If you’re like many pet-parents searching for a new home in Boca Raton, you know that you need a community that will embrace your dog – but how can you tell whether a neighborhood is dog-friendly? This guide explains exactly what to look for.
How to Tell Whether a Neighborhood is Dog-Friendly
First things first: Your REALTOR® can help you look for neighborhoods that are known to be dog-friendly. In fact, if you work with a real estate agent who specializes in helping people with pets find great places to live, she’ll already have the scoop on which communities have the amenities you and your pet need. Your REALTOR can tell you which neighborhoods and condominium complexes have – or have easy access to – things like:
- Sidewalks and walking trails
- Dog parks
- Easy access and close proximity to veterinarians, groomers and other pet specialists
- Restrictions on pets, such as breeds, sizes and types
A real estate agent who specializes in pet-friendly communities can help you find the perfect place for you and your pet – a place you’ll love to call “home.”
With that said, here’s what to watch for to determine whether a neighborhood or condominium is dog-friendly:
- Plenty of outdoor space that welcomes pets
- Proximity to dog parks, veterinarians and other dog-related services
- Lots of pet-parents in the community
- Appropriate fencing in yards
- Pet-friendly HOA and condo association rules and regulations
Here’s a closer look at each.
Feature #1 of a Dog-Friendly Neighborhood: Plenty of Outdoor Space That Welcomes Pets
A dog-friendly neighborhood is one in which there are plenty of sidewalks and outdoor spaces where your pup can walk, run and play. A good way to determine whether a neighborhood or community is dog-friendly is to visit during morning and late afternoon hours; you can scope out whether people are out walking their own dogs during those times, and whether the community appears to be friendly toward them.
Related: 7 super-helpful house-hunting tips for pet parents
Feature #2 of a Dog-Friendly Neighborhood: Proximity to Dog Parks, Veterinarians and Other Dog-Related Services
It’s a good idea to find a home that’s close to dog parks, vets and other dog-related services you use, such as groomers. That way, caring for your pet (and providing plenty of fun time with four-legged friends) is a lot more convenient for you.
Related: How to choose a new dog daycare when you move to Boca Raton
Feature #3 of a Dog-Friendly Neighborhood: Lots of Pet-Parents in the Community
You can get a good feel for whether there are plenty of pet-parents in a community by driving through. See whether there are people out with their pets, as well as whether there are stations with doggie bags and disposal bins along walking routes. These are both indicators that a community is pretty pet-friendly.
Feature #4 of a Dog-Friendly Neighborhood: Appropriate Fencing in Yards
If you’re looking in a neighborhood with single-family homes, check out the fencing. There are times that dogs just want to soak up some sun, lay in the grass, or romp around – and if many of the homes have good fencing so dogs don’t need to be tied up, it’s a sign that the community is pet-friendly. However, you also want to see how many dogs are left outside unattended for long periods of time; that can show you a little bit about residents’ attitudes about pets.
Feature #5 of a Dog-Friendly Neighborhood: Pet-Friendly HOA and Condo Association Rules and Regulations
Your REALTOR can help you find the covenants, conditions and restrictions (CC&Rs) in a community that govern pet ownership. Some communities only allow pets of certain breeds, sizes and types – and others don’t allow pets at all. Before you become too invested in a particular community or condominium complex, make sure you understand whether your pet will be welcome.
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