Dog adoptions went up over the holidays, according to local shelters. Probably even more people would adopt if they didn’t live in rentals with “No Pets” policies. But if you’re buying a home, now may be your chance to bring a new member into the family!
Other than the basics of care, training, and feeding, there are some important things homeowners should know about dog ownership. Fortunately, Nolo’s website offers a wealth of information on such topics as:
- “How Many Dogs Can You Keep?” Before falling in love with that litter of five puppies, realize that many U.S. cities now limit the number of dogs to two or three per household.
- “Legal Restrictions on Pit Bulls and Other Breeds.” Even if you choose only one dog, better make sure it’s not a prohibited breed where you live.
- “Pets in Condominiums and Planned Developments.” Uh oh, if you’re buying a home in a community governed by a homeowners’ association (HOA), you may face as many rules about pets as your old landlords imposed. Check into these before bringing Fido home.
- “For Dog Owners: How to Prevent Injuries.” A pet that munches the neighbors’ children isn’t going to help you make new local friends. Learn some basics to avoid such issues.
- “Strict Liability: Dog-Bite Statutes.” In case your dog misbehaves, you’ll want to check on how your state’s laws (like most) hold dog owners legally and financially responsible for injuries their dogs cause.
- “Is Your Dog Tax Deductible?” Probably not, unless it’s a service dog or you’re in the business of dog breeding. But check out the possibilities just in case!
- And, if you already have a dog, see “Getting Your Dog Ready for a Move to a New Home.”
For even more practical and legal information, see the Nolo book Every Dog’s Legal Guide, by Mary Randolph.