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When searching for the ideal neighborhood, it is important to consider the primary needs of every member of the house—including the family pet. A home’s outdoor space is an obvious factor to consider, but it is best to think a little more outside the box. The neighborhood as a whole, as well as its proximity to veterinarians, groomers, and pet stores, can greatly impact the quality of life for both you and your pet. When looking for a new home for your family, consider these tips for finding a pet-friendly neighborhood.

Neighborhoods with dogs
Other dog owners are typically more understanding of the occasional bark-fest and can relate to the responsibilities that go along with owning a pet. The best way to determine if the areas you are most interested in are pet-friendly is to drive or walk around the area to see if there are people walking dogs. Also, look for pet-friendly signage and pay attention to whether or not streets are conducive to dog walking.

Sidewalks & walking paths
No one wants to walk on the shoulder of the road or on someone else’s property, especially on late-night walks. Sidewalks and walking paths that are well lit provide a safe place for adults and children to walk the dog.

Nearby veterinarians
Being close to a veterinary office makes getting to check-ups much easier and, when necessary, allows for fasters access to emergency treatment. Also, veterinarians are typically located in areas with large populations of pet owners. In addition to asking neighbors, it is beneficial to check with local shelters and animal hospitals for recommendations.

Pet shops & groomers
The presence of a pet-oriented business is often a sign that other pet owners live in the area. Living in close proximity to these businesses provides many conveniences. Ask neighbors for recommendations in order to find the best groomers and boarding facilities.

Neighborhood parks & dog parks
Look for nearby dog parks, waterfronts, or other outdoor recreation areas that may offer a place for your pet to get some exercise and socialize. Check to see if parks have off-leash hours, dog runs, or grassy areas where dogs are welcome.