When looking for a new home, consider petís needs

Feb. 26, 2018

SAN DIEGO, Calif. ó All homebuyers have their must-have lists when looking for their perfect home, such as an open floor plan or a spacious master bathroom. But pet owners also need to consider their creaturesí needs when looking for a house. Luckily, more and more builders are taking four-legged companions into account in new construction and neighborhoods.

Pet lovers might want to consider these new homes and communities:

Homes at The Estates and Artesian Estates at Del Sur by CalAtlantic Homes have optional pet suites available to pamper your furry friend. Features include direct access to the outdoors and a "pet spa" that a dog can walk into after a dusty hike. The suites come with plenty of built-ins to store treats, leashes and grooming products and optional built-in perches for feline companions.

At Davidson Communitiesí The Estates at San Elijo Hills, an oversized doggy shower is a featured option in an expanded laundry room. The community of San Elijo Hills also has a popular dog park and 18 miles of trails.

When it comes to new-home options, choosing the right flooring can be the key to happy co-existence for you and your pet. Plush new carpeting may not only turn into a large scratching post for your cat, it can also trap hair, dander and fleas, and lead to allergies. Wood floors are often susceptible to scratches, and tile floors may be too slippery for older dogs. Older dogs might also have trouble navigating stairs. That might not be a problem for those with small dogs that can easily be carried, but a larger dog might have to stay on one floor of a two-story house as it ages.

Dog walking is a great way to make friends in a new neighborhood, and many new communities are focusing on pedestrian-friendly streets.

At Millenia in South County, broad pedestrian pathways connect to urban parks with dedicated dog runs. When fully developed, the master-planned community will have seven parks, and residents will be no farther than a three-minute walk away from one. Additional pet-friendly offerings may be available at each of the neighborhoods offered within Millenia.

Civita in Mission Valley is another urban community focused on walkability. Civita Park includes trails for walking and running, and a dog park designed for large and small dogs. The park is connected to all the neighborhoods in Civita through a web of trails and sidewalks for easy access to the park, day or night ó the walkways are illuminated with LED lighting. In 2017, Civita Park was honored with the Urban Land Institute Healthy Places award and an architectural "Orchid" award.

Dogs are welcome on leash at San Elijo State Beach, which is just a few minutes away from Melia Homesí Laurel Cove development in Encinitas. (The grand opening is scheduled for March 3.) Laurel Coveís nine homes also have large backyards, a feature essential for some buyers with pets.

A backyard is a great place for pets to relax outdoors, but when looking for a home, make sure that outdoor space is a safe environment. Although most fences wonít keep cats contained, a solid 5- to 6-foot perimeter fence is necessary for dogs. If that is lacking, itís an additional expense that needs to be calculated into the cost of the home.

Finding a new pet-friendly home and neighborhood is becoming easier as builders recognize the importance of four-legged family members.



McClatchy-Tribune Information Services