Looking for a new house?
There are lots of things to consider…
Location, size, nearby schools, a nice kitchen…
But, obviously, the most important thing to consider is this:
Will your dog like it?
Your dog doesn’t care how nice the kitchen is, as long as there’s food in it.
And he doesn’t care about how many bedrooms there are, as long as he can snuggle in your bed.
But he does care about these things:
- Stairs: are they good for him?
- Flooring: which material is best?
- Yard: what does a good yard have?
- Neighborhood: what makes a good neighborhood for your dog?
Alright, let’s dive in and see how to choose the best home for your dog.
Just like for people, stairs are a good workout for your dog.
It’s tough walking up them, which helps strengthen muscles that support joints that often get injured in a dog, such as their hips.
But there are some things to watch out for:
- If the stairs are wood, make sure they have carpet or stair runners on them. Plain wood stairs can cause your dog to slip and injure themselves.
- Make sure to teach your dog how to walk up the stairs correctly with people. An out of control dog can mean bad news for a person walking up the stairs at the same time.
- Make sure your dog takes it easy on the way down. If he is sprinting down the stairs, that can put a lot of force on his shoulders, which can injure them.
In addition to those things to watch out for, also keep these two thoughts in mind:
- Stairs are not good for young puppies with developing bones and joints.
- Stairs also may not be good for older dogs.
Verdict: stairs can be a good workout for your dog, but are not necessary in a house, especially one with really young or old dogs.
There are several factors to consider when looking at what flooring is best for your dog:
- Floor durability (important to you)
- Stain resistance and ease of cleanup (important to you)
- Traction (important for your dog and their joints…and therefore important to you)
Flooring such as vinyl or carpet are the best options in this arena.
These options don’t scratch, so they will not be ruined by your dog’s nails.
Hardwood floors, on the other hand, are easily gouged.
Stain Resistance & Ease Of Cleanup
This attribute is important for many reasons, especially potty training.
Dogs like to use the restroom where they smell previous poop or pee.
If an accident is not cleaned up properly (with an enzyme cleaner), a puppy will likely keep going in that same spot.
Obviously, carpet is one of the tougher options as far as cleaning up goes.
Pee easily soaks into the carpet, while hair gets tangled in the carpet and is tough to vacuum up.
On the other hand, vinyl, tile, laminate or hardwood floors are best for this factor.
Traction is important for your dog’s joints.
If the floor is too slippery for their furry paws, they may change their gait, which can lead to joint problems.
Vinly and carpet are the top options here, with slippery material such as laminate or hardwood floors bringing up the rear.
Verdict: if you get to choose, the best option is vinyl because it provides traction, easy cleanup, and is durable.
See this article for more about the best types of floor for your dog.
This is a no brainer.
A house with a yard is better for your dog than a house without a yard.
But what makes a good yard?
- It has a fence. Fences keep your dog inside the yard where it’s safe and keeps other large animals out.
- It has grass. Dogs love grass.
- It has a loving a human with a ball or frisbee.
In addition to those things that make up a good yard, here are things to avoid in a yard.
- Avoid small landscaping elements dogs can easily choke on or swallow, such as mulch or small rocks.
- Keep an eye out for potentially harmful critters, such as cane toads, poisonous spiders, or snakes.
- Make sure your dog doesn’t develop a habit of eating sticks, which can cause tummy issues if ingested.
Bonus yard element: a pool!
Many dogs love the water, and it can be an excellent workout (as well as an outlet for their seemingly boundless energy).
Verdict: yards are great!
You can make modifications to your house, but you can’t change the neighborhood.
Before buying a home, cruise around the neighborhood.
Are there off-leash dogs that could be a problem on walks?
Is there trash laying around that your curious pup will get into on walks?
Are there parks close by that you could go to?
Of course, these are things that you’ll want to make sure of whether or not you have a dog, so there’s not really any special exceptions you’ll have to make here.
Verdict: the main thing to consider in a neighborhood is safety, which is important for all members of the family.
Choosing a house is a big decision.
Of course, the most important question to ask yourself is, “Will my dog like it?”
To choose a good house for your dog keep these things in mind:
- If your dog is old, stairs might not be the best for her. However, stairs make a good workout for adult dogs.
- The best flooring for your dog is flooring that allows his paws to get traction, without getting scratched up, and facilitates easy cleanup. Vinyl may be the best option here.
- Yards are a major plus.
- Make sure the neighborhood does not have off-leash dogs that could harass you and your pup (and your family) while out for a walk.
Do you have any tips for choosing a good house for your dog?
Let us know in the comments below!
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