Best tips for buying or selling a home with a pet
Photo via Pixabay by Wow Pho
Here’s an article I contributed to by guest blogger and dog etiquette expert Medina James:

Buying or selling a home is a major life change, and it can bring about quite a bit of stress and anxiety. Not only do you have to worry about the other parties involved living up to their end of the bargain, you also have to deal with everything that goes into preparing your own home for a sale so the process can go as smoothly and quickly as possible. Having pets can create a few problems, so it’s important to know how to handle them whether you’re looking for a new home or trying to sell your own.

For many people, pets are like another member of the family, and it can be difficult to think about keeping them locked up or sending them to stay with a friend during the real estate process, but there are so many considerations involved when it comes to potential buyers.

They may have allergies, or small children who are afraid of dogs. They may see a pet in the home and wonder about what sort of damage they’ll find in the rooms or assume that the house isn’t as clean as it could be. Not only that, but your pet could become anxious with all the new people and smells coming and going in the home. It’s best to take as many precautions as possible so that everyone–including your pet–stays safe and happy. Here are some of the best ways to get started.


When you’re looking for a new home, you might be tempted to attend every open house you see, and sometimes you’ll come across them while you’re out with your pet. It’s not a good idea to bring him along, so take him home first, or ask a friend to watch him while you go in and check out the home. Dogs – even small ones – can cause a big ruckus in an unfamiliar place, and it will be hard for you to have a conversation with the owner or real estate agent if you’re dealing with an anxious pet. Also, you don’t want him to make a mess or leave dog hair behind.

When you’re looking at homes, ask the sellers about any potential issues your pet may face such as neighboring animals who are aggressive or holes in the yard that need to be filled in. If there’s a fence, make sure it’s nice and sound; if not, be sure to ask about any zoning laws regarding fencing to ensure you can put one up.

On moving day, be mindful of keeping your pet in a safe place, away from the confusion and noise. Small pets, such as terriers and cats, can easily get lost during the hustle and bustle of the move, or become injured when they get underfoot. If your pet is anxious, the chaos of moving day can be especially traumatic. If you have more than one pet or an animal that needs special considerations, it may be best to take extra precautions and find a pet-friendly moving company. Because there are so many options, use a guide such as this one, which offers side-by-side moving company reviews, contact information and price comparison options.


During the selling process, it’s important to keep in mind that there may be times when the real estate agent needs to bring potential buyers over without much notice. It’s not always easy to keep your home spotless when you have pets, so it might be advantageous to have a pet boarder or sitter take your fur babies for a little while. This will not only ensure that your home stays nice for visits, but can help keep your pets anxiety-free with all the changes.

If this isn’t possible, set up a comfy area for your pet in one spot of the house or yard where he can be restrained when potential buyers come. Give him lots of love and attention during this time, as animals can become stressed when there’s a lot of activity with new people.

It’s sometimes hard to see potential issues when you’re living with them every day, so go through your home with the eyes of a buyer and look for problems. Dog hair on the curtains? Window blinds that need replacing because your puppy got a little chew-happy? Making some small changes and efforts to clean will really boost your home in the buyer’s eyes and could mean the difference between selling now and selling six months down the road.

Remember that although this is usually a stressful process, it can mean positive changes are around the corner. Try to stay patient and don’t forget to give your pet extra attention during this time to keep him at ease.

(for more information, or to thank Medina, please visit her website: