Moving is a big deal, and if you’re thinking of relocating, you need to focus on finding a neighborhood that fits you, as well as the property itself.
When it comes to considering which neighborhood ticks your boxes, it’s important to take the needs of every household member into account – including the four-legged ones.
Here is a guide to finding the perfect pet-friendly neighborhood for you and your pet.
If you are planning to rent, it’s prudent to consider which neighborhoods offer more accommodating options regarding pet-friendly lets. While you can gauge how pet-friendly an area may be by how many pets appear to live in the area, that doesn’t necessarily equate to an abundance of pet-friendly rental properties.
The number of pet-friendly rental properties can vary dramatically from one neighborhood to the next, so it’s a good idea to do your homework before you get your heart set on one in particular.
Start by searching areas of interest online using the pet-friendly filter with property sites. Alternatively, if the world is your oyster, you could begin your search by shortlisting areas that are statistically more pet-friendly when it comes to rental properties. All About Cats features a fantastic resource that ranks popular US and UK towns and cities with pet-friendly letting data.
This is one area that gets easily overlooked while house-hunting, but if you’re a dog owner, going on daily walks without being able to stay on nice wide sidewalks is a pain. Going out for walks is vastly more enjoyable when you don’t have to navigate your way around narrow, uneven or non-existent sidewalks. Instead, look for wide, well-lit sidewalks that give you and your pet plenty of room to enjoy a leisurely walk – day or night.
While no one loves an endlessly barky dog, the occasional yappy session can happen, and it can be a good deal easier to deal with if you live in an area with plenty of other dog owners. In addition, plenty of other resident dogs is a good sign of a neighborhood being pet-friendly. Take a drive around the area and see if you can spot dogs being walked or played with in a nearby park. Also, keep an eye out for doggy doors or cats lounging in the sun.
If you love getting out and being social with your pet, it’s essential that you check out a neighborhood’s local businesses to see if they are pet-friendly. Some restaurants and cafes allow leashed pets in outdoor patio areas, and some shops will let your pup come shopping with you. Look out for ‘pets welcome’ signs or fresh water bowls outside shops and businesses.
Some neighborhoods feature a designated dog park for exercising and socializing your pup, and these are a clear signs of a pet-friendly area. It’s a great idea to visit these parks to get a feel for the types of breeds and temperaments that frequent the facility. Of course, this will always be a bit of a mixed bag, but a handful of happy, social dogs is a good sign of playdate potential for your pet.
Vets, pet stores, and other services
Any truly pet-friendly neighborhood should have easy access to pet stores, veterinarians, groomers, and other pet-related services. Do a google map search of the area to see what is available within a 5-10 mile vicinity, and take the time to read reviews of the nearest vet rooms. If you like to travel, you should also research access to boarding facilities.
If you drive everywhere, this point may not be as crucial. Still, if you relocate to an urban area (or don’t have a car), it’s good to find out just how pet-friendly the local transportation options are ahead of time.
Some urban areas feature plenty of pet-friendly transport options, allowing locals to take trips with their pets without issue. Check with the town or city’s local transit authority for applicable rules or laws. It can really make a positive difference to be able to hop on a bus, train, or subway/underground with pup in tow – visiting nearby parks, markets, visiting friends. For example, New York allows dogs to ride the subway (so long as they are small enough to fit in a carrier or bag – resulting in some fascinating creativity from large-breed owners!)
There’s so much to think about when choosing a new neighborhood to call home, and the needs of our pets can be easily overlooked. While most less-than-ideal conditions can be worked around, having nearby quality vets, stores and parks is essential. Furthermore, being able to enjoy a variety of pet-friendly facilities makes it that much easier to get out and about together. It’s well worth doing your research before you and your beloved pet move in.