How to Buy or Sell a Home with Your Dog


Whether you are selling or buying a house, as a dog owner, there are certain rules of etiquette you must follow. While pets can provide love and companionship, it may be best to contain your dog while there are visitors in the house. Here are some tips for dog loving people on both sides of the selling process.

Dog Etiquette Advice for Sellers

Staging is one of the most important things to do when selling your home. It’s the process of preparing your home so that any potential buyer can picture themselves living there. Generally, this means doing a deep clean of the house and removing any personal touches, such as family pictures or unusually painted walls. With a dog, though, this means you’ll have to pay extra attention to make sure the house is staged to your liking. 

First, always pick up after your dog and remove any toys from the yard. Next, as you do your deep clean, pay particular attention to any stains or damage your dog may have caused. It may be worthwhile to have your carpets professionally cleaned; according to HomeAdvisor, the average cost to clean a home’s carpets is between $116 and $235. This small investment can make a vast difference in the overall freshness of your house. You should also make sure your house is free of pet hair, particularly if your dog is in a shedding phase. Finally, just like with family pictures, remove any pictures you may have of your dog.

The next thing to consider is where to put your dog during showings. If your dog is quiet and well-behaved around strangers, it may be enough to put your dog in a kennel or cage out of the way or in a closed-off room.  Be sure to give your dog some water and a toy with which to entertain himself.  However, if your dog is more likely to bark when he hears strangers approach, it may be best to board him with a doggy daycare or a friend for the duration of the showing.

Last, once you’ve sold your home and are planning to move, if you’ll have movers coming in and out of the house, put your dog in his kennel. This will help keep your dog more relaxed and calm during the process.

Dog Etiquette Advice for Buyers

Even though your dog may enjoy the exercise, it is generally best to leave your dog at home when you’re visiting prospective houses to buy. If it’s important that your dog visit, whether out of convenience or to investigate whether your dog likes the property, check with the real estate agent or owner ahead of time because they may have allergies or pets of their own to consider. Similarly, if you come across an open house while walking your dog, make arrangements -- leave your dog with a friend or take your dog home first. 

Keeping Your Dog Happy During the Move

Whether you’re buying or selling, eventually you’ll need to move. When this happens, your dog may feel anxious or unusually hyper. Also, if you’re using movers, your dog may become territorial. This is why it is generally best to have someone watch your dog on your moving day -- if you can’t board him somewhere else, having a friend or neighbor keep an eye on your dog all day will prevent him from getting loose in the chaos of the move. If you can, keep him in a closed room that has already been emptied out. This will minimize his exposure to the chaos and stress of moving, which may help reduce his anxiety.

Remember, when buying or selling a house, you’ll want to keep your house clean while reducing your dog’s stress. While some dogs do well in chaotic situations, many may be tempted to act out, so consider your dog’s personality before deciding where to put your dog during showings, home tours, or the moving process.

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Blog courtesy of Cindy Aldridge. Cindy is a freelance writer and dog lover. She started as a fun side project for herself and to educate pet owners and potential pet owners about how dogs can enrich our lives. She enjoys writing about dogs and pet ownership.