Caring for your pets when your home is on the market

Canadians love our pets!  According to research by The Canadian Animal Health Institute, approximately 41% of Canadian households include at least one dog, and similarly around 37% include at least one cat.

Nala Sam portraitThose of us who have pets know the many benefits of having furry extended family members.  Healthy pets mean healthy Canadians. Pet ownership has proven benefits to both physical and mental health in people. Similarly, assistance animals improve the lives of those with disabilities.

For many, a house just isn’t a home without a pet.

However, when it’s time to sell your home, in addition to thinking about getting the house ready, it’s important to think about what you will do concerning your pet or pets during the process.  Here are some things to consider:


close up of dog relaxing on bed
Photo by Pixabay on

If you’re opting for home staging to get your home sold, you’ll need to consult with the home stager and discuss the presence of pets in your home.  Working with your own furniture will likely be the best course of action.  Having the stager bring in other furniture may not be your best choice as pets could damage the furniture and cause you to incur added costs.


I’m sure you’ve seen the commercial for that fabric deodorizer where they compare what you think your house smells like to what others actually smell in the house.  It’s a fact, we get used to certain smells.  When you’re cleaning your house to prepare to sell you’ll want to pay particular attention to any pet-related markers, like stains or smells. For any pet stains on carpets consider having them professionally cleaned.   You can try and remove the odours by using enzyme cleaners such as Simple Solution or Nature’s Miracle or call a professional ozone company, or if possible it may be best to just replace any pet soiled carpet.

Remove the visible signs

vacuum pet hairRemember, potential buyers are trying to picture themselves in your home.  For many, that doesn’t include a pet — and even if it does, it doesn’t include your pet!

  • Put away food and water bowls when not in use
  • Vacuum religiously, every day, sometimes twice a day
  • Pick up pet toys and put them away
  • Pack up cat trees and other signs of cat paraphernalia
  • Remove photos of pets from refrigerator, walls and table tops
  • Pack up all cages, carriers and other tell-tale signs

Cat Litter Boxes and Doggy Pads

As best you can keep these out of sight and impeccably clean.  An untended litter box is not only unsightly but for many people it can be smelled the moment they enter the home. So, spend a little extra time making sure it’s scooped regularly and really clean (your cat will appreciate it too!)

Have a Plan To Accomodate Showings and Open Houses

dog crateIf you have no option other than to have your pets at home every day during the time your home is on the market, consider putting your pets into a crate and attach a note warning buyers not to disturb them. The last thing you need is somebody sticking their hand inside the carrier and getting bit or scratched. You can’t predict how your pet will react when locked up and alone. Also, provide your real estate agent with instructions regarding the pets.  Those instructions will be given to other realtors when they book appointments so that they are aware of the presence of your pet and any related instructions.

If possible it’s better to make arrangements for your pet to be out of the house during these times.  Some options include:

  • Let a friend or relative care for your furry family members
  • Board them at a kennel
  • Consider Doggy Daycare
  • Take them to work with you for the day
  • Look into services offered by companies like

A little time planning will save a lot of angst for you and your loving pets — and will make the selling of your home a much smoother process.

Sharon pic squareLooking to sell your home, or looking to buy a home?  Look no further! 

  • Sharon Caddy, Real Estate Sales Representative
  • RE/MAX Realty Specialists Inc.
  • 905-466-3585 (direct)

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