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Tips for Dog Owners: Buying a Dog-Friendly Home

Puppies and babies are probably the two things that put the icing on the cake of life for many people. They make a great life more fulfilling, and its challenges a little easier to bear. So, for dog owners, it makes sense to think about Fido when purchasing a home. After all, Fido needs to be accommodated and welcome in the new home and neighborhood, too. Here’s our checklist for how to buy a dog-friendly home in Ann Arbor and Washtenaw County.


Location, Location, Location

Among your first considerations when looking for dog-friendly home will surely be its location. It must meet the needs of the humans who will be living there, like whether it is near freeways, public transit, schools, shopping, and everything else that make up your life.

Your dog’s needs will be different from yours. If the home is located on a busy street, that can be dangerous if your pup slips out. Are there sidewalks for daily walks? Public green space that allows dogs in the area or dog parks in the vicinity? Is it next to a wooded area where chipmunks and squirrels will lure your dog into a wild chase? Even the best, most well-trained dogs have moments of unpredictability.


Interior Finishes

Imagine your dog living in this home you are considering. Is it suited to this type of dog? Will it drive you crazy if your dog sheds on all the carpeted surfaces? Perhaps a home with less or no carpet would be better. Can you stand to see scratches or discoloration from accidents on the hardwood flooring? Perhaps laminate, tile, or vinyl flooring would be better. If the flooring doesn’t work for you and you can’t see yourself tearing it up and replacing it, you might be better off in a different home. Flooring is easily replaced and one of the more economical home upgrades. Keep this in mind when viewing properties.


Yard Size and Proximity to Neighbors

Some dogs barely make a sound while others simply have a lot to say. If yours is among those who tend to bark at anything and everything, then living in peace with nearby neighbors might be a challenge. A large dog probably needs outdoor space; a small lot might not satisfy him, and an improperly graded yard can make for more muddy paws and messy fur than you can stand. A barking dog will probably not impress the neighbors, especially if you are sharing a common wall, like in a duplex or townhome. Similarly, if a dog lives next door already, will he and yours constantly bark at each other? Talk to the neighbor and be realistic about how well this home suits you and your dog. Give your dog the space to be a good neighbor!


Homeowners’ Associations

Homeowners’ Associations often keep property values up in a neighborhood because they have guidelines for upkeep in the neighborhood. That’s a good thing. But it also means that there are rules and that homeowners have to abide by them. Be sure to look into whether the property you are considering is in a neighborhood that has one of these associations. If it does, you’ll want to review the by-laws to see if any of them impact your plans for having a dog while you live there.

For example, one common by-law restricts whether a homeowner can have a fence around the yard. If you were planning to buy the home so that your dog can run around the big yard after you fence it in, you will be out of luck and Fido will be confined to his leash or indoors. Other associations might restrict the size of animal that can be kept or have other restrictions. Don’t be caught by surprise and have to make a sudden change in plan. Ask in advance about how the association can impact your ability have and enjoy your pet.


Discover Area Dog Parks

Dogs love dog parks and, frankly, so do their humans. Both get to hang out with others just like them! Visit your community’s website or contact the City Clerk to learn if you have any dog parks around so that you and Fido can get a little change of scenery, fresh air, and some fun interaction, too. Some dog parks require a permit for access to off-leash areas, which is quick and easy for a modest annual fee. Ann Arbor dog parks are open between 6 a.m. and 10 p.m. – plenty of time to enjoy these great spaces with your pet!

For locations and more information about dog parks in your area:


Here at Piper Partners, we love dogs. And we love dog owners! We have helped many dog owners find the perfect home where both dogs and humans are happy. We know which neighborhoods are ideal for you and which ones might better for cat lovers. Don’t get stuck with a home that doesn’t suit your needs. Call us now at (734)845-9700 or fill out the form below to begin discovering just how happy you (and Fido) can be!

We are neighborhood experts who will communicate with you openly and honestly as we help you buy or sell your home as quickly as possible. And, with our premiere marketing services, including a state-of-the-art website featuring over 1000 neighborhood pages, we are committed to making the process of selling or buying especially easy, too. Your circumstances are unique, and so are your homeownership needs. We get that. Contact us today. We’ll be happy to help in any way we can.

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For immediate assistance, call us at 734-845-9700 or email Andy Piper at

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