The following is a guest post from Ashley Spade. Ashley, in addition to being Sir Winston Pugsalot the First’s favorite human, is a blogger and law student. She volunteers at her local pug rescue in between studying and training for triathlons (sometimes at the same time).
Pets are a wonderful part of your family. They’re always happy to see you, overflowing with unconditional love—and, unlike children, they can’t talk back!
When it’s time to move to a new home, it’s important to think of your pet’s needs as well as your own. Whether you’re considering an apartment complex, a condominium, an existing home or land for sale, take some time to ensure that your new home is in a pet-friendly neighborhood.
But, how can you determine whether a neighborhood is pet-friendly or not? Investigating a few simple neighborhood characteristics can help you find a new home that’s perfect for you—and your furry friend.
Consider factors such as:
- Availability of outdoor space
- Proximity to parks
- Reliable veterinarians nearby
- Proximity of pet stores and services
- Neighbors’ attitudes
Access To The Great Outdoors
Whether you’re considering a move to an apartment or a house, most pets—with the exception of indoor-only pets—require access to the outdoors. Don’t worry; this doesn’t necessarily mean you need a huge yard.
Most pets enjoy having a fenced backyard space in which to run and play. Depending on the animal’s size, even an apartment courtyard, a balcony or a porch can provide fresh air, space and sunshine.
Even pets that can go outside whenever they please still need regular exercise. Investigate your potential new home’s proximity to parks and green spaces. Off-leash parks are a great place to take friendly dogs. Not only do they enjoy socialization, but it’s also a great place to meet other pet owners.
If there’s not an off-leash park near your new home, consider other outdoor options where you can take leashed dogs. Many hiking, biking and walking trails allow leashed dogs, providing exercise for you and your pet.
Consider a potential new home’s safety factors. Is the backyard completely fenced in? Can your pet escape through any small holes or gaps? Can other animals get in? Is it near a busy road? Are there aggressive animals living nearby that might cause problems?
Though you don’t like to imagine our pet getting sick or injured, accidents do happen. Check to make sure there are reliable veterinarians in the area.
You can find reviews online or ask other residents for recommendations. If there aren’t any vets nearby, check to see if there is a pet ambulance service that serves the area.
The proximity of other pet-friendly services is important, as well. Look around for local pet stores, groomers, doggie day cares, trainers, pet sitters and even pet bakeries that cater to pet owners. The closer they are, the more convenient they are for you!
Last, explore the general attitude toward pets in the neighborhood. Take a walk around the area on a weekday after work hours and note how many residents are out walking their dogs.
Stroll through the business districts and search for shops that put water dishes out front. Look at restaurants, cafes and coffee shops with outdoor seating. Do patrons have their dogs with them? These signs usually indicate a pet-friendly environment.
Sharing your life with a pet is a source of joy. Keep it that way by choosing a neighborhood where both you and your animal companion feel welcome.