On the Move: Here’s How to Keep Your Furry Friend Safe and Happy

Whether you’re a cat person or a dog person, you probably think of your beloved pets as members of your family. Just like children, you want to keep them happy, love them and safeguard them from harm.

But what about when there’s a move in your future? Our cats and dogs can actually have an impact on how easily a home sells. In addition, making a move isn’t always easy on your pet.

Here are some tips on selling your home and making a move with Fido and Fluffy in tow:

Prepping and showing your home

Your beloved cat or dog might be the last thing on your mind when you’re getting your home ready to put on the market. but you would be surprised how much influence they can have. Here are some tips to ensure the experience remains positive for your pet and prospective buyers:

Repair any damage your pets have done to your floors, walls, baseboards and doors, no matter how small. It may not bother you that your dog has made scratch marks on your back door, but potential buyers—who may not be dog lovers—will see the damage as a sign you don’t maintain your home. 

It should go without saying that any soiled carpet needs to be professionally cleaned or removed. In fact, having any carpet professionally cleaned is a good choice in general, as it can remove lingering pet odors. Changing the filter on your HVAC unit can also be helpful in keeping the air fresh. Pet bedding, which can harbor odors, should be removed for showings. Keep your dog bathed and groomed to reduce pet odors. 

Put away pet bowls, food and toys. If at all possible, remove crates, litter boxes, pet beds and cat trees for showings.

Having pets adds to the stress of keeping your home clean for showings. But, it’s vitally important to vanquish wafts of fur lingering around your floors and baseboards or on your furniture and bed linens. Not only is it unsightly, but prospective buyers could have allergies. 

Make arrangements to take your pet with you when there is a showing appointment. 

If you can’t always be available to remove your pet from your home for a showing, have a plan B in place to enlist the help of an available friend, family member or neighbor your pet trusts who can take them for the duration of the showing.

Making the move

While packing up and moving can be emotionally stressful for humans, our pets are often overlooked. Here are some ways you can reduce stress on your favorite furry friend and help them make the transition:

Watch your pet for changes in eating habits, moods or activity level. Noticeable changes could indicate they are feeling anxious

Try to stick to as much of their normal routine as absolutely possible, including walks and extra attention.

Be sure to unpack their bed and toys right away so they have some familiarity in their new digs.

Shelter your pet from the commotion of boxes and packing, as well as unpacking once you arrive. Now is the time to give them extra attention and reassure them of your love.

Once you’ve arrived in your new home, give your dog or cat time to get used to their new surroundings. Don’t leave them home alone for long periods during the first few weeks.

Take a break from unpacking and take your dog for a walk around their new neighborhood, so they can get used to the new sights, scents and sounds.

Try to get back to their normal routine as quickly as possible. The more things seem familiar, the easier they will adapt to their new home.

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