It’s only natural that you would take your dog’s needs into account when you’re house hunting.  However, sometimes in the rigamarole of boxing up things and researching neighborhoods, certain details can be lost in the shuffle.  Here are some points to keep in mind so you and your beloved canine find the perfect place to settle down.


Identifying interests and ideals


House hunting is challenging under the best of circumstances, but when you’re a dog owner, you have to consider the needs of a family member who can’t talk with you about priorities.  It can make it pretty tough, but with a little extra planning and strategizing, you can ensure success.


Start by considering your dog’s ideal lifestyle.  For instance, some dogs with short noses, like Shih Tzus, Pugs, and Bulldogs, need access to air conditioning on hot days, while more athletic breeds, like Australian Cattle Dogs, Dalmations, and Vizslas, can benefit from room to run.


While owners often feel a fenced yard is a boon for potty trips, lazy dogs might be just as happy with leashed walks.  Along those same lines, there will be days the weather doesn’t allow for backyard explorations, so an active dog will enjoy more space in the house to expend energy.


Planning a move from afar can be particularly challenging.  There is nothing like visiting an area in person so you can explore what’s available first-hand.  Think about finding a vacation rental in the area you’re considering. The home-like setting of vacation rentals can be more comfortable for dogs than hotels, and it allows you to become familiar with the area together.  Best of all, Turnkey notes that Phoenix has a variety of rentals that put you in close proximity to activities you might enjoy with your pup, like hiking the trails on Camelback Mountain or walking through the downtown arts district.You can even take your dog to various neighborhoods you’re considering and do some walking, which will not only allow you to look at properties street-side, but see how dog-friendly the area really is.


Moving strategies


Packing, house hunting, and moving are all pretty stressful, and the process can be bewildering for your dog.  Dogs know when something is going on, so throughout the process, try to keep things toned down as much as possible.  Organizing Junkie recommends setting up a packing station that’s out of the way, and that way you can do a little boxing up at a time.  Pack your dog’s things last, and unpack them first when you reach your new home, and no matter how tempting it is to purchase all new things for Fido, he’ll appreciate the sight and smell of his usual goodies in the new place.


If your dog isn’t used to traveling, ensure you spend some time getting your pooch used to whatever travel arrangements you have in mind for moving day.  Crates, safety harnesses, booster seats, and car rides all require some training, and your dog will be less stressed, and a better passenger, with a little time and TLC.


On moving day, make arrangements for your dog so he isn’t stressed out by all the chaos - or worse, slips out the door.  One option is to secure him in a quiet, out of the way space, although dogs can still find it stressful to hear all the commotion associated with moving.  Another suggestion is to send him to a trustworthy pet sitter for the day.  It’ll allow you to focus on the move, and alleviate stress on your furry family member.


Keep your dog’s lifestyle and personal needs in mind when you’re searching for properties, and you’re sure to find an ideal fit.  Do some research, think about priorities, and keep the actual move as low-stress as possible. Finding the perfect place isn’t always easy, but by keeping your dog’s perspective in mind, you’ll be settling in before you know it!


by Cindy Aldrige