They say that home is where the heart is. But any pet parent knows that’s not true. Home, in fact, is wherever your fur baby is, because, in fact, your pet is your heart running around on four legs.
And that means that finding the perfect home is a bit more complicated when you’re a pet parent. To ensure that your little Boomer or Mirabelle lives a long, happy, and healthy life in your new digs, there are some important things you’re going to want to keep in mind.
Renting or Buying?
When you are a pet parent, it’s not always easy to find a landlord who will love your pet as much as you do. And that can make renting a home a particular challenge. So much so, in fact, that you might consider the possibility of buying a home of your own if you are in the financial position to do so and you’re not planning to relocate for a while.
If it turns out that renting is your best or only option for the time being, though, don’t despair. You don’t have to choose between finding a rental home and keeping your fur baby with you.
What you do need to do, though, is have an open, honest, and thorough conversation with your prospective landlord. Set the terms and conditions down in writing, including any monthly pet fees, as well as any responsibility you might have for repairing damages your pet might cause.
Whether you’re renting or buying, though, it’s a great idea to find a real estate agent who is pet-friendly. This way, they’ll know just what you and your fur baby need in terms of both the right home and the right pet-friendly neighborhood.
Know the Space Before You Sign
Choosing a home for yourself and your fur baby means looking out for potential hazards that might be lurking unseen. Asbestos, for example, is a particular danger with older construction, putting both you and your pet at serious risk for potentially life-threatening respiratory diseases.
But it’s not just dangers lurking in the building construction itself. You also need to look for hazards that might have been unintentionally left behind by the previous owners. This might include choking from drapery cords, shock hazards from exposed wires and outlets, or poisoning hazards from pesticides or toxic plants or substances.
Ease the Transition
Once you’ve settled on the perfect new digs for you and little Samson or Delilah, that doesn’t mean your work is done. It’s imperative that you don’t rush your pet’s transition. Instead, spend some time tricking out the space just for them.
Whenever possible, invest in flooring, furnishing, and fabrics that are not just comfortable and attractive, but also pet-safe, easy to clean, and stain and odor resistant. It’s also a good idea to allow your pet to visit the new house a time or two before you actually move in for good. Have a favorite toy, a comfy bed, and a food and water bowl already waiting for them so that they’ll quickly learn to recognize this space as their own.
Above all, be extra vigilant. Make sure your pet is microchipped and take particular care with doors and windows during those first few weeks. Your pet is probably going to be excited, curious, and maybe even a bit freaked out by all the new sights, sounds, and smells. And that can make them more likely to bolt out the door if they become startled or just overexcited.
When you’re a pet parent, you know that home is wherever your fur baby lays her head. And you want that space to be the healthiest, happiest, most inviting space possible. After all, your little four-legged angel deserves nothing less!