shouldn’t be all about the features you need—your pet has needs, too!
5. Hard floors. Hard floors are good and bad for pets. If your pets are young (or old), accidents happen, and cleaning hardwood or linoleum is much easier than cleaning carpet. However, dogs often lose their footing on hard, slick surfaces—they scramble to find traction, and can eventually avoid those hard-floor rooms altogether. You’ll have to make a decision about hard floors based on your individual pet.