By Medina James, DogEtiquette.info
Buying or selling a home is a huge step. You want to do everything in your power to choose a house that best suits your entire family, and you want to make sure everyone will be comfortable in the new home. Navigating the process with the help of a realtor makes the process a bit easier, as these professionals help you stage your home or find a new one that has all the features you desire. For buyers and sellers with dogs, the process can be a bit more complicated, but working with a professional realtor will help you understand and follow all the dog etiquette rules so that you can find the house of your dreams.
- Dog Etiquette Considerations for Sellers
When you sell your home, you want to present it as clean and comfortable. If you own a dog, your realtor likely will suggest making a few slight changes to make your home appealing to potential buyers who are not dog owners. You can do this by keeping his crate, food bowls, toys, and outside area neat and tidy. Don’t be offended by the realtor’s suggestions: her job is to stage your home so that everyone can imagine living in it, and not everyone loves dogs as much as you do.
Some simple things to do to prepare your home for a showing include keeping your dog’s toys picked up, eliminating dog food crumbs, picking up dog waste from the yard, and reseeding areas of the yard that your dog uses frequently. You also should ask your realtor if she notices any pet odors in your home and address them with products made to eliminate pet odors on carpets and furniture. For more tips on staging your home, see this comprehensive guide from Closetbox.
Typically, homeowners vacate the premises during a showing, so make it a fun time with your dog by spending time at a dog-friendly establishment. Removing him from the house while strangers walk through it will keep him as happy as possible and it will help you relax.
- Dog Etiquette Considerations for Buyers
Searching for a home when you own a dog means finding a house in a neighborhood that welcomes him, and includes a yard or area where he can get exercise and enjoy spending time with you. The first time you visit potential homes, keep your dog’s needs in mind. Do you need a one-story home because your dog struggles to climb stairs? Do you need a fenced-in yard? Also, make sure the homeowner association permits pets and that there are veterinarians and dog-friendly parks nearby. These home features are things you should discuss with your realtor to narrow your search from the get-go.
It’s also better to visit homes without your dog at first in case the homeowner has allergies or other pets that will not welcome your dog. Should you happen upon a home that you like while walking your dog, do not enter the open house with him in tow. The last thing you want to do is make the seller or his real estate agent uncomfortable by showing up with your dog. In these cases, take your dog back home, or ask the person with whom you are walking to keep him on his leash on the sidewalk while check out the house.
Once you find a home that you want to purchase, ask your realtor about visiting with your dog. After all, all members of your family need to be comfortable in your new place, and it’s a good idea to take your dog for a walk around the neighborhood and through the house to make sure that it’s a good fit for him. Keep your dog on his leash and make sure that he has relieved himself before entering the home. Take treats with you to ensure his best behavior.
- Dog Etiquette Considerations for Moving Day
After you have sold or purchased your home, you need to make moving day go as smoothly as possible for your family, your dog, and yourself. Unfortunately, moving day is a chaotic, stressful time that can take a toll on your pet. He may not understand why there is so much commotion, or why strangers are carrying his crate and bed out of your home. To keep your dog more comfortable on moving day, ask a friend or family member or his regular dog sitter to take him for the day. Send your pet’s favorite toys, bed, and food dishes with him to help him feel calm.
If you cannot get your dog out of the house on moving day, be proactive in reducing his exposure to the craziness by keeping him in a room away from most of the commotion. Do your best to empty this room ahead of time so he does not get upset by seeing professional movers or helpers taking things out of your home. Leave his bed or crate and toys, food dish, and water dish in this room to help him remain comfortable.
Or, put your dog in his crate out of the way of movers so he feels safe. Crating him will keep him out of the path of movers and eliminate the possibility of his getting loose while your doors are open. It’s best to alert the movers to your dog’s presence and ask them to leave him alone so he can stay calm. Then, leave the heavy lifting to them so you can spend some time reassuring your dog and taking him for a walk around the block to expend some energy. Also, make sure your dog is wearing his collar and ID tags on moving day so he can be returned to you should he get loose.
When it’s time to take your dog to your new house, you should transport him and reassure him. Take him for a walk around the new neighborhood while someone places his bed, crate, and food and water dishes in his spot; this will help him realize the house is his new home when you take him inside for the first time.
Buying or selling a home as a dog owner is possible. You need to work with a realtor who understands your needs as a pet parent. If you are a seller, work with your realtor to stage your home and eliminate traces of your dog during showings and open houses. If you are a buyer, make sure your realtor is aware of the house features you need for your dog and do not enter a potential home with your dog before having permission to do so. When moving day arrives, keep your dog as comfortable and stress-free as possible. Remember, buying or selling a home is a process that you and your dog will make it through, especially if you keep the etiquette rules in mind.
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