Pet-Friendly Living: What to Look for in Your New Home

Pet Friendly Home There’s a lot to think about when you’re on the hunt for a new home. Location, number of bedrooms, architectural style: The wish list can feel endless. With so much on your mind as you begin to hit weekend open houses and scan the internet for new listings, it can be easy to forget about the smallest members of your family: your pets!

What features should you look for in a pet-friendly house near Minneapolis? You know your own dogs and cats better than anyone, of course, but the following amenities are ones that should be high up on most pet owners’ house-hunting wish lists.

Dog Owners

There’s a big difference between a Chihuahua and a Great Dane, but most dog owners will find these features helpful:

A Fenced-in Yard 

It’s hard to overstate the importance of a full-perimeter fence that’s in good repair when you have an active canine in your family. Check that there are no broken fence sections or hollows in the ground through which your dog can escape. Depending on the size of your dog, you’ll also want to make sure the fence is high enough to hold in a jumper and that the pickets aren’t too far apart.

Appropriate Landscaping 

If your dog’s a digger, look for yards with raised flower beds to discourage their habit. You should also make sure that there are no poisonous plants — holly, lily-of-the-valley, and foxglove are common — that could sicken your dog if he samples some. Lawns should be in good health, and a patchy one will only get worse with the extra wear and tear from your favorite four-footer.

A Mud Room 

Ideally, your new home in Minnesota will have a place where you can rub down their feet after a walk before turning him loose into the rest of your home. This area should have floors that are easy to clean and a place to store some essential equipment like leashes, favorite toys and perhaps a crate. A tiled foyer or screened-in porch can be good alternatives.

Cat Owners

If you share your home with a curious cat or two, consider these pet safety features before you buy:

An Airlock 

A home with an entry porch or airlock with two doors — one to the outside and one to the interior or the home — will help keep sneaky cats from slipping out whenever you enter your home. When carrying in groceries or escorting a group of guests indoors, just make sure the exterior door is closed before your open the interior one, and your cat will stay safe inside where he belongs. 

Separate Rooms 

Open concept living is all the rage, but you’ll want to consider old-fashioned rooms with doors that latch is you prefer to keep your kitties corralled while you’re not at home. Consider how your home will allow you to close off certain areas — the more flexibility in this regard, the better.

Safe Windows 

Indoor cats love to look out the windows at the world outside, so be sure that the windowsills are wide enough to accommodate them. Check also that any screens are attached securely so your cat can’t press it out of place simply by leaning on it. 

When you keep your pets’ needs in mind as you walk through various houses on the market, you’re sure to find a new home that everyone will love. 

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