It’s true that animals are eminently adaptable and will get to grips with their new surroundings soon enough. All the same, it’s worth considering whether a new home is pet-friendly before committing. This is especially important if you’re renting, as animal boarders may contravene your tenancy agreement.
Let’s take a look at all the considerations you should give to ensure your furry family members are as happy in their new home as you are.
Be Honest with a Landlord
If you are renting a property, check the listing and whether the advertiser has checked the pet friendly option and what type of pets they accept. Some landlords have a strict no pets’ policy. If this is the case, look elsewhere. There is nothing to gain by trying to sneak a non-human tenant into your new home and hoping that nobody realises.
For a start, you risk finding yourself evicted if the landlord finds out. By breaking a pivotal rule in your rental agreement, you’ll be in breach of contract. Some landlords will be more forgiving than others in this situation, but why take the risk?
Maybe you think that you can pull the wool over a landlord’s eyes. Take the dog for a walk during inspection, lock the cat in the spare room for an hour, run the hoover around to pick up any spare fur, spray some Febreze to mask the smell … nobody needs to know!
That may be so, but it’s not entirely fair. It’s easy to assume that anybody that doesn’t like animals has no soul and doesn’t cast a reflection in the mirror. The landlord may have a good reason for this policy, though. What if they are seriously allergic to cat or dog fur, for example?
Pets are an endless source of joy, but they can also give you a real headache. Unless you want to spend your entire life looking over your shoulder, make sure pets are welcome in the property.
Protect the Property
Even pet-friendly landlords can be dubious about animal residents. You will likely need to pay a little extra on your security deposit to cover any potential damages. To ensure you get this back, make sure you protect the home from damage.
If the landlord left furniture that is accounted for on an inventory, keep a cat from scratching this. You could apply furniture covers, use unappealing scents (citrus deters most cats), and most importantly, provide the cat with a scratching post. This will keep most feline claws away from the furniture.
Dogs are no angels either, though. If the landlord left anything breakable in the property, secure it as best you can. Make sure the pooch gets enough exercise. If agitated and energetic, dogs can become destructive. Keep your dog from barking to excess as well. Few things get you off on the wrong food with neighbours more than unnecessary, unwanted noise.
Make sure you clean up any mess that your pets leave behind, too. Urine stains that are allowed to seep into a carpet, for example, are a problem. Not only will your pet be compelled to keep peeing in the same spot, but a landlord will immediately charge you for any cleaning that is required – or even a new carpet.
Manage the Moving Carefully
Moving day can always be a struggle. Attempting the process with animals in tow can make things even more challenging. You can check out before you hire someone – remember, most removal companies will not take pets along for the ride. Just getting to the new property is only half the battle, though.
Pets love routine, so moving to a new house will be a strange experience. You’re going to need to be patient. Try keeping your pets contained in one room or area for the first day or two. This will help them adjust and claim their new surroundings as territory. Fill this room with familiar scents, like a well-loved bed or blanket and plenty of favoured toys.
After this period, you can let your pets explore the rest of their new home. Do be careful, though. Your pet may make a beeline for the door and try to return to their previous abode. After a short while, they’ll settle down and consider your new house a home. Until that time, you’ll need to be vigilant.
Finally, pick a property where you’ll be able to protect your pets. Things that should be taken into advisement include…
- Are there main roads nearby, with a constant stream of fast-paced traffic? Will you be able to keep your pet indoors and away from such dangers, or are they a perpetual flight risk?
- Is there sufficient space for your pet? Cats are generally fine in smaller spaces, but dogs can struggle. If a dog is confined to too small an area, it could develop health and behavioural issues.
- Are there other pets in the area, or wild animals that roam? Will your pet be bullied or attacked if it wanders outside?
- If you have a cat, it will need territory to call its own. Does the property have spare rooms, or at the very least, enough spaces for a feline to hide and cool off when overstimulated?
- If you have a dog, is there a park nearby for the pooch to stretch their legs? A run in the garden is not enough exercise for most canines, and you won’t want to walk a mile to the nearest green space on a cold and windy January morning.