Moving and selling your home with pets comes with challenges. First, you’ll have to take some extra steps to get your house sale-ready. Second, your animal companions won’t understand what’s happening as you prepare to head to a new home. As a result, they can become overly anxious.
Plus, moving with pets after you find your next house isn’t easy. Keeping dogs and cats safe on long road trips or flights always comes with some difficulties. However, even if you’re only moving across town, just acclimating to a new environment might be hard for them.
Luckily, there are things you can do to make the entire process easier. Here are nine tips for moving and selling your home with pets that can help make the day less stressful for you and your furry family members.
9 Tips for Moving and Selling Your Home with Pets
1. Clean Up the Yard
Removing dog poop from your yard is a must if you’re trying to sell. If you don’t, buyers may be turned off when they see it. In a worst-case scenario, they may step in some as they explore the property, something that makes a horrible impression.
If you’re looking for the best way to clean up dog poop in your yard, a pooper scooper tool with a longer handle might be your best bet. You won’t have to lean over or crouch down, making it easier on your back.
However, there are also poop scooping businesses that’ll do the job for a fee. If you’d rather not spend hours dealing with dog poop, that could be the way to go.
2. Deal with Pet Stains
Pet stains are the bane of many homeowners, particularly if they want to get ready to sell. Usually, they all ask the same kinds of concerns, including:
- How to get dog pee out of carpet
- How to remove old cat urine from hardwood floors
- How to get old dog urine smell out of carpet
If you’ve struggled with concerns like those, there are answers. When it comes to how to clean pet stains from carpeting, you may want to start with a carpet shampooer and use a pet-specific cleanser. Follow that up with an odor neutralizer and, if there is still a visible stain, a stain remover.
If that doesn’t work, you may need to replace that section of carpet. Similarly, if the stain is gone but the odor remains, there’s a chance the urine hit the carpet pad underneath. In that case, replacement might be your only option, too.
For marks on hardwood floors, you have several options. One of the simplest is a hydrogen peroxide solution. Mix some hydrogen peroxide with water, moisten an absorbent cloth, and set it on the stain, checking the progress every hour.
For mild stains, you may see a reasonable difference after a few hours. If that’s the case, sprinkle some baking soda over the top to remove excess moisture and deodorize. Then, vacuum that up.
You can also look for enzymatic cleaners designed for hardwood floors. Along with conquering odor, they might help with staining.
However, if you didn’t get the ideal result, you may want to consult with a professional. To deal with the stain, you may need to refinish the floor (in whole or in part).
3. Tackle Pet Hair
How to remove pet hair from upholstery and carpeting; it’s something every cat and dog owner struggles with regularly. However, if you want to sell your house, it’s critical.
Built-up pet hair makes your home less attractive to buyers, even if the fuzz is mainly on your belongings. Luckily, you can tackle it with ease by using the right approach.
If you want an efficient option for removing cat hair from furniture, dog fur from carpeting, or fuzz anywhere else, a squeegee could be your best bet. The rubber blade helps gather up the fluff, making it easy to pick up and remove.
Rubber kitchen gloves can also work well. Additionally, they do make handheld vacuums with rubber attachments designed specifically for pet hair, giving you another approach to consider.
4. Destroy Pet Odors
Even if you’ve handled every pet stain, there’s a good chance your home still has a pet-related odor. Since you’re likely used to the scent of your house, you may not notice it’s there, but buyers certainly will.
As you prepare to sell your home, use pet-specific deodorizers regularly. You’ll want one that you can use on furniture, carpeting, curtains, and other odor-absorbing materials. That way, you can banish smells quickly.
It’s also smart to replace your air filters. Pet odors can get into your HVAC system. By replacing your filter, you can reduce its presence.
5. Prepare for Showings
Once you’ve handled the harder cleaning tasks, you’ll still want to go the extra mile when it’s time for a showing. Take a moment to get rid of any evidence that a pet lives in the house. Find a place to stash the litter box, put dog toys away, relocate scratching posts, move dog beds, and relocate food and water dishes.
Additionally, find somewhere else for your pets to be during showings. You may want to either take them with you or enlist help from family members, friends, or neighbors. If there are several showings in a row or a lengthy open house, options like boarding or doggie daycare may also work.
Ultimately, you want to ensure that it doesn’t look like a pet lives in the house. That way, buyers won’t jump to any negative conclusions.
6. Pack Their Favorites
Don’t throw out your pet’s favorite things as you get ready to move, even if they are a bit ragged. Many pets are anxious about unfamiliar places, especially if your new home once held pets.
By bringing some of your pet’s favorite items, you can introduce familiar sights and smells. Plus, the toys, scratchers, and beds can be a source of comfort for them, making the transition easier.
7. Load Up Carefully
When it’s time to get your stuff from your old home and into a truck, keep your pets safely out of the way. Have them stay with a family member, friend, or neighbor. Board them with your vet or take them to doggie daycare. That way, they aren’t underfoot where they could cause an accident or sneaking out the door when you aren’t looking.
8. Travel Kindly (and Safely)
If you’re moving long-distance with pets, focus on compassion and safety. Long car rides aren’t easy on animals, particularly if they are usually anxious when in vehicles. Similar, plane flights can be traumatic since they involve a lot of unfamiliar places, people, and animals.
For trips in a vehicle, keep your pet secure while you’re on the road. This could mean them staying in a kennel in the back or using a pet seatbelt to keep them in one area. As you drive, stop regularly. Anxious dogs may need more bathroom breaks.
Plus, most pets won’t eat or drink while the vehicle is bouncing down the road, so you’ll want to pause so they can have a snack and hydrate. It’s also a chance for them to stretch their legs, allowing them to burn off some nervous energy. To keep them secure, make sure to use a leash – preferably putting it on before you open any of the vehicle doors.
When it’s time for you to eat, either choose pet-friendly restaurants or get your food to-go. Never leave your pet in your vehicle unattended, even if you think you’ll only be a minute.
For longer drives or plane flights, you may want to speak with your vet about sedatives. Plus, if you’re crossing state lines, you may need a health certificate for your pet, so you’ll need to head into the office anyway.
Finally, you can look for a professional pet transportation company. Many offer exceptional care and ensure your pet – even larger ones – travel in plane cabins instead of as cargo. While they can be costly, it’s worth considering.
9. Acclimate Slowly
Once you arrive at your new home, acclimate your pet slowly. If you’re moving with cats, let them out of their kennels in one of the smaller rooms. Keep the litter box, food, and water in there (positioned in separate corners), and add some of their favorite pet beds and toys. Let them familiarize themselves with that space before letting them into other areas.
For moving with a dog, start by giving them a tour of the house and yard while they are on a leash. Set up a space with their favorite things where they can see other family members. Take them outside often and engage in play whenever possible. That way, they can work out nervous energy and feel comforted by your presence.