Finding your next property can have a few more requirements when looking for you and your pet.
Any property search can be a lengthy process - not to mention when you have pets you also need to accommodate. While you may have found an ideal house for you, will it work for your pets? Does the property offer a suitable lifestyle for you both? These are the questions Justine Wilson, founder of Vault Interiors Property Styling and owner of two pups thinks homeowners should ask themselves.
"When I’m looking at new properties, I always take the time to see if the home will work for my pets," she says. "Will it be puppy or cat proof, is there some green space, is it easy for them to escape? Will they be able to bark at people or is there a private courtyard?
With plenty of experience moving house with her two dogs, Justine provides a fail-safe checklist to ensure you're buying the right property for you, and your pooch.
Does the property have enough space?
"You don’t have to discount a property that needs adapting but you should always discuss with your landlord upon your application, so they know you need to carry out some works to make the home work for you," Justine explains.
"For example, the rental I have just moved into needed some Perspex to cover a gate that my dogs could fit through – but other than that the home is a perfect fit. If you a find a pet friendly unit, you can get fresh grass patches delivered by a company called “fresh patch” – which is a great solution if you don’t have a garden - only a balcony or patio. You can also buy fab free-standing pet fences and gates that may work for you if they property doesn’t have the ideal fencing," the designer details.
Should I only get a property with floorboards?
"I own two small dogs and I love floorboards! I find them so much easier to maintain than carpet, they are easy to clean and mop if there is an accident - rather than carpet which is much harder to spot clean," she says.
But if floorboards aren't an option, Justine has some tricks. "The best rugs for pets on carpet are the indoor-outdoor rugs which are made with heavy duty plastic weave. They can be mopped and vacuumed with ease and are very resilient to sun fade. Just ensure you search for outdoor rugs and that you can hose them down. Second to that, any polypropylene rug is easy to clean - and I love cow hide rugs! I find my dogs don’t ever mark on them and they are very stylish."
Are staircases an issue?
While most dogs and cats are fine with stairs, smaller or less mobile pets may find getting around difficult - especially if they're timber! "In this case, ensure your dog ensure they have their own space on the lower level and that they feel comfortable," Justine details. "If you don’t want to risk them injuring themselves, install a gate or screen at the base of the stairs. You can buy removable stair treads which are rubber or plastic and that can assist in slips."
Do I need to buy a home with an open-plan interior?
"The benefit to an open plan is that you can see where they are at all times, but it can be hard to keep noise down with big open spaces," Justine explains. "If this is the case, introduce rugs and curtains to help as a noise barrier. If you find a place with a closed floor plan, it can help to barrier off the pets when you go to work. Baby gates work really well if you want you pet to only access certain areas when you are not home."
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