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July 31, 2014

A Puppy's Eye View of Your New Home

Many home buyers tend to overlook the needs of some very important family members when selecting a new home. Over sixty percent of American homes contain at least one pet, and often, human home buyers don’t consider what features and attributes of a residence are best for their furry, feathered or finned friends. If you’re buying new construction in the Savannah, GA area, it’s time to talk to the pet experts at Ernest Signature Homes. We’ll help you design the ultimate living area for your entire family, including your pet! One of the most important things to do when considering a new home is to drop on all fours and take the tour. Don’t worry about looking silly – an experienced realtor or new home salesperson has seen this happen many times before! It is much easier to see potential dangers and hazards to your pet when you view your new home from their level. Note where pets can climb upward on “ladders” such as counter tops, kitchen islands, mantels or wide window sills. Avoid making furniture placement decisions that would make it easier for pets to fall. Examine window treatments for hanging loops or long cords that can cause choking or strangulation. Check the placement of electrical outlets and plan to cover those that are not in use; cover any accessible power cords that stay active all the time. Another thing to observe during your “on-all-fours” tour is the location and closure of storage cabinets. Many household cleaners and human medications are poisonous and should be safely latched behind doors. Clever pets can find ways to open doors without closures, so ask your home builder for safe solutions to storage challenges. Don’t forget to check the storage spaces in your garage as well – over 10,000 pets ingest anti-freeze each year, which is often fatal for animals. Move along to trash disposal next, ensuring that all receptacles are sturdy, with tight-fitting lids. Check into compactors and in-sink disposals to help reduce the amount of tempting trash in your home. Many items in the trash can cause harm to pets, including bones, seeds and fruits such as avocados, grapes and raisins, chocolate, onions and coffee grounds. For a handy list of people foods that are dangerous to pets, click this link to the ASPCA’s site. Additional foods that are hazardous to pets can be found at The Goody Pet site. Make sure that all windows are covered by glass and/or strong, well-installed screens. Window guards will not keep cats or very small, agile dogs safely inside. Choose the flooring options that work best for your pets. In many cases, wall-to-wall carpeting is impractical for cat and dog owners. Look into hardwood floors with a substantial urethane finish, ceramic tile, or other hard, non-porous surfaces accented by easier-to-clean area rugs. If you do decide on full carpeting, consider matching the shade of the rug to your pet’s fur to reduce the visibility of shedding, and choose a carpet with a performance rating of 3.5 or above. It is important that your new house provides a special, secure area that your pet can call its own. Elderly pets need comfortable accommodation on the ground floor. Cats need a private area away from their feeding place for their litter boxes. Set aside some space in a mud room, spare bedroom or the casual family room for your pet, complete with a comfortable bed, an area for toys, and possibly a pet door leading to a fenced-in yard or enclosed sun porch. Some pets such as small mammals, reptiles, birds and fish are kept in cages or tanks. Make certain that your floor plan allows sufficient space for these pet homes in safe areas away from windows and heating vents. This will help you keep their environment at the proper temperature. It will also reduce stress for your pet, as it will keep them out of the sight line of possible predators they can see through the windows. When designing your new home, don’t forget about your landscaping! Many plants are dangerous for your pets. Check this link for a comprehensive list of Toxic and Non-Toxic Plants. Ask your veterinarian or the professionals here at Ernest Signature Homes for tips on selecting lovely greenery that will be safe for all family members. Choosing your perfect homebuilder in Savannah is easier when you know what you need to accommodate all of your family members…especially the ones who love you unconditionally, just because you’re you!
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