As a pet owner, you adore your furry buddies. Perhaps you’re often shocked to hear that not everyone loves animals as much as you do. But, because not all home buyers share your affinity for Fido or Fluffy, there are steps pet owners should take when readying a home for market. 

Planning to list your home makes sense for pet owners. Not only will you have the time to ensure that your home is ready for those shoppers, but, more importantly, you will increase your treasured companion’s safety. It would be heartbreaking to return home post-showing to find that your kitty has escaped or your dog in a stressed-out state.

Here’s a short list of the steps to take to make your pet-friendly home ready to list. 

Tips for Pet Owners: Prepping Your Home For Sale


#1 – Repair any signs of pet damage

Perhaps your dog chewed the corner of a wall as a young pup, or your cat used the carpet for a scratching spot. It happens. 

It’s likely that, at some point, your pet did some damage. Before you show your home, repair any places that show evident signs of pet wear. These may be minor corrections, but they detract from the beauty of your home. 

#2 – Shampoo your carpet and furniture

Even if you don’t notice them, your house probably has a pet odor. You keep your pets clean, but those who don’t have the same pet love as you do will pick up on it. The primary place pet odor hides out is in your carpet and upholstery. 

Spend the money on a professional carpet cleaning before you list your home. It will not only lift any residual pet odors, but it will also remove the stains and pep up the appearance of older carpet.

#3 – Clean up your yard

Buyers will explore every inch of your home, indoors and out. There is no surer way to send a buyer fleeing than for them to step in a pup patty. This job literally is free to take care of, yet many pet owners overlook this chore. 

Do this thankless task before you list your home and before every showing.

#4 – Sanitize the litter box

Some potential buyers are susceptible to litter box odor and can smell it upon entering your home. Don’t try to mask the odor with aerosol sprays or by burning candles. Instead, sanitize the litter box to remove the source of the smell. Keep it scooped out daily and repeat the sanitization process weekly while your home is on the market.

#5 – Visit the veterinarian

Selling a home and moving is stressful for you—and for your pet. They don’t understand what is happening, why strangers are in their home, or why mom or dad are packing up their favorite toys. 

Visit the veterinarian to ensure that your pet is up-to-date on all shots. This is critical in the unlikely event that your pet bites somebody during this stressful time. The vet can also offer guidance on how to deal with your pet’s stress.

#6 – Remove excessive pet toys

Does your dog or cat have dozens of toys—but they’d rather play with a box? Pack up unused toys and donate them to a local rescue group or store them until your move. Let puppy or kitty keep their favorites handy but pack them away before showings or open houses. 

This is a critical step of home staging for pet owners.

#7 – Make a pet plan

Make a “pet plan” for open house days or showings. Can you take Fido to the dog park? Or, can you pack Miss Kitty into a carrier and keep her at a neighbor’s home for a couple of hours? Use resources from family members to neighbors to paid boarding kennels as needed. 

From your standpoint, this is a pet safety issue. 

However, for a buyer who is scared of dogs or has been scratched by a cat, seeing pets can give them a reason to leave before they even look at your house. 

#8 – Be honest in disclosures

When you list your house, you will be required to sign off on disclosure documents that give buyers a snapshot of the condition of your home. One question that could be asked is the presence of pets in the household. 

These are legally binding papers. Don’t cover up the fact that you have pets. This could be a legitimate health concern for a buyer who suffers from life-threatening allergies or asthma. 

Pet Owners Can Ready Their Home for Market Easily

Armed with these tips, pet owners can ready their home for market with minimal fuss. Giving yourself that time to plan for your pet’s safety and prepare your home for buyers will help you sell your home faster. You’ll be on the way to your new adventure.


Monique Spain

Monique Spain

As a graduate of William & Mary and hailing from a Military family, Monique brings an array of experience to the table and utilizes her background to help serve the varying needs of our buyers and sellers.