Your pet is a part of your family, after all, and you want him to love your new house as much as you do. However, considering your dog’s needs isn’t a totally altruistic venture; buying a home with these three features makes pet ownership itself a little bit easier.

1. A Backyard

A yard is an obvious need for any dog owner. Going for a walk every time your dog needs to use the bathroom simply isn’t practical. When you’re looking for your new house, put a backyard on your list of must-haves. A backyard should be large enough that your dog can do his business and have space for play; the specific size will depend on your dog’s size and energy level. If you can, buy a house with a fenced yard. Nothing beats the convenience of simply letting your dog out the backdoor when he needs to go.

2. Pet-Resistant Flooring

Between accidents, muddy paws, and nails, dogs can do a number to your home’s flooring. Tile and stone flooring is durable and easy to maintain, although its hardness means you’ll need to provide soft spaces for your pet to lounge. Luxury vinyl, cork, and bamboo are all scratch- and stain-resistant, not to mention easy to clean. If you’re set on hardwood, flooring professionals recommend engineered hardwood for its durability against moisture and scratching. Avoid carpet whenever possible. If you want some softness underfoot, area rugs and carpet tiles are easier to clean and replace than wall-to-wall carpeting.

3. A Walkable Neighborhood

Buying the right house for you and your dog isn’t just about the home itself. The surrounding neighborhood has a big impact on life with your dog. Pay attention to a neighborhood’s sidewalks, parks, and storefronts to determine if it’s a good fit for your family. Are sidewalks plentiful and in good repair, or are they cracked and overgrown? Are there parks within walking distance? What about an off-leash dog park? According to research, pet owners walk their dogs more when there’s park in the neighborhood. While not strictly necessary, dog-friendly restaurants, cafes, and pet stores make it easy to include your pet in your social life.

Of course, just because you’ve found the perfect home doesn’t mean the transition will be seamless. 

Dogs can become stressed and anxious when moving house because they see things changing and don’t understand why.

Make the move easier on your pet by bringing him to the new house before you move in. Spend time playing in the yard and letting him sniff around rooms so he learns it’s a safe and fun place. When you pack up, make sure your dog’s bed and toys are in an accessible location. Unpacking them immediately will bring familiar scents into the new house and increase your dog’s comfort level.

No matter how well you prepare, your dog could still act out during or after the move. Eliminate some of the stresses that moving day brings by choosing a low-key moving day. HireAHelper.com's moving statistics reveal Sunday after 2 p.m. to be the least busy time to plan a move (and Monday after 2 p.m. if you can book on a Sunday). Be strategic to get a well-rested, non-rushed moving team. Following the move, make sure any misbehavior is limited to a frustration, not a danger, by keeping potential poisons, chewing hazards, and unpacked boxes in a closed-off area until they’re unpacked and put away.

Most importantly, keep your routine as consistent as possible after the move. It’s hard to find time for walks when you’re trying to unpack, but consistency is key for minimizing anxiety and problem behavior during this transition.

For dog owners, buying a house is a welcome escape from the prohibitive pet policies, high deposits, and breed restrictions that are all too common in rental housing. Take advantage of the freedoms of home ownership by finding a house where your dog feels welcome from day one.

Article provided by Medina at DogEtiquette.info