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Living with pets

18 July, 2014 / Category: Blog

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Pets: they’re all over Youtube, and if the heartwarming studies so often touted in the weekend rags are anything to go by, having one around can do wonders for the mind, body and soul. With Australia boasting one of the highest rates of pet ownership in the world, it’s no wonder an increasing number of property owners and renters alike are catching on and making room in their hearts and homes for a four-legged, two-winged or multiple-gilled friend or two.

Whether you’re owning or renting, there are a few considerations you should factor in before taking on a furry tenant, be it a St Bernard or a budgerigar:

First thing’s first:

Before the perfect set of paws can patter into your life, be sure of the quantity and creed of pets allowed at your property, as well as any regulations or guidelines surrounding their keeping.

If you’re renting, or a strata home owner, ask your property manager about the by-laws surrounding pet ownership, and be sure to obtain permission in writing. As property managers are obliged to ensure the homes and gardens they’re charged with are treated with due care by all inhabitants, a barrier or two may arise when negotiating additional tenants of the sharp-clawed, muddy-pawed variety. The key is to provide assurance: offering to sign a written agreement and/or supplying a medical and character reference from a vet goes a long way in showing your pet is suited to the property, and that you’re accountable for any potential damage caused.

Ultimately, property managers like their tenants responsible, honest and happy. They appreciate that circumstances change over time, and that many of us are seeking to build a family, of which pets are very much a part. Asking the question, and respecting the answer, is a great way to build on an open, positive relationship with your property manager.

For home owners and renters alike, your local council is the go-to authority when it comes to pet registration, micro-chipping and de-sexing requirements. Be aware that in many municipalities, certain species, and breeds thereof, are restricted: cats come under curfew in a bid to protect native wildlife and prevent overbreeding, while dog breeds considered ‘high risk’ must be kept under certain conditions to ensure community safety. Abiding by by-laws and regulations is vital to ensure happy, safe pets, homes and neighbourhoods.

Choosing ‘the one’:

Pets have the potential to make or break a home, and not just in a figurative sense, as at least a few of the 60% of us who are pet owners can attest. Choosing the right pet for the right living environment (and vice versa) is a fine yet achievable balancing act that will see you and your pet enjoying maximum quality of life together under the one roof. All it takes is a little research, preparation and understanding:

At home:

Your pet’s instincts to roam, hunt, scratch and dig won’t change overnight to suit your living situation, no matter how many schmackos are in it for them. When choosing the right pet, it’s imperative you undertake thorough research to determine its (often breed-specific) physical and psychological needs:

Is your property big enough for your chosen pet’s size and energy levels? If the humble jack russell terrier has taught us anything it’s that even the smallest of pets require room to move, regardless of their size or appearance.

For your pet’s safety and security, your property must have adequate fencing and shelter from the elements. Poultry and smaller ‘pocket’ pets including rabbits and guinea pigs require safe, dry, elevated spaces constructed of fox-proof materials.

Are you prepared for the potential messes that come along with pet ownership? All the love in the world you have for your pet won’t erase the stains on the carpets nor the scratches on the railings, so ensure you’re either at peace with the hazards of pet ownership, or prepared to fork out for the repairs.

DIY enthusiasts rejoice: pets appreciate the little things in life, many of which are easy to assemble/install yourself. Does your home have a cat/dog door, and if not, are you allowed to install one? A protruding windowsill or makeshift ledge to perch on will offer your indoor cat a view of the outside world that’ll curb their curiosity while you’re at work.

Beyond the picket fence:

Just as your lifestyle extends beyond your lounge room, the broader environment in which your pet exists has a strong bearing on his quality of life. Beyond the picket fence, what kind of environment awaits your pet, and how will he be received by creatures great and small within your community?

Are your neighbours well within earshot? If you live in a particularly built-up area, consider a pet that is less likely to contribute to noise pollution. Some dog breeds are more inclined to express themselves than others, so ensure your pooch is well-trained, socialized and knows the boundaries, both physical and audible.

If you’re living in a more suburban or country environment, there’s a good chance your neighbours are of the native fauna variety. As per council regulations, ensure any pets of the predatory persuasion are kept indoors overnight to give our wildlife a breather.

Our work schedules will usually dictate where and when our dog gets to stretch his legs, so ensure you’re able to commit to his needs regardless of what time you eventually clock off for the day. Are there parklands or other green spaces nearby for Fido to socialize in, and will you feel safe walking him alone, or at night if the need arises?

Living with pets is all about getting the balance right: providing your chosen pet with the best possible environment for maximum quality of life, whilst ensuring your property and any obligations surrounding your residency are handled with due care and respect. So, if you’re searching for the perfect property for you and your furry, scaley or feathery family, get in touch with Infolio today. We’d be glad to help you put your best paw forward.

Yours sincerely,

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