Moving with an Elderly Dog: 3 Things to Consider Before Buying A Home

Your dog is a part of your family, so why wouldn't you consider them when making decisions about where to move and what home to buy? While home buying can be a bit more stressful when considering the needs of your aging furry friend, asking yourself these three questions while house hunting can make the search much easier.  

1. Will Your Dog Be Able to Get Around?

As your dog ages, it will become more difficult for them to get around. When purchasing a new home, consider how your aging dog will get around and whether the home is a good fit for their needs.

If your elderly dog spends the majority of their time indoors, you may not need to worry so much about the amount of steps on the outside of your home or whether the yard is fenced in (or is able to be fenced in). If your elderly dog is still relatively active, however, consider how your dog will get in and out of the house and whether any adjustments can be made to help your dog get around better. (For example, the addition of a simple wooden ramp could be helpful.)

2. Are There Knowledgeable Vets in the Area?

When you own an elderly dog, you know that there are certain age-related health issues that will pop up over time. This makes it important to move to an area where your dog's needs can be met by a veterinarian who is knowledgeable about elderly animals.

When considering the availability of veterinarians in the area you'd like to move to, you'll have to decide how far you'd be willing to travel to seek treatment for your furry friend. For some owners, especially those that own dogs with chronic health issues, a short drive to the veterinarian may be a huge selling point. For other owners, however, a 40-minute or 1-hour drive may not seem like much at all.

3. Will Your Dog Keep the Same Freedoms They Currently Enjoy?

As the saying goes, you can't teach an old dog new tricks. This also applies to the habits your dog has developed over the years and the freedoms they've become used to.

For example, are you moving from the country to the city, where your dog will no longer be able to have free reign outside? If this is so, are there dog parks in the area where your dog can socialize and still enjoy a semi-free range environment? While this certainly isn't a deal breaker, it is something to keep in mind, especially during the first few weeks of settling in. When you limit your dog's freedoms, there may be a few behavioral changes. While your dog will likely adapt to the changes eventually, this can take a bit longer with dogs who are elderly. 

The health and well-being of your pets are important to you, and that is why asking yourself the above three questions while searching through homes for sale is important.