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We love our pets and want the best for them. In fact, many pet owners buy homes in order to provide a good place to live for their furry friends. But purchasing a home with a pet is not often as simple as we like to think: There are a lot of details you must take into consideration for not only your benefit, but your pet’s.

Here’s what you should know before buying a home with a pet and finding a pet-friendly area:

Inspect Pet-Friendly Home Features & Layouts

When looking at homes, keep your pet in mind. If they are aging, will they have trouble getting up and down the stairs? If you have a cat, a large breed dog, or multiple pets, is there enough room for both them and you to be comfortable? For example, cats need specific home features in order to feel secure and happy, like a private place for their litter box and the ability to perch above ground level. You should also make sure there’s enough storage to hold pet supplies.

You may want to avoid homes with carpet unless you don’t mind tearing it up and replacing with hardwood. Hardwood is easier to maintain with pets and if you decide to keep carpet, remember to clean it regularly to prevent pet stains and odors from hanging around. This is especially beneficial if you decided to sell later on down the road.

Double Check Your Local Pet Laws

Before you decide on a home, it is critical that you check your local pet laws. HOAs and cities enforce rules and regulations on pet ownership, which can affect your home location choices. In some cases, some HOAs prohibit pets or certain types of pets altogether. The most common rules and regulations for HOAs and cities include:

  • Owners must clean up after their pets.
  • Owners must keep their pets leashed and if tethered, tethered safely for short periods of time with adequate food, water, and shelter.
  • Owners cannot have more than the stated number of pets.
  • Owners must keep their pet’s vaccinations and registrations up to date.

Of course, this is not a comprehensive list and will vary from place to place. So it is vital that you research the HOA and city rules in your preferred area.

Keep Your Pet’s Safety In Mind

You should keep your pet’s safety in mind when looking for a pet-friendly home. For example, it’s a very good idea to avoid homes on busy streets: Your pet may accidentally get outside without your supervision and get hurt. Like with school districts and surrounding amenities, keep a lookout for safe, pet-friendly places like parks, supply stores, and reputable clinics. If you have a dog, make sure that the area is easily walkable.

When inspecting the home, take the time to meet the neighbors and ask about noise and other pets in the area. Are they allowed to run free? Has there been any trouble in the past? Asking these questions will help you gauge the suitability of the neighborhood.

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