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Dog owners absolutely love their furry and friendly companions. And the right home isn’t just perfect for parents and kids, it has to be right for the family pet, as well.

So, if you have dog (or are considering getting one) and are looking for a home, there are a few things you should keep in mind about the home itself and the neighborhood.

Inside the House. Look around and picture your dog living in the space. Is there enough room for the dog? Smaller dogs may not be very adept at handling stairs, especially if they aren’t carpeted, so a big staircase could be a danger. A small house can be homey and cozy, not to mention more affordable, but if you have a big dog, it can get in the way in a tinier living space.

In the Yard. Whether you currently have a dog—or plan on getting one at some point down the road—you’ll want a yard for Fido to play in, and you want that yard to be secure. If the home doesn’t have a fence, find out if the town’s code allows for one. If there is a fence, look it over and make sure the gate shuts well. Also, dogs have a way of digging out from under fences that aren’t secured to the ground. Consider whether or not the existing fence will need repairs, or if you may need to invest in a new one.

Getting Outside. You’ll also want to walk your dog regularly, as good dog owners do. If the neighborhood has a sidewalk, then walks will be easy. If you live in a high-traffic area without sidewalks, then walks around the neighborhood may not be safe. This doesn’t have to keep the deal from going through, especially if there’s a park nearby. And if your pooch likes to socialize with other canine companions, you’ll want to find out if there’s a dog park within a short distance.

Around the Town. Your dog is going to need to visit the vet every now and then, so it’s important to do a search online and look into what vets are in the area. In addition to looking for online reviews, be sure to look into office hours, as well as what options exist if a pet-related injury occurs during off-hours. You’ll also want to make sure there’s a good pet store in the area, taking into consideration your preference for a big chain or independent store. Another service to consider is a groomer. Again, look for online reviews.

Following these steps will help you find the perfect home not only for you, but also for the four-legged member of your family.

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