The following is a guest post from Pam Summers of DogEtiquette.info. For more information and other great resources about dog ownership, etiquette, and training, check out her website here.
Here are a few doggie dos and doggie don’ts to consider when putting your house on the market.
Do try to eliminate odors. While your senses have become acclimated to the presence of your pup, people entering the property for the first time will wince at first whiff if the home smells of dog. Do yourself, and your buyers, a favor by opening windows and keeping soft surfaces neutralized. Most commercial products simply mask smells, making the situation worse in the long run. House Logic recommends using plain old baking soda to clean everything from the dishwasher to plastic food containers (like your dog’s bowls).
Don’t avoid cleaning behind the furniture. You’d be surprised at all the places that dog hair can hide. A quick vacuuming won’t cut it. Instead, before a showing or open house, vacuum thoroughly using this technique. If you haven’t already, invest in a vacuum cleaner specifically for pet owners. It should have plenty of attachments for getting into the nooks and crannies around the baseboards and corners.
Do pay attention to your outdoor areas. Your dog doesn’t just live inside. It’s likely that he spends a great deal of his time outdoors. If your dog has dug holes or left toys strewn about, make sure these are moved out of sight before they tank your home’s curb appeal, which is an influencing factor on how people perceive the value of a property.
Don’t leave the dog at home when REALTORs® are on site. REALTORs® love their dogs just as much is anyone, but report that animals can be distracting when showing a piece of property. If you can’t always take him with you, consider clustering your viewings together and hiring a dog sitter for the day. Schedule open houses for the weekend and board your dog at least 24 hours before opening the doors. This will give you time to deep clean areas that need a little extra special attention.
Do exercise your dog regularly. You would be surprised at just how much a dog’s behavior is directly linked to his or her activity level. According to Petful Discussions Manager Melissa Smith, dogs are more destructive when they have pent up energy. Help your dog oust their anxiety while your home is on the market by increasing their exercise time by 15 to 20 minutes each day.
Don’t take your dog with you when you’re looking at homes. While your home is being shown, there’s a good chance that you’re looking at other houses, too. However, avoid the temptation to let Fido tag along on your own home search. Leave him with a friend or relative or consider establishing a relationship with a local doggy daycare that allows drop-ins. Another idea is to take him to the groomer for a bath, which will not only offer a distraction, but ensure he is odor-free.
Don’t forget about your dog on moving day. Your dog is stressed enough over the influx of strangers pouring in and out his home; even if he hasn’t been present, his nose knows that something is up. By the time your movers arrive, your dog’s dis-ease may be through the roof. Spend a little extra time with him and keep him in a quiet, unoccupied room until the moving truck is loaded.
Do introduce him to the new neighborhood as soon as possible. No matter how anxious your dog has been throughout the moving process, rest assured he will adapt in time. You can expedite the process by giving him the opportunity to explore his new surroundings as soon as possible. Check out BringFido.com for local dog-friendly restaurants, pubs, and parks where he can get to know the neighbors and learn to enjoy his new home.