15 Home Must-Haves for Pet Owners Kitten imageIf your pets are like your children, you’ll want to buy a house where your fur babies will be just as safe and comfortable as your real babies. Here are 15 home features that will do the trick!

1. Fenced Backyard

Not only will it keep Fido from chasing a squirrel miles from home, but it’ll also give peace of mind to neighbours who might not be dog people. If you’re worried about aesthetics, you can also check if the house is wired for an electric fence.

2. Low Beams

You’d be surprised by the heights that cats can jump, but unless you’re willing to drop everything and fetch your howling kitty whenever they gets stuck in the high beams of your ceiling, it’s best to avoid this particular architectural element. It will keep them from hurting themselves with a missed jump or fall, too.

3. Tough Floors

Hardwood or laminate floors are recommended for dogs since their toenails will tear up everything else. Carpets might be okay with your kitty, especially if they are short-haired, but make sure it’s a tough fabric that can withstand repeated washings. You might also consider materials like limestone for pets of all types.

4. Window Screens

Nothing will warm your heart faster than your pooch stretched out on the floor in front of a sunny window. If they’re a bandit who always makes a break for open exits, however, you’ll need screens to keep them safely inside. While you can install your own if you really need to, it’d be nice if the house already came with them.

5. Access to Amenities

When considering amenities to look for in a community, try to think ahead for your pet. Is the property located near dog parks and pet food stores? Are there out-of-the-way fields where you can let your pup run off-leash for awhile? If he gets sick, how close is the nearest animal hospital? These questions could literally save a life one day, so consider them with care.

15 Home Must-Haves for Pet Owners Bath Time image6. Outdoor Spigots

You’ll appreciate these when the dogs need to be hosed off after a day at the beach or an afternoon in the mud. Look for a home with multiple outdoor faucets that can be easily accessed and drained. The latter is very important; you don’t want soapy water running off your driveway and causing a nuisance in the neighbourhood when Spot is getting his bath.

7. Enclosed Porch or Patio

This is a great way to give your animal some fresh air without getting them dirty or compromising their safety. If your porch is enclosed with screens or wire mesh, they’ll be able to laze around, enjoy the sunshine and watch the birds without any vigilance required on your part.

8. Electricity

If you own lizards, snakes, or even insects that need temperature-controlled environments, the wiring of your house should be one of your primary concerns. You need something that can support both the size and the power requirements of their enclosures.

9. Room for a Doghouse

This is another consideration for the backyard. Where will you put the doghouse? Is there a nice tree that will provide shade during the summer months? Are there depressions in the ground that will collect snow and rain? If you can’t envision where you’d put the doghouse, it might not be the ideal backyard.

10. Doggy Doors

Despite their name, you can train both cats and dogs to use these doors. Some brands even sell high-tech doggy doors that work via wireless signals sent to your pet’s collar. If you’d like this kind of “smart” technology for your doggy door, make sure the home is equipped for it.

11. Special Features

If you’re buying or planning a custom-built home, you can request special features for your four-legged friends. For example, you can ask for “cat tunnels” to be built along the walls, or you can carve out space for an aquarium to be installed into the wall.

12. Ease of Mobility

If you have a beloved terrier that’s getting on in the years, he might have an easier time in a single-story home rather than one with laborious stairs. If your Labrador puppies won’t stop unrolling the toilet paper, make sure your baby gates will fit across door openings, stairwells, and other room access points.

15 Home Must-Haves for Pet Owners Dog image13. Nooks and Crannies

Your furry friends will love curling up in these, so while they might not be make-it-or-break-it elements when it comes to home buying, they’re definitely a nice bonus. They can even serve as snug little storage areas for things like food bowls, toy boxes, litter boxes, and scratching posts.

14. Covered Crawl Space

Crawl spaces under a house are like the animal equivalent of Vegas: Despite the danger, they just can’t resist the temptation. If your potential home doesn’t already have latticework over the crawl space, ask the builders if one can be installed before you move in.

15. A Pet-Friendly Neighbourhood

Some places forbid dogs of a certain size or breed. Others might have noise ordinances that pertain to birds. Before you move into a new home, check the homeowners association and make sure that your pets will be just as welcome as you are.

Whether you’re raising rabbits or building an entire army of golden retrievers, keep these things in mind as a prospective homeowner. Consider functional floor plans for your family without forgetting the four-legged members. The ideal property is one where both pets and people can live comfortably together.

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Photo credits: kittenbath time