In 2017, SunTrust Bank commissioned a study to determine why, exactly, members of today’s most populous generation, millennials, are buying homes. Surprisingly, pets ranked higher than marriage and children as reasons to buy a home by persons aged 18 to 36.
People buy houses for many reasons, including to have more space (#1) and build equity (#2). But as more and more young adults prolong marriage and children, there has been a shift toward “puppy parenthood.” And while having a dog ostensibly means having fewer responsibilities than raising an infant, pet parents are just as diligent in their quest to provide the best life for themselves and their four-legged friends.
When considering a new home, dog owners, especially, must look for certain features that make the home fun and safe for their animals.
● Pet safe flooring – Dogs have claws meaning carpet might not be the best choice for homebuyers with animals in tow. Puppies are known to chew and eat loose fibers, which can cause intestinal blockages. The home remodeling experts at This Old House recommend bamboo flooring for its stain resistance and strength.
● Outdoor safety features – One of the first things new buyers look for is a fenced backyard. But, more than just keeping a poodle penned, barriers discourage other dogs (and aggressive wild animals) from entering a restricted area. In addition to fencing, pet parents must search for a home with a lawn free of potentially toxic plants. The ASPCA lists a number of popular landscaping accents, such as azaleas and English ivy, as dangerous to dogs.
● Proximity to dog-friendly outdoor space – With dog parks popping up across America, most major municipalities offer ample opportunities for dogs and their owners to get out and meet other animal lovers. Socialization is an important part of a pet’s well-being so being near leash-free public spaces is a definite benefit for families with four-legged children.
Moving With Dogs
Moving into a new home can be a stressful experience for everybody, even the family dog. Dogs are creatures of habit and thrive on routine. When this routine is disrupted, even temporarily, dogs can become anxious and exhibit signs of stress. When considering a move, timing is everything. It’s best to start packing early but slowly and over the course of several weeks. Your dog likely won’t pay much attention to a new moving box in the corner every few days but his “Spidey senses” will tingle if everything disappears at once.
Here are a few additional tips on easing the transition:
● Arrange a pet sitter or make boarding arrangements for your dog on days there will be heavy loading or unloading. This will keep them from getting underfoot and ensure they don’t mean mug the movers.
● If boarding isn’t an option, find a quiet room for your pet to rest. Don’t forget to check on them every half hour or so and take them out for extra bathroom breaks. With all the hustle and bustle going on, they will likely be nervous and nervous and scared dogs tend to empty their bladders often. Canine Obedience, a UK-based dog training website, explains that puppies will urinate in response to loud noises, which are common when moving furniture.
● Let your dog inspect their new den [your home] once it’s set up with your furniture and personal belongings in place. Leave your pets most treasured comfort items out in the open so they will feel more welcome in this strange environment.
● Take a walk through of the home with your dog, providing plenty of treats along the way.
● Never force a dog into a room he or she is fearful of. You can place treats in the floor of the room and your dog will likely enter at ease in his own time.
Keep in mind that dogs are adaptable and will learn to trust their new home in time. Be prepared for some pushback on their end, but remain patient and calm and life will get back to normal sooner than you think!