Essential tips to sell your house if you have pets

September 4, 2020 | Comfort

Congratulations! You’ve made the decision to list your home!

Getting your home for the market can be challenging. On top of all the things you’ll need to prepare, you might also be wondering how to sell your house if you have pets.

In Canada, 57% of households have pets. The most popular pet? Cats! 37% of those households own cats, while 32% own dogs. Around 9% own other animals, such as rodents, birds, and reptiles (source).

Regardless of what species your animal friend is, 95% of Canadians consider pets to be part of the family – and rightfully so!

There are many health benefits to having a pet in your life. However, when it comes to selling your house, it’s important to remember that not everyone likes pets. (We know, it’s hard to believe)

All these things considered, how do you begin to sell your home if you have pets?

There are a few important steps you can take to ensure your home is ready for showings regardless of your four-legged family.

Put your buyer hat on

The first step in successfully selling your home is reminding yourself of this very important fact: someone else is buying it.Β 

This means that despite your own personal feelings about your home and it’s furry/scaly/feathered dwellers, these feelings do not matter to the strangers viewing your home.

When selling your home, it must be appealing to a wide variety of people – including that 43% of Canadians who do not enjoy the company of animals.

Your home must also be ready for showings at almost any time of day, and those of us with pets fully understand that they have schedules too (feeding, walks, etc.).

Ask yourself: if a stranger was walking into my house right now – how would my pets react?

Eliminate the evidence

Treat your home as if pets do not live there when you’re selling – that’s how it should look.

If you have a cat, hide the litter box and clean it well daily and ensure it’s not near an entry point in your home if possible.

Tuck away any pet toys, especially half chewed ones. You’ll also want to hide the cat trees, cages, pet beds, bowls, and whatever else your pet uses.

The last thing you want it buyers to be distracted by pet items rather than focusing on your home!

Make it smell fresh

One of the biggest turn-offs for buyers when touring homes is often smell. Unfortunately, a large contributor or common household odors is pets. You may not notice them, but they’re probably there.

We do not recommend covering up the smell with air fresheners, but rather tackle the issue at it’s core. Covering up the smell just isn’t as effective.

If you have carpets, consider steam cleaning them before showings begin. Get a quality fabric deodorizer with special formulations designed to break down pet odors, spray it on soft surfaces like couches, curtains, etc.

Throw any blankets, linens, or washable slip covers into the washing machine to clean off any possible pet odors.

While it doesn’t seem like a bit deal, smell DOES matter – make this step count!


You’re going to have to deep clean your house anyways before showings, but there are some special considerations you might want to take if you have pets.

For example, pets who shed will leave air intake vents around your home full of fur that you’ll want to vacuum out.

Clean your windows of any paw or snout prints, dust your baseboards free of fur, give your floors a good mop, and repair any damaged areas if necessary. For example, claw marks on a corner from a cat.

Clean up the yard if necessary

This is another one of those things you’ll need to do regardless of whether or not you have pets.

However, if you have dogs, this is a very important step. The last thing you want is for a potential buyer to step in a big, ripe pile of Sparky’s last meal in the backyard during a viewing.

Take some time to do a quick sweep of your yard to ensure there are no potential accidents waiting.

Keep pets out of home if possible

Although it’s not ideal, the best thing you can do while your home is listed is board your pets with friends, family, or a professional service if possible.

In Ottawa, if you need to sell your house and you have pets, there are a lot of services available across the city in almost every area.

Luckily, with the market being so strong, your home likely won’t be on the market for long and therefore your pets won’t need to be displaced for long.

Happy selling!

Hopefully now you’ll have a better idea of what to expect when you need to sell your house if you have pets!

Selling a house with pets is a little extra work – but totally worth it! Have questions? Let us help!