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Buying a home comes with a lot of factors to consider, and it’s easy to get caught up in things like fixtures and amenities and forget about what the furry member of your family might need. If you have a pet, or plan on owning one at some point while living in your new home, here’s what you should be considering before closing the deal.

Are there restrictions on pets? If you’re buying a home instead of a condo, this isn’t a factor, but for renters or condo owners, knowing the rules around pets is vital. Some condos will be stricter about pets than others. Make sure you have all the details upfront before signing anything, as there could be restrictions on the number of pets allowed or the size of the animal.

Is the neighbourhood pet friendly? If you have a big dog, you’ll want to let your agent know that living near a park is a priority, and specify that being close to dog parks is ideal. It might seem odd, but some neighbourhoods are more pet friendly than others, and your agent will know which ones are best for you based on the amount of businesses and services that cater to pets in the area. You might also want to avoid a neighbourhood with heavy traffic, especially if you have a young dog.

Consider the layout of the home. If you have an older animal, stairs might be hard for them. Whether you’re building a home and creating the layout yourself, or buying one that already exists, make it a point to find a home your pet will feel safe and comfortable in based on their age, size and any potential health issues they might have. A larger animal might require a yard, while a smaller animal can still thrive without one.

Consider the flooring. While hardwood is always a popular choice, it is easily scratched by pets, which could reduce the value of your home or require replacement sooner than you’d like. It might be in your best interest to consider a home with more pet resistant floors like tile or vinyl.