Waterloo Region Homes and Pets: Everything You Need to Know
Whether you are buying, selling or caring for a Waterloo Region home, statistics say that there is a good chance that pets are involved in the equation. As pet lovers ourselves (and pet parents) today we are taking a closer look at why so many buyers are actively looking for pet friendly homes, how you can prevent pet damage to any home and how you can keep your pet safe and happy when moving from one home to another.
Did you know that there are more than 8.2 million dogs living as pets in Canada? And 8.3 million cats? Pet ownership is becoming more popular too, especially when it comes to dogs. Since 2016 there has been a significant increase in the number of households with at least one dog, especially among Gen X and Millennial households.
That number has increased significantly since the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic too, as people welcomed pets into their live
One of the many benefits of owning your own Waterloo Region home is the freedom to find your ‘furever’ friend. By pointing out the aspects of your home that make it ‘pet-friendly’ in your listing, you’ll attract these buyers, rather than alienating the 59% of Canadian households that have a pet!
If you are a homeowner looking to list your home for sale, how do you stand out to the millions of pet parents searching for their dream home?
Whether a dog person, a cat person, or someone who prefers the company of another pet species, 99% of pet owners say that they consider their animal to be a part of their family. When finding a home, 95% of animal owners believe it is important that the home they choose is as suitable for their ‘fur-kids’ as it is for them.
Therefore, it’s important that a seller understands the unique needs and wants of animal owners when it comes to homeownership.
The Power of Pets When Choosing the Right Home
According to research by the Canadian Animal Health Institute:
89% of pet owners say they would not give up their pet due to a housing restriction
81% of owners say their pets play a role in their housing situation
31% of animal owners have refused to put in an offer on a home because it wasn’t a good fit for their animals
19% of Canadians say they would consider moving for their pet
12% percent have moved for their pet
New home builders have actually begun installing retractable pet gates that tuck away neatly inside door jams as a highly requested feature in new homes to attract pet-parents.
So, if you are a homeowner looking to sell in today’s pet-friendly environment, you may be able to gain attention for your home by pointing out the features of your home that will attract pet owners:
Fully fenced-in backyard–(91% of pet owners ranked this as the most important feature of a home to accommodate their pet)
Locations of dog parks/walking paths/pet-friendly beaches in the area (71% ranked this as the top feature of any neighborhood they would consider)
Proximity to veterinarians/groomers/pet supply stores (31%)
The good news is that for Waterloo Region sellers our area is quite pet friendly. There are a number of great dog parks, lots of green space, dog friendly hiking trails and a good supply of vet services and pet stores. Making sure that your real estate agent points these out to pet owners is therefore something well worth considering.
Preventing Pet Damage to Any Home
If you are one of those many people who think that pets are wonderful things to have around the house – and as a part of the family – you are probably also aware that as lovable as they are they can cause quite a bit of damage around the home. And if you are just moving into a brand-new Waterloo Region home – or are attempting to sell one and need to keep things as attractive as possible – it can be an especially sticky problem.
It’s a difficult situation – you love your pets, they are wonderful to have around but you do wish they would not cause quite such a mess…
Although you can probably never quite pet proof any home there are some things you can do to make life with Fido or Fluffy just a little less stressful on the condition of your home, whether you are just moving in or getting ready to move out.
Keep Your Pets Groomed and Your Home Will Stay Cleaner
You don’t have to take your pets to the groomers every week – you can do it yourself – but if you keep your pets groomed they will shed a lot less, something that will really save you some vacuuming time and keep your house a lot cleaner.
They themselves will also smell a lot nicer, something else that will keep your house smelling better too especially if you have carpeting
Outsmart Your Pets with a Few Tricks
Even the best trained pets have some nasty habits and it often seems that however many times they are corrected they never learn. There are a few crafty tricks you can try that might change their ways though:
To discourage dogs from chewing stuff
If your pet has a fondness for chewing up furniture, wires, carpets and everything else they can get their mouths around then often simply adding a few drops of something that they will hate – like lemon juice – to the objects of their affection. One or two nasty mouthfuls of something like that may soon have them deciding to stick to their toys and leave your stuff alone.
To Stop Cats From Roaming the Counters
Cats like to think that they rule the house and to them being told to stop doing something is for dogs to have to deal with, not cats. Instead of wasting your breath, try adding some clear contact paper onto the counters for a week or so. Cats will hate the sticky feeling, and they don’t soon forget things they hate so it just might put them off counter surfing for life.
To Stop Cats From Scratching
You can use a simple, similar trick to stop cats from scratching your furniture and your walls . If you add a little double-sided sticky tape to their favorite off limits scratching post they will get a nasty – but harmless – surprise that might make them think twice about doing it again.
Keep Your Pets Fit
A lot of a dog’s bad behavior can come from a lack of exercise. If you have a dog they need plenty of exercise, no matter what their breed and it’s good for you too.
Exercising a cat is harder, but a good session with a laser pointer will help them burn off some excess energy and it’s an awful lot of fun to watch for humans too!
How to Move Your Pets Safely to Their New Home
You’ve found and purchased the perfect Waterloo Region home. The whole family is excited and can hardly wait for moving day to arrive. You’ve booked the movers, packed the boxes and have begun picking out the fresh new decor for your brand new (to you) house. Have you forgotten anything? If you have pets maybe. Have you made a pet moving plan yet?
Pets are not always as excited as their humans to be moving house and may be a little more troublesome than usual in light of that fact. In addition, even if Fido and Fluffy are not freaked out by all of the boxes and commotion there are still special considerations to be kept in mind – and prepared for – before the big day. Here are just a few helpful tips to get you started:
Make Sure Everyone’s Chipped and Tagged
Unfortunately too many pets go missing on moving day and some never do make it to their new home. To maximize the chances that your four legged friend could be reunited with you should they slip away during the move make sure that they are both microchipped and wearing a tag that bears a phone number you can be easily reached at no matter which home – the old or the new – you happen to be at when they are found.
Get Pets’ Transport Ready
Most moving companies do not move pets (and you probably wouldn’t want them to anyway, it’s your puppy, not your piano) so getting your pets to their new home is going to be down to you.
If you will be using a pet carrier, which most people do, make sure it is in good working order; the doors latch properly, there are no sharp or broken edges inside and it is big enough for your pet to spend time in comfortably. You should also give the whole thing a trial run so that if your pet is going to be particularly difficult to get in the carrier because they just don’t like the idea you’ll still have plenty of time to make an ‘action plan’ to try to ensure that things go as smoothly as possible on moving day.
Prepare a Pet Room
Ideally moving day would be a great day for Fido and Fluffy not to be around at all, so if a safe ‘playdate’ with a family member or friend can be arranged that really would be the best, and safest, option for all involved. If that is not possible though make a plan to designate a safe space at both your old home and your new home where they can hang out away from all the commotion going on around them. to remind people – especially movers – that they are there and should not be disturbed post a clear sign announcing that fact.
Possible pet problems may not end on moving day. Often pets – cats especially – are rather spooked by their new surroundings and may become quite anxious and afraid. To help ease some of those anxieties let them explore freely and make sure that at least some of their familiar things – blankets, food dishes, beds – are available to them right away to help them feel more at home. And don’t let pets outside right away, let them get used to their new environment before allowing them to venture out alone.