Choosing the right home can be difficult enough for any family. When you have pets, the process becomes even hairier (sometimes literally!). Here are a few factors to keep in mind during your search for a new home that is pet-friendly.

Yard Space

If you have dogs, you’ll also need a house with a decent amount of yard space. Even small dogs should have a place where they can run around unsupervised from time to time. While a large yard isn’t as important for cat-only families (especially if they’re indoor cats), it can also come in handy for airing out the beds and scratching posts. Look for a home with a fenced-in yard, even if your dogs don’t usually wander. Until they get used to the neighborhood, they might be inclined to run out into traffic or to chase pedestrians they don’t recognize. If the yard isn’t already fenced in, take the additional cost into consideration before making an offer. However, you could also always install an underground dog fence if you’re willing to compromise on having one that’s above ground.

Claw-Resistant Build

When it comes to the flooring and trim, durability is more important than aesthetics—at least when you have pets. While hardwood can be restored to its former glory, it scratches easily and is pricey to install. Carpeting, meanwhile, is difficult to maintain when there are animals in the household. With this in mind, you might want to consider vinyl or laminate flooring as an affordable alternative. To ensure it’s durable, laminate flooring is engineered with four layers of material. Vinyl is slightly more resistant to scuffs and scratches, but it lends a cold, impersonal feel to living spaces. Our advice would be to choose vinyl for the kitchen and bathrooms and install laminate in the other areas.

Stairs and Layout

Think about the age and energy level of your pets when considering the layout of your new home. Will you still be living in the house when your dogs achieve senior-citizen status? Are the living areas unusually far apart or separated by flights of stairs? If the answer to both questions is yes, this abode might not be the most practical choice for your family. It’s one thing to contemplate navigating a complicated layout on your own, but to do so while lugging an arthritic dog is daunting on a whole different scale.

Your new home should be a haven for every family member, not just the four-legged ones. With this in mind, you can narrow down your options to find a place where everyone can thrive.

Here’s another article you might like: Three Considerations To Think About When Building A Home For Your Family