Downsizing With a Pet: Take Every Family Member With You

When the kids leave home and you’re planning for retirement, it often makes sense to scale down from that big family house to something a little easier to take care of. But have you thought about every family member that still lives with you? If you have pets, you’ll need to cater to them in the planning process.

Put Care Into Staging Your Home

You love your pets, but not everyone out there feels the same way. When you’re selling your home you need to make it appealing to all kinds of prospective buyers. This means staging your property in a way that lets everyone who walks through the door imagine they could move in right now and be happy there.

Some useful staging tips for people with pets include:

  • Ventilate the property to remove any pet smells
  • Have furniture cleaned, or cover it to hide stains
  • Vacuum the floors daily to pick up hairs, fluff, or dander
  • Put away any photos of the pets before viewings
  • Clean your air vents
  • Hide pet toys and bowls before viewings

Plan The Move and Your Mortgage

Decide what area you’d like to move to, then find out how much you can afford. Talk to your bank and a mortgage broker and get preapproval for a mortgage. This helps you work out how much you can afford to borrow, so you’ll know what homes are accessible to you. Then, when you find the perfect property you can act quickly without stressing about the mortgage.

Help Your Pet Feel Comfortable With the Move

Moving to an unfamiliar area is scary for humans and pets too. You can help your pet feel more comfortable with the move by taking them to see the area where the new house is a few times before moving day. Go for regular walks and get them used to being in that area.

Dogs are creatures of routine, and they might feel confused if a lot of things about their routine change all at once. If you normally feed your pet in a big kitchen, and the new place has a very different layout, try to get them used to taking meals elsewhere before you move. Make new routines gradually so they don’t get too much of a shock at the change.

Confirm Your New Place Is Pet Friendly

If you’re moving to a rental property rather than buying, make sure the new house is pet-friendly and get confirmation of that in writing. If you’re buying, check what furniture comes with the property and make sure that everything is as pet-safe as possible. You may have some decorating work to do to bring things up to scratch, so if necessary ask someone to pet sit for a couple of days while you fix the place up.

Take Care of Your Four-Legged Family Members

Plan carefully before downsizing by staging your home properly and making sure you have mortgage pre-approval, as well as helping your pet adapt to the new environment and change in routine. Remember that not everyone is a pet lover, so take a look at the Animal Rights Channel to learn about keeping cats, dogs, and other animals safe and healthy.

By Jessica Brody

Photo by Dominika Roseclay on