So you’ve set your sights on finding a new home to live in, and there’s no way you’re giving up your beloved pet dog as you look to change up your digs. Practically family, life without your darling furball would seem dull and dreary, despite your furniture needing a welcome break from clawing practice, pet messes and whiplash tails.

This makes the quest to find the perfect house all the more daunting, as your dog’s approval, sometimes fickle, amounts to an additional problem to overcome on your home buying checklist. Besides the standard concerns of finding a home that falls within budget, one that’s in good shape, ideally located, and preferably within a pet-friendly neighborhood, what else is a house-hunting dog owner to do?

Here are several important suggestions to help you get started.

Work with a Realtor Who Understands Your Pet’s Needs

 Finding a true pet-friendly realtor is essential in your search for a home that you and your family, dog included, will love. A realtor that falls into this category is one who will expertly know about town or city pet ordinances, what regulations are upheld by certain condo or homeowners’ associations, and whether any of these ordinances will change in the future.

Don’t just stop there. Be proactive and ask about local pet amenities every time you tour a new place. Find out as much as you can about the house and its location; walk the neighborhood streets, talk to people out walking their pets, and stop by cafes, restaurants, and stores to get a feel for the pet friendliness of the neighborhood.

Take the Future into Account

Because you’ll likely be residing in your new home for many years to come, consider the needs of your pet dog as it ages, or those of new pets you may adopt in the future. These are parameters you should carefully weigh as you hunt for a new living space. A small studio apartment with no yard may be perfect for you and your Chihuahua, but that also means letting go of that dream of adopting a roaming and rollicking Weimaraner for the time being.

Similarly, today, your large and feisty Mastiff puppy may have no problem climbing three flights of stairs to your new apartment, but how will she fare when her mobility is impaired in her golden years?

Helping Your Dog Acclimate to Your New Home

 Once you’ve chosen a new home, you’ll naturally be concerned about two things: how your dog adjusts and how best to keep her from disrupting the move-in process.

Prepare yourself: the stress, anxiety, and general chaos that’s in the air on moving day will likely affect your pet dog. As they cope with all the changes, new behavioral problems may manifest. It’s not uncommon for them to “mark” its territory on move-in boxes or furniture, or huddle under the bed, not wanting to come out.

To keep these scenarios from happening, here are a few tips on how to acclimatize a pet dog to a new home:

  • Keep to the Old Routine: Stick to your regular routine for walking, feeding, playtime, and cuddling as much as possible. Also, try to preserve her previous dog-friendly environment in the new home. If your dog is used to a pet door, by all means, put one in your new living quarters. If your pet had a toy room all to herself in your old home, do the same in the new place. And so on.
  • Have a Plan for the Move: Think about where to place your pet when moving and unpacking. Some dogs will want to be near you no matter where you are. Others will fare better in a dog crate placed away from the moving mayhem. Another option is to have your furry friend with family or a friend during the move; joining you once you’re settled in. Their sense of security is very important when you create that for them as much as possible, the transition process is smoother.
  • Try Recreating Your Old Home Environment: You may be tempted to give your dog new toys and the like, but the newness of the generous act may confuse them further. Instead, place your dog’s favorite crate, bed, toys, water, and food dishes, treats and other personal items in similar places as they were in the old home. This will comfort her as she adjusts to the new environment.

Finding a new home that works for you and your pet doesn’t have to be a stressful undertaking.

By finding the right realtor, keeping the future in mind, and helping your dog adjust, everyone will be enjoying your new digs in no time.