It’s not up for discussion, it’s a proven fact: People love their pets! National Pet Owners Survey estimates 67% of U.S. households, or about 85 million families, own a pet.
These pets are clearly being pampered. According to Petpedia.com, the pet industry in America is expected to surpass $99 billion in 2021, and it just keeps growing. Since the onset of the Covid-19 pandemic, pet product sales have significantly increased as well as adoptions. In an otherwise isolating time, pets provide entertainment and companionship.
However, being stuck at home with these “fur babies” has shown us whether our house was truly pet-friendly or not quite suited for our four-legged friends as much as we would have liked.
If you have a furry friend in your life and are looking to purchase a house, here are seven things to consider in your home search, besides whether it has a doggy door or not.
It’s been said the first thing to consider when buying any home is LOCATION! LOCATION! LOCATION! This is especially true when you have a pet. Here are a few tips to ensure that the location is ideal for your furry friend:
- Most pet owners know to avoid homes on busy streets, but they should also consider if their pet is a good fit in a quiet community.
- Survey the area for unsafe conditions and natural dangers. It’s important to understand indigenous wildlife like alligators, coyotes, or hawks and their potential threat to pets.
- Scout out the home’s proximity to parks and trails
- Be sure to look out for local veterinarians and pet-friendly businesses in the area.
If the location is the first thing to consider when purchasing a home with a pet, the yard, or lack thereof, is certainly the second thing on the list. Some owners prefer to keep their pets indoors but many like to have a yard with room to roam.
Besides the size of the yard, containment and covering should also be a factor. Covering provides protection in several forms, both from the heat and birds of prey.
In most cases, a physical fence is the best option to provide safety and security for pets to enjoy the outdoors. Some pet trainers advise against electric fences, and many communities have leash laws that require pets to be attended to when outside. Inspect fences to make sure they are high enough to keep your pet from escaping, and there are no holes or places where your bet could become entangled.
Because many pets spend most of their time indoors each day, the windows in the home are important to their overall well-being. Even if it’s just a sliver, your pet will pick out the purr-fect spot for sunning. Not only do dogs, cats, and mammals in general need sunlight, exposure to the changing nature of raw sunlight throughout the whole day is necessary to be healthy. While they offer great light, it’s important to make sure these portals are safe for your pet. Inspect potential properties to make sure windows are intact and secure, especially the ones on upper levels.
4) Toxic Substances
Pet-proof your home by ensuring safe materials and limiting access for pets to do damage. Here are a few things to consider:
- Don’t confine pets to small spaces where they would be likely to chew through walls, doors, or floors.
- Make sure outlets are safe and cord wiring is not exposed, especially if you have rabbits.
- Consider adding a kick plate to doors and covers to doorframes where pets might like to scratch or chew.
- Older homes should be diligently inspected for any older building materials that could be toxic to your pets. Lead paint, asbestos, and fiberglass insulation can all pose hazards to your pets.
- Don’t just look in your house though, look in your yard too. Some plants and even buried bulbs can make your pet sick or worse.
The debate on the perfect flooring for a pet is endless, but basically, it boils down to how old is your pet and do you want to get something inexpensive with the plan to replace it, or get something more expensive but plan to maintain it. Carpet, for example, will save you from hearing the never-ending tapping of nails running around, and can provide stability for pets with mobility problems and relief for those with sore joints. However, it can hold hair and odor and can be harder to clean.
6) Layout and Accessibility
When your pet is young, you might want to restrict areas of the home, so make sure you chose a space where a gate will fit. As your pet ages, mobility can become a problem. All of this makes each stair inside and outside of the house a challenge for an older pet to overcome.
Depending on what kind of animal lives in your new house, check out who and what is covered by homeowner’s insurance. Some policies charge more for specific breeds of dogs, or worst case, won’t provide insurance at all.
Many people already think of their pets like their children, so it makes sense to consider their needs when house hunting. Both pet and homeownership are long-term commitments. Ready to buy? Our team of experts at OVM can help guide you in the right direction. Give us a call or start your application online to get started.
Talk to a Loan Officer
Get a personalized plan or ask any questions to our dedicated loan officers.