7 Questions Every Dog Owner Needs to Ask When Buying a Home

Real Estate Agent with Vision Quest Realty WV0026375

You have a list of everything you want in your new home, but have you considered your dog’s needs? Buying a dog-friendly home not only makes life more pleasant for your pooch, it also adds convenience to everyday pet care duties. These are these questions to ask to ensure your new house has the dog-friendly features you need:



7 quetions every dog owners needs to know when buying a home

1. Does the HOA restrict pets? Believe it or not, some homeowners associations ban dogs completely. Thankfully, blanket bans are fairly rare. However, it’s not uncommon for HOAs to have restrictions on breed, weight, and number of pets. Even if you think it’s unfair, getting on the wrong side of your HOA only makes life difficult. If you’re eyeing a home in a neighborhood with an HOA, familiarize yourself with the bylaws before making an offer.


2. How are the sidewalks? If you’re the kind of dog owner who enjoys long, leisurely strolls with your pooch, cracked, overgrown, or nonexistent sidewalks are a major thorn in your side. As you scope out neighborhoods, make note of the state of the sidewalks.


3. What about the neighbors? If a prospective neighborhood has unattended barking dogs in every front yard, it might not be the most pleasant place for walks, especially if you own a reactive dog. On the other hand, a neighborhood full of well-behaved, leashed dogs indicates it’s a good place for your social pup to make friends.


4. Is the yard fenced? A fenced-in yard makes backyard play sessions safer and adds major convenience to bathroom breaks. When your yard is secure, you can send Fido out the door to do his business rather than leashing him for supervised trips outside. Note not only the presence of a fence, but also its security level. As charming as low picket fences are, they won’t do much to contain a jumper or digger.


5. Can you walk to the park? According to a report from the National Recreation and Park Association, you’re more likely to use a park if it’s within a 10-minute walk. You know your dog lives for trips to the park, so make nearby green spaces a priority in your house hunt. If the closest park includes an off-leash dog park, even better!


6. Did the previous owners have dogs? Best Friends Animal Society warns that homes with lingering pet odors could trigger your dog to start urine marking his “territory.” While marking is most common in dogs that aren’t spayed or neutered, any dog has the potential to urine mark. And the risk is there even if you can’t smell anything funky, because your dog’s sense of smell is much stronger than yours. If possible, avoid homes where the previous owners had dogs.


7. What’s the floor plan like? The considerations don’t stop at the front door. Opt for homes with open floor plans if you enjoy indoor play sessions with your dog. If your dog is elderly or soon to be, a step-free entryway enables him to move around comfortably despite arthritic joints. Dogs’ paws are also prone to slipping on hard floors; if you don’t want wall-to-wall carpeting in your home, know that you may need to add area rugs in rooms with high dog traffic.


Even with your efforts to find the perfect house for your dog, he might still have trouble adjusting. It doesn’t mean you didn’t make a great choice! Big changes are just scary for dogs, but there are things you can do to help your dog adjust: Keep your dog’s routine consistent, keep his old bed and toys for familiarity, let him explore at his own pace, and make sure the house and backyard aren’t hiding any safety hazards.


ZekeYou want your new house to be perfect for your whole family. That means your dog’s needs should make the must-have list, right alongside your own. While following this advice might make your house hunt a little longer, asking the right questions ensures you find a home you’ll be happy with for years to come.






Medina James believes there are no bad dogs. She created DogEtiquette.info to share her dog training tips and advice to dog owners everywhere. Visit her site for more information.

Image via Unsplash

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Re-Blogged 4 times:

Re-Blogged By Re-Blogged At
  1. Brian England 10/23/2018 10:38 AM
  2. Debbie Reynolds 10/25/2018 05:00 AM
  3. Roy Kelley 01/14/2019 01:00 AM
  4. Eva B. Liland with Century 21 Doug Anderson 10/29/2018 10:18 AM
Home Buying
Pet Friendly Real Estate
West Virginia Connection
pets and moving
dogs needs when buying a home

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Barbara Todaro
RE/MAX Executive Realty - Franklin, MA
Marketing Agent for The Todaro Team

Good morning, Rebecca Gaujot, Realtor® having a pet is a responsibility similar to having children.... they all have needs...

Oct 25, 2018 05:14 AM #16
Roy Kelley
Realty Group Referrals - Gaithersburg, MD

These are excellent tips to share with prospective home buyers. I noticed the reblog by Debbie Reynolds

Oct 26, 2018 05:25 AM #17
Rebecca Gaujot, Realtor®
Vision Quest Realty - Lewisburg, WV
Lewisburg WV, the go to agent for all real estate

Thanks to everyone for stopping by my blog and reading this post. 

Oct 26, 2018 08:32 AM #18
Kathy Streib
Room Service Home Staging - Delray Beach, FL
Home Stager - Palm Beach County,FL -561-914-6224


                             Thank you, Rebecca.

Oct 27, 2018 05:37 PM #19
Joyce Marsh
Regal | Christie's International Real Estate - Orlando, FL
Regional Manager Regal Christie's Int'l Realty

Thank you for this great list.  I’m going to save and share in the future. I never thought about #6 but you are right about that one for sure. 

Oct 28, 2018 04:24 AM #20
Tom Bailey
Margaret Rudd & Associates Inc. - Oak Island, NC

Good ideas Rebecca. The HOA one is especially important. I went to a new subdivision a few years ago, that did not allow fences! My client commented I guess we’ll have to use an invisible fence for the dog! “O NO”the developer’s agent responded ! The subdivision did not allow any fences, not even buried wires! My clients and I were shocked!

Oct 28, 2018 07:17 AM #21
Dorie Dillard CRS GRI ABR
Coldwell Banker United Realtors® ~ 512.750.6899 - Austin, TX
Serving Buyers & Sellers in NW Austin Real Estate

Good morning Rebecca Gaujot, Realtor®,

I'm so glad that Kathy Streib featured your post in her "Ah-ha" moments for the week. I also think it should have a gold star so maybe when the AR god awake from their name they will wave their magic wand! Excellent advice! 

Oct 28, 2018 07:35 AM #22
Mike Cooper, GRI
Cornerstone Business Group Inc - Winchester, VA
Your Neighborhood Real Estate Sales Pro

That's great food for thought, Rebecca. I sold two homes this year that had very specific dog requirements. Fortunately, our market was able to meet them. 

Oct 28, 2018 09:36 AM #23
Pat Starnes-Front Gate Realty
Front Gate Real Estate - Brandon, MS
601-991-2900 Office; 601-278-4513 Cell

Good job Rebecca. Pets should definitely be considered when their owners are house hunting. Some breeds require room to run so large fenced yards are definitely a consideration. Also, excellent advice about homes previously occupied by pups. New doggies will definitely try to mark their territory. Not something I had thought of until reading your post.

Oct 28, 2018 09:37 AM #24
John Henry
John Henry Masterworks Design International, Inc. - Orlando, FL
Residential Architect, Luxury Custom Home Design

Hello Rebecca, we have a peekapoo.  And babysit our neighbor's dog all day.  In the south, I suggest finding a street with shady trees especially so that you and your pet will be more likely to go out for a walk around the block!  A ten minute or less drive to a park is ideal.  They do love to go to parks.



Oct 28, 2018 04:44 PM #25
Bruce Kunz
C21 Solid Gold Realty, Brick, NJ, 732-920-2100 - Howell, NJ
REALTOR®, Brick & Howell NJ Homes for Sale

This is great, and unusual information Rebecca Gaujot, Realtor®!  Thinking of the dog/ pets needs and requirements is not  something often done.

Thanks for sharing,


Oct 28, 2018 05:25 PM #26
Kat Palmiotti
Grand Lux Realty, Monroe NY, 914-419-0270, kat@thehousekat.com - Monroe, NY
The House Kat

This is wonderful information for dog owners who are house hunting! It's interesting about the previous owners having dogs being something to consider. I can see how that could be an issue.

Oct 29, 2018 03:04 AM #27
Matthew Klinowski, PA
Downing-Frye - Naples, FL
Golf Community Real Estate Specialist

Good morning Rebecca, these are great tips. Our last house didn't have sidewalks and we realized how important they were after we moved into the home.  I prefer to walk our dogs on sidewalks whenever possible. Thanks for sharing!

Oct 29, 2018 04:32 AM #28
Tom Bailey
Margaret Rudd & Associates Inc. - Oak Island, NC

Rebecca, that was before the crash. I think they had a come to Jesus meeting with themselves, and now allow a lot of things that were previously not allowed.

Oct 29, 2018 07:12 AM #29
Jeff Dowler, CRS
Solutions Real Estate - Carlsbad, CA
The Southern California Relocation Dude

Hi Rebecca

So glad that Kathy featured this post filled with great advice for dog owners seeking a new home. The HOA issue can be a big one in terms of size of dog, and the number - some here restict both. Doing your due diligence on these doggy issues is essential so you don't make a big mistake.


Oct 29, 2018 08:10 AM #30
Marte Cliff
Marte Cliff Copywriting - Priest River, ID
Your real estate writer

What a wonderful post! I wouldn't have thought about trying to buy a home where dogs hadn't lived before, but it makes perfect sense. I expect the same would go for cats.

Oct 29, 2018 10:08 AM #31
Eva B. Liland with Century 21 Doug Anderson
Century 21 Doug Anderson - Lancaster, CA
Glad to be of Service

I remember when I had my dog, Sweet Golden Charlotte, a Golden Retriever. When I had a day off, we drove to the nearest lake so she could go swimming. The furthest lake was in Crestline, a 3 hour drive from where we lived. She absolutely loved it!

Oct 29, 2018 10:29 AM #32
Anthony Kirlew
Keller Williams Legacy One Realty - Gilbert, AZ
Helping You Make Fiscally Sound Choices

Great post! We definately have to keep our 4 legged family members in mind when buying!

Nov 14, 2018 11:42 AM #33
Jerry Murphy, CRS, SRES
Long Realty West Valley - Anthem, AZ
Anthem, Phoenix, and Scottsdale AZ Real Estate

These are great tips Rebecca.  I'll be sure to keep these in mind in the future when showing homes to prospective buyers with homes.  Thank you.

Nov 21, 2018 03:40 PM #34
Debe Maxwell, CRS
www.iCharlotteHomes.com | The Maxwell House Group | RE/MAX Executive | (704) 491-3310 - Charlotte, NC
Charlotte Homes for Sale - Charlotte Neighborhoods

This is a great post, Rebecca, and certainly worthy of sharing with others. Congratulations on the recognition!

Feb 23, 2019 05:53 PM #35
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Lewisburg WV, the go to agent for all real estate
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