Buying or selling a home when you have pets can be a bit tricky, as you want to ensure they are well behaved and don’t leave behind any messes. Some sellers even send their pets to stay with a friend or family member when they know they’ll have potential buyers looking at their home just to keep things clean and orderly and to reduce the risk of trouble.
It’s important to take the feelings of others into consideration when it comes to your pet. The people who will be coming to look at your home may have allergies or aversions to dogs, or they may have small children who are scared of larger animals. If your pet suffers from anxiety and doesn’t like change, this time may be difficult for him, so you’ll need to take that into consideration as well when making plans for his care.
For tips on how to make sure your dog is well-behaved and happy during this transitional period, read on.
Train your dog
Even if he’s very well-behaved, you might want to consider training him on basic commands and going over his “manners”, such as not jumping up on guests or begging for food. Many of these commands can be learned online; the key is repetition, lots of love and attention when your pet does something right, and the use of positive reinforcement--with treats--to keep him interested.
Dogs can be very sensitive when new people begin walking through the home, and if your pet has ever exhibited nervous behavior that has led to snipping or biting, it’s a good idea to arrange for him to stay with a trusted friend or family member while your home is up for sale. If that’s not possible, consider buying a size-appropriate kennel to keep him in while potential buyers look around.
For more information on training your dog at home, read on here.
Tire him out
If you’re going to have an open house or if you know the real estate agent will be coming by with potential buyers and you don’t have time to arrange for a pet sitter, take him to the park or throw a ball for him in the back yard. Let him run around and tire himself out so that he’ll be relaxed and happy when the visitors arrive.
Keep treats on you
If your dog has a favorite treat, keep some in your pocket or in a small baggie that you can keep with you. This will help keep him occupied and distract him from all the new people in the home, and you can also use the treats as a motivator for good behavior. Use the same treats you use during training so he’ll remember what to do.
Hire the right movers
Finding the right helpers for your big day is important, so be sure to communicate with them about how many pets you have and whether they will be okay with the movers coming in and out. If not, instruct them not to approach your pet and keep him in a kennel during the hustle and bustle of the day. This way, your dog will stay safe and you won’t have to worry about him getting nervous and acting out.
Remember that this time could well be very difficult on your pet. Change isn’t an easy thing to cope with for some animals, so make sure you bring his favorite toys, bedding, and food and water bowls to the new home and keep them somewhere similar to where they were at the old house. This will help him get accustomed to the new place more easily.