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What to Do with Your Dog When Buying or Selling a Home

Most of us have dreamed of owning a home, and some of us already have. Perhaps you’re ready to let go of homeownership or you’re looking to upgrade. Buying or selling a home is a major life change, but when you have a dog, other considerations need to be made. Let’s break those considerations down for sellers and buyers.


The first thing you’ll want to do is clean up unsightly messes left by a dog that hasn’t been housebroken. You might not notice the mess, but it’s there and likely hidden away, or you may have adjusted to the smell. Have your carpets and rugs cleaned, andrepair claw marks in the doors and walls. In Mission Viejo, California, the average for carpet and rug cleaning in a home is between $130 and $265. Floor cleaning also means repairing grass damage caused by urine.

Before you enter the staging process, minimize the signs that a dog has lived there. Besides cleaning the carpets to get rid of odors and fur, thoroughly clean all furniture and walls to remove fur ordander. Not every potential buyer loves dogs as much as you do, and some of them might even be allergic. Walking into an open house and being welcomed by sneezes or itches won’t make someone want to buy your house.

Once you have the house looking and smelling spotless, it’s time to stage the home to make it look warm, inviting, and attractive. Soon you’ll be on to the showing process. During this time, your dog should find another place to hang out during the open house for the same reasons as stated above. Some buyers might be turned off if they see that a dog was living there. If possible, find a dog sitter orboarding care during the open house so you can get through the day distraction-free. If he absolutely has to be at home, keep the dog crated or fenced so he doesn’t bother the potential buyers.


It’s usually best to leave the dog at home when you’re shopping for houses, but a picky dog might need to test out a new space first. If it’s important to bring your dog along for a sniff test, check with the realtor and owner first to see if it’s permitted. The owner might not want a dog inside or might have allergies, or there could be otherpets that get territorial when strange dogs are in their space.

If you come across an open house while out and about with your dog, ask someone to watch him while you check out the house, or take the dog home and come back. It’s not polite to walk into someone’s home with a dog unless the seller invites both of you in. But never assume that a seller (or potential buyer) is a dog lover.

When you’re in the process of moving, your dog will be safer with a trusted sitter. Not only is it a nuisance to have a dog in the movers’ path while carrying heavy furniture and boxes, but it’s also a safety issue. The last thing you’ll want is for the movers to drop items because they tripped over a dog or for your dog to have something fall on him. The noise and commotion of a move can also be chaotic andstressful to a dog. If you can’t find someone to watch him for the day, then keep him in a separate room away from all the madness.

Whether you’re looking for a change of scenery or owning your first home, the transition of moving is exciting. It might become exciting for the dog when he moves into a new place, but he won’t understand it yet. Do your best to eliminate stressors for him and let him find his footing in the new place after it’s beenpet-proofed. He won’t know the difference between renting and owning, but he will feel content in the new place once the dust settles.

Article provided by Tamara Gilmore from