Tips for a Pet Friendly Home

written by Elyse Berman, CRS
Boca Raton, FL        
Jul 12, 2022

Pet Friendly Home

Following are some tips for a pet-friendly house. We love our pets so, naturally, we want them to be safe as well as comfortable. After all, they're family!

If you're looking for a new home, the first thing to check is if the community or condo is pet friendly to your pet. Will it accept your cat? Will it accept your Goldendoodle or your two German Shepherds? This is definitely your starting point. Once you've narrowed down a community, check to see if there are vets, groomers, pet stores, dog parks, dog beaches, whatever it is you may need within a reasonable distance. You don't want to buy a home only to find out the closest vet is over an hour away. This would be nightmare in an emergency.

Do you want a fenced yard? Is it a high priority on your list? If so, does the house you're looking at have one? If it does not have a fence and you want one, will the homeowner's association allow one to be installed? Of course, they may tell you what color or type of fencing to use, but that's okay as long as one can be put in. If you're looking at a condo, is there green space for you to walk Sophie or Brutus?

Puppy proof your home the same as you would childproof it for a baby or toddler. Pets can get into all sorts of things, so it's best to put them away. Think safety. Things like medication, cleansers, and cleaning supplies need to be put away where pets can't get to them. Certain plants are toxic to pets. If you have indoor plants, please check they're not poisonous to pets. Sugar-free gum and candy are toxic to dogs. Chocolate, grapes and more - the list goes on. Fragile pieces of china on coffee tables are definitely not for young pets. Electrical cords should not be left loose and dangling. Secure them so animals won't trip.

Flooring may or may not be important to you. It's definitely easier to clean tile than carpet, as far as accidents go, but it's harder for older pets to walk on. They can't grip as well. There are things you can do to help your senior pets, such as put down some rugs, doggie socks, and even little things that go over their nails. Flooring is something you can work around, unless you're building the house or gutting a property. Then you can choose the type of flooring you want.

Plan a personal space for your pet. Set it up in your bedroom or wherever you feel they will be most comfortable. Give your furry friend their own bed - yes, I know they probably sleep in yours, but even so. Put some of their toys there and some of their favorite things. Make it so they know it's their space. If they need time out or just want to take a nap, they can go to their space.

Clean and vacuum. Dog fur and hair gets everywhere, even onto the coils of your air conditioner. Trust me on this one. I know it well! Clean as much as you can to keep your air conditioning running efficiently and have it cleaned when necessary.

Elyse Berman, PA, CRS  is a Pet-Friendly REALTOR® who has been helping people buy and sell homes for the past 18-plus years. She serves Palm Beach County, Florida.  Check out her blog.