Selling Your Home with Pets
Moving can be a stressful time for all members of the family, including our pets. As a home seller, you're not only managing your dog's stress, you're trying to maximize the value of your home. You will have a lot of strangers coming in and out of your home while it's on the market. If you have a busy home, your dog may be used to meeting lots of new people. But this probably occurs when you are home. Without you, he may not understand that these "intruders" are your prospective buyers. Will he become territorial? Stressed? Will he bark excessively? Or follow the new folks around jumping up, licking, or otherwise trying to make friends? Regardless, all of these attention-getting behaviors are signs of stress.
Here are a few options to make the transition easier.
- Crating him. This is a great option if your dog is already crate trained. Crate training is wonderful for confining your dog for short periods of time while you are away. If your dog is properly crate trained, try not to stress him by crating him for longer periods than he is used to. If he is not crate trained, it's probably too challenging to start right before putting your house on the market. It may seem like a good idea, but your dog may become overly stressed. And for the prospective buyers, viewing a home with a dog's incessant barking does not make the best impression.
- Putting him in the backyard. Again, if this is something your pup is accustomed to, it may be a good option. Make sure you understand how he'll behave with strangers in the backyard in your absence. Is the backyard his "turf"? Will he greet prospective buyers with dirty paws? If your dog is not used to being left in the backyard, you'll have a hard time predicting his behavior. It might help to put your dog in the backyard and have an acquaintance come over for a test run.
- Take him for a short outing during showings. This is one of the best options. You'll know your dog is safe and out of the way. And the extra attention and exercise will ease the added stress brought on by the move.
- Look into dog boarding at a dog daycare. If you can't take your dog for an outing, dog daycare is a great option. Dog daycare is a service growing ever more popular in San Antonio over the last decade. Your dog is cared for by pet professionals, usually from early morning to late afternoon, in a dog park like setting where he can socialize and play with other dogs. He'll get plenty of exercise and attention. And he'll come home tired and sleep like a puppy. He'll be out of the house giving your prospective buyers all the time they need to decide your house is their next home. Best of all, many San Antonio dog daycares have webcams where you can watch him having a wonderful time playing fetch or tug of war with his new friends. Watch out. The webcams can be addictive.
Nicole DeLeon is the founder of Embarkly.com, a leading online marketplace for dog boarding and daycare. Embarkly.com lets pet parents book pet boarding and daycare online just as they would book a hotel room or an airline ticket. With real time price quotes and availability, rather than making dozens of phone calls, booking your pet's stay just got a whole lot easier.