I am a dog lover, and as a dog lover, I always have to take my four-footed friends into consideration when choosing living quarters. If you love your animals, I am sure that you will want to make their lives easier too!
The first thing I look for is a large, fenced back yard. This is especially important if you have an escape artist, and Siberian Huskies are notorious for finding the loose board in the fence and taking off for parts unknown. Make sure the fence is sturdy, or that you know a good fence contractor who can extend or fix it. Lattice doesn’t work, as dogs can get a toehold into it and climb over! If you have a smaller dog, check for spots underneath the fence that can allow digging under, and escape.
Photo from Flickr
The next thing I look for is a nice side yard to turn into a dog run. Make sure that it is shady, it gets hot here in Northern California in the summer. If you can’t find shade, then check to see if you can put a small tarp or sunblock shade from the edge of the fence to the roof to keep your furry friend cool.
Next, I look at the streets to see if they will provide enjoyable walking territory for both me and my dogs. Are they wide and interesting? Not too busy? It is even better if you are close to a dog park or open land.
Make sure the yards are not TOO meticulously landscaped, even if you confine your animals to a side yard or keep them in the house, chances are they will find their way into your yards. Well-trained dogs are not a problem in a landscaped backyard, but most of us have “ornery” animals who would run crashing into the bushes or dig in areas that are a no-no. Bitter apple spray can help train them out of the digging habit – but it takes some time to work.
Take the time to look at the neighborhood to see if other neighbors have dogs also. A non-dog friendly neighborhood can mean lots of problems if your animal escapes, or has some barking habits you are trying to break. If there are lots of other dogs, then chances are that your neighbors are dog tolerant and that you will make new friends on your daily walks.
Along the same lines, look to see if any of your neighbors have dogs that are traditionally aggressive – as this can create major problems if either their dog or your dog ends up in the wrong yard. Living next to a Pit Bull or a a Rottweiler can be stressful if you have a Poodle.