Spottlight — Selling/Moving With Pets

June 30, 2017

By Toni Spott

Toni Spott

Bay View is a huge ‘pet neighborhood,’ and is especially characterized by its multitude of dog lovers! With so many people moving in the summer — with pets — it’s a good idea to stop and think about what you can do to help your pet survive the move with the smallest degree of stress.


Buying or selling a home is a very stressful event through each step of the entire process. There are so many ups and downs and it can be like a roller coaster ride sometimes.

Well, just imagine being a cat or a dog and not knowing what the heck is going on! All of a sudden there are strangers coming into your house and you are being taken out of the house or put into a cage — over and over again.

Pets can be even more stressed by the experience than we are, or so it seems. So here are some strategies to ease the experience for your beloved pets.

Arrange to have someone take your pet or be with them at your home when you have showings. If they are accustomed to being in a crate, then put their favorite blanket and toy in a crate, and place the crate in the basement, if at all possible.

Put a sign on the door to the basement or in the area where you placed the crate to alert visitors so no one is surprised. The sign should instruct people not to put their fingers or hands into the crate as animals may not act normally when stressed and may scratch or bite.

Do not assume your cat will stay hidden during showings. Put your cat in a kennel in a quiet place, and again, post a sign alerting visitors. Under no circumstances should you allow your cat to remain unconfined. Keep it in a crate or in a friend’s home to prevent it from racing outdoors the to seek ‘safety.’

Most importantly, please do not leave your pet in the car during showings! It’s summer and it only takes a short amount of time for a dog or cat to be in life-threatening conditions because of elevated temperatures in a vehicle. Cracking a window is not the solution. Placing your pet in crate in your home, leaving your pet with a friend or neighbor, or having a friend stay with the pet in a closed room are the wisest, safest, and most humane strategies to protect it.

Here are a few things for pet owners to keep in mind to get top dollar for your home


You probably don’t smell your pet because you are used to the odor but a buyer is not. Do not use air fresheners, as people with allergies will have a reaction. Use an enzyme cleaner or another natural solution to clean a rug. Wash pet beds and clean the carpeting. Cat urine is the worst and is extremely difficult to get out of carpet or floors. Hire a professional, if possible.

Food, Toys, and Potty Stuff 

Make sure litter boxes are clean and doggy pads are put away. Remove food and water bowls, if possible. Pick up all pet toys and put them away. If you have cat trees or cages, put them out of sight.

Moving Essentials

Records Request your pet’s veterinary records so you can take them with you, or if you already have a new vet, ask for the records to be sent directly to them. Update pet tags with your new address. If your pet has a chip, make sure the data associated with it is updated.

Supplies Be sure to keep a sufficient supply of food and water with you during the move, as well as any medication your pet may require.

Car Travel If you will be moving by car, make sure you have your pet’s bed with you in the car so when you make overnight stops, they will have a comfortable and familiar place of their own. Also keep plastic bags and kitty litter on hand.

Air Travel Make sure you check with the airline ahead of time so you are aware of its requirements or restrictions concerning your pet.

New Home Research local pet laws in your new city. Introduce your pet to the neighbors so that if it escapes, your neighbors will know it belongs to you.

Apartments and Condos Always ask before signing a lease or purchase agreement, if pets are allowed. Acquire a copy of the homeowners association (HOA) rules and read them thoroughly.

If you have a pet in your life, consider its needs just as you do those of your family. Everyone will be less stressed in the end.

Happy moving—with happy, safe pets!

Toni Spott Sustainable Agent, Keller Williams Realty; 414-788-4255;
Facebook: Toni Spott’s Real Estate Resource; @ToniSpottsRealEstateResource

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