Having a pet means having one more living creature in your home to please. Dogs are a part of the family, so in addition to finding a suitable neighborhood for two-legged members, we’ve got to think about our four-legged ones as well.
Have you thought about your dog’s needs in a new neighborhood? Start by making a list of what’s truly important. If you bathe and trim your pup, there’s no need for a great groomer, but perhaps you love the idea of pet welcoming restaurants. First and foremost, prioritize. But all in all, there are the basic things to keep in mind.
Convenience and Peace of Mind
The groomer. Okay, so maybe you do desperately need an awesome groomer—sift through reviews of the ones in the vicinity. Groomers should have standards, such as vaccination requirements, and of course, glowing first hand reviews.
Vet care. A nearby veterinarian is crucial to easily access regular care. A clinic that provides 24 hour emergency care is a huge plus. It feels like that’s not too important until your fluffy baby accidentally gulps a dropped pill, or perhaps dines on a buffet of cosmetics. It happens!
Tip: Maybe you’ve found your dream vet, and they don’t offer emergency services—ask them for a local recommendation for an emergency clinic if needed.
Specialty pet stores. Now that we are more aware of what goes into our pet’s bellies, it can be a huge plus to have a specialty store in the community, that is more likely to have wholesome options. However, Petsmart and other like companies have been more onboard with stocking natural, healthy options.
For a Happy Pup
A stellar yard. A great yard consists of enough space for running, plenty of foliage, privacy and an appropriate spot to place your compost bin. Be sure to know the difference between a bad yard and a diamond in the rough! A little effort goes for miles when it comes to simple landscaping, so don’t let an overgrown yard deter you from the perfect dwelling.
Tip: Compost bins are easy to place in the ground, and make poop disposal effortless.
A great walking path. A great walking path is just as important as a fantastic yard—there’s much to consider. Are there shaded portions, is the terrain smooth, is there a public place to dispose of dirty business? Is there a particularly unruly pup that would make walks unpleasant? Keep in mind that paths come in many forms—trails, sidewalks, beaches and mountainous hills, for example.
Playmates. Scouting out your pet’s potential buds is something you should certainly do. Having other pups to play with not only is great for their happiness level, but they’ll likely get more exercise! And in the process, you may make a friend, too.
For a Happy Life
Pet friendly neighborhoods often have more than a handful of trendy restaurants and coffee shops that fully welcome dogs. Decatur, in metro Atlanta, is a great example of a healthy neighborhood with plenty dog and human dining opportunities.
Events. A thriving, dog loving community often means plenty of festivals, outdoor concerts and other social gatherings. A mid-summer ice cream festival just seems essential to happy living!
Community. The community itself is the core of it all—what’s a neighborhood without great souls to fill it? Mingle before you commit.
Great homes. Great homes with solid value at a good purchase price—that’s the dream! Luckily, all of this stuff falls hand in hand, so when you find an area that quickly begins to check off your specifications, everything else starts to line up too.
After you do your homework, narrow down the favorites in your soon-to-be hometown, then it’s time for a test drive! Take a walk through the neighborhood, talk to residents, don’t be shy and ask lots of questions. The Chamber of Commerce or visitors center can be a great resource for some deep digging. And last, but not least, your real estate agent can not only help you find the home of you and your fur baby’s dreams, but they can give you the down low on the town. Happy home hunting!
Editor’s Note: Beautiful weather means it’s time for dining alfresco. Many eateries welcome dogs to their outdoor patios, so take your pup when you visit one of these dog friendly cities.
Karyn Wofford is a “Mom” to her fluffy, sweet dog Halli. She spends much of her time traveling and advocating for Type 1 diabetes—and Halli sometimes accompanies her on her adventures. You’ll find Karyn’s work on sites like Mother Earth Living, and in magazines such as Diabetes Forecast.
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