5 steps to pick the perfect pet-friendly community

Aussies love their pets, so it’s no wonder that when choosing a new community, the needs of the furriest member of the family come into consideration.

Research shows six out of 10 households include a furry family member — and that was before animal ownership surged during the pandemic.

With animal companions becoming increasingly common, people are thinking about the needs of their pets as well as their own when assessing real estate options.

Thinking of moving to a new home? Don’t forget to pack your dog! Picture: Getty

If this sounds like you, you might want to look for these six things when on the hunt for a pet-friendly home.

1. Home size and type

Do you have a big dog that needs plenty of space to move? Or perhaps, you have a smaller breed or cat that’s relatively independent. The type of pet you own will dictate the kind of home you need.

Active, larger breeds such as German shepherds, golden retrievers, border collies, huskies or Staffordshire bull terriers are better suited to a larger home with a backyard, which can be catered for with a house and land package.

In comparison, cats and small dog breed like French bulldogs, cavaliers, shih tzu, bichon frise and whippets can be easily kept in an apartment.

It’s not just you that needs to be comfortable in your new home. Picture: Getty

2. Pet-friendly features

It’s essential to consider which elements will enhance pet ownership rather than hinder it, according to Anne Flaherty, economist at realestate.com.au.

“People that own pets, they need to think about what kind of a lifestyle they’re giving their pet and choose a property that matches these needs,” she says. “They also need to consider what kind of an impact they’re going to have on the neighbours around them.”

Features like wooden floors are easier to clean than carpet. Also, think about sound insulation, pet doors and whether the layout has an extra room or nook for your animal’s bed.

Luxury features like an outdoor shower can be beneficial too, making bath time more manageable. Additionally, orientation may be important if your animal likes to bask in the morning sun.

New tech at Midtown MacPark makes living with a pet even easier. Picture: Frasers Property Australia, artist impression

According to Cameron Jackson, development director at Frasers Property Australia, people in apartments should also keep an eye out for innovative additions in new developments.

He points to Midtown MacPark, a vibrant new urban neighbourhood in Sydney, which has smart home technology available to make life easier for residents with fur babies on board.

“Sometimes, you’ll not only have a dog and a leash to hold, you’ll have your phone, a coffee, or the daily essentials like bread and milk,” Jackson says. “This is where things like touchless lifts can make life a lot easier and safer.”

He adds that communal spaces nearby (to take pets for their daily break outdoors) will also appeal to pet owners on the hunt for a new home.

3. Outdoor space

“Think about whether there are a lot of dog-friendly green spaces around,” Flaherty says.

“A lot of parks have sections where dogs can run off the leash, but you need to be very mindful as not all parks have that ability.”

Jackson adds that somewhere with a mix of green areas is best.

“At Midtown, we have a really good connection to reserves and open spaces around the development,” Jackson explains.

“You can walk out of your apartment, through the neighbourhood and into a creek reserve. There’s dog exercise areas and trails. You don’t have to cross any major roads to access them.”

Dog parks are a great place to meet your neighbours. Picture: Frasers Property Australia, artist impression

Midtown MacPark is designed to be a walkable neighbourhood, with walking paths and cycling links all built into the design. 

These pathways connect the one-to-three bedroom homes to the proposed urban village that will be humming with cafes, shops, a proposed school and two childcare centres, plus a commercial 25-metre pool and gym.

This kind of design helps creates more opportunities to take your pet with you when you head outside, says Jackson, regardless of whether it’s a stroll to the local cafe, the uni, or if you’re popping to the supermarket for some milk. 

4. Pet stores, vets and amenities

“If you do own a pet, it’s probably worth thinking about, how far away you are from the nearest pet shop or vet,” Flaherty explains.

Proximity to pet facilities and healthcare is not only convenient for food or supplies, but it may be crucial if your animal has a medical emergency or is getting a bit older.

A dog groomer, doggie day care and a dog walking service in the area will also be handy.

Having a pet store nearby makes a big difference. Picture: Getty

5. Council regulations

Every council has separate rules when it comes to pet ownership. Questions to ask when looking at a specific location is whether you need to register your pet with the local council or shire? Do they have particular rules like cat curfews?

Additionally, Jackson says to check the project you’re buying into is pet friendly.

“Make sure there is the legal capacity built into the development for animals,” he explains.

“Check it’s in the strata title that residents can have pets in the future, especially if it’s an apartment project.”

The post 5 steps to pick the perfect pet-friendly community appeared first on realestate.com.au.

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