Dog-Friendly Features: Tips for House-Hunting Families With a Pet


If you have a family, there are plenty of things to consider when buying a new house. Size and location aren’t the only considerations. You need to find a house in a good school district with a yard to play in, preferably near a park with lots of nice places to shop nearby. A family with a dog needs to think about their four-legged friend’s needs as well, though it can be easy to overlook when the family dog has been a mainstay of your household for years, or you could end up working with a real estate agent who doesn’t have experience with dogs and doesn’t know what to look for. Most dogs are pretty adaptable, but there are a few features that any dog owner should look for in a home.

Physical features

For a dog to thrive in your new home, there are a few “must-haves” to include on your checklist. Safety should be your number one concern, so focus on a property that has a fenced-in yard. Look carefully at the fence – if there are gaps or room underneath for a small dog to crawl through, you may need to keep looking or request that the owner fill in the gaps. While you’re at it, check out the landscaping. Look for flowers such as azaleas, daffodils and daylilies, which are poisonous to pets.

Are you looking for a large property with plenty of land? Watch for any water features that could be dangerous for your dog – many breeds are strong swimmers, but not all. Houses in areas that get a lot of street traffic can also be dangerous, especially if there are poorly secured floor-level windows and doors.


Dogs start slowing down when they get older, much like people. If your dog is a little long in the tooth, he may not be able to navigate stairs, and hard wooden stairs may present a danger for slipping. A house in which a dog can easily move from room to room will make it easier on you as well as your pet. It’ll also be inconvenient if you have to carry a dog up and down stairs just so he can go outside, or if you have to buy safety gates to prevent the family pooch from suffering a nasty fall.  

The neighborhood

It’s important to check out the neighborhood. If you don’t see any dogs in yards or being walked, there could be a neighborhood pet restriction, or your potential neighbors may not like dogs. Either way, it won’t be a good environment for your furry friend. Moving in next to someone who’s going to call the police every time your dog barks too much or if he gets loose won’t be a happy situation for you or your pet. If you have a large dog that needs his exercise, find out where the nearest dog park is, or look for a place where dogs can run and play freely.

Anxiety-free moving

Dogs are creatures of habit. A disrupted environment can cause trauma, so make arrangements to have someone watch your pet while the movers are tromping through the house. Some moving companies will request that you keep a dog out of the way throughout the moving process, for his safety as well as the movers. Make a point of setting up your pet’s bed, toys, and food and water dishes in a specially-appointed part of the new house.

Spend some time with him once you’re moved in so he starts to feel at home right away. Bear in mind that if you have too much stuff for your new house, you might want to put some of your larger, more awkward objects into storage, which will make everyone more comfortable. In Las Vegas, you can find an affordable 10’ x 20’ storage space for just $85 at RightSpace Storage in Westwood.

Currently, Las Vegas homes are averaging in price at around $216,500. That’s not a small chunk of change, so you need to ensure your new abode will suit every member of your family. When you’re house hunting, factor in the family dog when settling on search criteria. Do some research to make sure you’re looking in a dog-friendly area and, above all, be sure that any house you’re considering is physically suited to your pet, has a fenced-in yard, and can be secured so Fido can’t run away and get into trouble.


Article by Tyler Evans

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