The struggle is real. Dog parents across the country face many of the same challenges day in and day out: muddy paw prints, hair, scuffed up floors, stained carpets, pet odor, hair, stray toys…did we mention hair? These issues, while slight inconveniences we gladly put up with for the love of our furry friends, can cause considerable problems when we’re ready to pack up the pack. Here are a few tips on how to keep your home safe, sanitary, and sellable when you have one or more canine companions:
Clean and cover furniture
Even if your dog isn’t allowed on the couch, your soft surfaces hold odor from the air. Before putting your home on the market, remove musty smells by dousing with a mixture of white vinegar and water. SFGate’s Home Guide reports that deep-seeded smells may be eliminated by removing cushions from the sofa and placing them outdoors to soak up the sun for a few hours. Once your sofa is fresh and clean, cover it with a well-fitting slipcover, which can be washed as needed.
Invest in professional carpet shampooing
HomeAdvisor estimates that carpet cleaning costs, on average, $120 – $234. Not only will this help eliminate unpleasant odors and stains, but will ensure the room looks clean and tidy when potential buyers come to call.
Once your carpet has been cleaned, you can maintain its appearance by vacuuming every day. Homes without pets only need vacuuming twice a week but pet hair, dander, and dirt and debris from muddy paws can quickly wear down delicate carpet fibers.
Open the windows
Nothing eliminates odor and adds ambience to your home quite like letting the outdoors in. If temperatures outside are pleasant, open the windows to allow fresh air to circulate throughout each room.
Find alternate accommodations (for your pet)
We’re not suggesting to boot Benji out the front door for good, although sending him on vacation with friends or relatives in the days before a big open house isn’t a bad idea. Consider leaving your dog in the care of a boarding facility or pet sitting service on the days your house is scheduled for show.
While your pet has probably been king of the castle since puppyhood, you’ll find yourself dealing with less stress if you restrict his access to specific locations in the home and yard. You’ll have less to clean up and fewer odors to contend with.
Your real estate agent will most likely suggest staging your home. This will include eliminating unnecessary pieces of furniture. Aside from making your home look more spacious, staging will serve the dual-purpose of giving you visual access to areas your dog might have hidden toys or made a mess, allowing you to clean up when needed.
Implement a regular bathing schedule
The American Kennel Club reports that the advent of gentle dog shampoos means you can pamper your pet with a nice warm bath once a week without negatively affecting his skin or coat. Keeping your dog clean is essential when your home is up for sale.
Even the cleanest and best groomed pup will shed and kick up dust and debris as he barreled through the house. Good Housekeeping says it’s best to avoid dry dusting if you want to get the best results without adding to the airborne aversions floating about. Wipe down hard surfaces each day with a dust repellent formula.
While a strict cleaning regimen is difficult to uphold (and a slight inconvenience), remember that it’s only temporary. Soon, you’ll be settled into your new home and can let your dog start living his customary lazy life once again.