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Friday, November 11, 2011

Doggie Housing Decisions: Selecting Your
New Home with Fido in Mind

by Carrie Boyko, CEB
© courtesy 12th St. David via
What Do You Suppose
 this Fella's Family Picked for Him?

Depending on how you look at our economic situation right now, you may say that times are tough. Considering the historically low interest rates, you may say it's a great time to buy a home. If your financial situation is such that moving is an option, this is a great time to purchase a home. Prices are lower than in years and mortgage rates are unbelievable. With that in mind we've been tiptoeing into the  "what's available" listings every so lightly.

Suddenly I'm realizing that selecting a home has taken on a whole new decision-making angle. When my children were young, the priorities were very different. Now I find myself wanting to check out the fenced-in yard for the dogs, swimming opportunities for Tanner, safe exploration areas for Oliver, street safety and neighborhood Fidos. 

Hopefully I won't run into any BSL with a Golden and a Papillon. That would really put a damper on things. And how exactly do I go about finding out if the neighbors are not just dog-friendly, but open to dog socialization. Tanner tends to pout when a potential playmate (aka anything on 4 legs) doesn't agree to a meet-n-greet. How could they be so aloof?!

Back to the house...Homes with an upstairs need to have steps with some degree of safety built in for Oliver. He's small enough to slide through open stairways. Yikes! While Tanner will be very eager to have window views from all sides of the house, this is not what I want for him. Sometimes it is best he not be able to see whatever it is he's hearing. (Don't tell him I said that!)

Our neighborhood bear has been known to keep him running from window to window, yet so has a neighbor walking a dog. 

I once read a clever, yet somewhat convincing article on the art of Feng Shui for dogs. Should I be considering the energy flow and floorplan for Tanner and Oliver? What if their proposed needs are different? Oh dear. This could really get sticky.

What are your suggestions on things I should be looking for? I need input here folks. Help!

This post is a part of the Saturday Pet Blogger Hop hosted by Life with Dogs, Two Little Cavaliers and Confessions of the Plume. Their rules for participation follow, as copied from Life with Dogs' site on 11/8/11. 

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K-Koira said...

No major highways right in front of the house is a big one for me.

shilohsmom said...

I've been updating my house to get it ready to put on the market, hopefully in the spring, so I'm looking at listings too. In my area home prices haven't fallen very much, so it's a great time to sell here and buy in an area where they have fallen.

Some of the things I've been looking at are no busy roads too close to the house, a fence, how far is the nearest dog park, sidewalks for walking (none where I live now), and can Shiloh go outside without having to do up and down steps. He likes to lie on the deck and sunbathe when it's cool enough, so I'm looking for a house with a porch or deck where he can do that.

With 2-story homes, I'm be looking at how I can modify the downstairs to make it so I can do everything downstairs including sleeping, when Shiloh gets too old to climb the stairs. A lot of 2-story houses have all the bedrooms upstairs and that won't do. I want to be able to convert part of the downstairs into a bedroom for us, so I'm looking for a house where that would be possible.

I'm also looking at HOA rules about dogs, breed bans, and how dog-friendly the neighborhood and city are. Also city laws about fireworks and guns, as Shiloh is afraid of both, so a place that doesn't allow fireworks or shooting guns close to homes would be a plus.

I'm sure there is more, but that's all that comes to mind at the moment.

Road Dog Tales said...

About 100 acres surrounding a one-story house with a nice pond for swimming and trees would be ideal :)

That pic would have been so perfect for DUCK TAPE Festival - Duck Tape AND a dog!

The Road Dogs

Carrie, with Tanner and Oliver said...

Wow....great input gang. Thanks!

melf said...

There is so much to think about when buying a new house isn't there? I also thought a lot about what I wanted for my pets when I looked at houses. Originally, I wanted a big yard with a wood fence and a neighborhood that loved dogs as much as I do.

I never got the yard with the wood fence (it had no fence at all!) but what I did get was a huge yard with a lot of trees and flowers. I fenced it in myself and now my dogs can run as much as they want, rest under one of the many lilac bushes that frame the yard and say hi to all the neighbor's dogs.

One of the things I did before I bought my house was to visit the neighborhood a few times. I saw a lot of people walking their dogs which gave me a good idea about how they felt about dogs. I definitely live in a dog-loving neighborhood!

I also wanted a rambler so my older dog wouldn't have to navigate any stairs and that's what I got.

Thinking back now, I never realized how much my choice in houses and neighborhoods had to do with my pets.

I hope that you find that perfect place and it brings you and your dogs a lot of joy. Happy house hunting!

Pup Fan said...

When we were looking for a house, we focused on some things specific to Bella:

(1) a decent-sized fenced in yard (or one that we could fence, although already fenced was a big selling point - yards that were mostly patio or a swimming pool were out);

(2) space on the main level that I could easily gate off as a place for Bella to be when I wasn't home - she has the run of a fairly large area, but not access to everything;

(3) an "airlock" - aka an entrance to the house that would minimize her chances to escape (she's a bit of a Houdini - so we mostly enter and exit through our laundry room into the garage. It enables us to make sure that there's no real exit to the outside - kind of like a double dog park gate but in our house. We also built a double dog park gate in back);

4) HOA rules (see comment about the double dog park gate that we put in - we wanted flexibility so we ended up in a neighborhood with no HOA); and

(5) a dog-friendly neighborhood.

Some of those are obviously specific to Bella's particular quirks, but I definitely considered her when deciding what I wanted in a house.

Good luck on the house hunt... it can be daunting, but kind of fun too. I love going to open houses - honestly, the open houses really helped me refine what I was looking for too. when I saw things in person, I started to actually evaluate it as if I was living there and how it would work for my family.

Lisa said...

Certainly a neighborhood that's condusive to walking dogs or better yet, walking paths nearby. If there is a lot of foot traffic maybe be sure not to have venetian blinds inside the house. If your dog is running from window to window that would be a disaster! :)

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