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How to move with dogs, according to a real estate broker

Written by
Jennifer Patchen

October 24, 2023


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Would you pass on a dream home if it wasn’t a good fit for your pets? As a dog owner, my answer, and that of many other Americans, is likely to be  a resounding yes. In fact, 66% say it's extremely important to have a real estate partner who is willing to take their pets and family life into account.** When 65.1M American households include dogs, moving with furry friends is more common than ever. With the moving off-season at its peak, here are important considerations if you’re planning a move with your canine pals.

Before the move

  • Limit moving stress. Moving means upheaval of routines: new sights, smells and sounds, which can cause a lot of stress for your furry family members. A few months before the move, ask your veterinarian what options are available for keeping your pet calm. Doing this in advance gives you time to find what works best before open houses, packing, and other potentially disruptive activities take place. Having your pet spend time in a trusted environment can reduce their stress levels while their home is prepped for moving.

  • Consider skipping the pre-move prep work altogether. Selling directly to Opendoor is a great option for pet owners. You can get an all cash offer without any showings, repairs, or any home prep. Your pup just might appreciate it!

  • Look for hazardous items when house shopping. Before bringing your dog into their new home, check for any hazardous items inside and outside the house. Leftover items from a renovation or remodel might mean small hazards like nails and screws, which are  dangerous for pets. 

  • Consider other dog-friendly features. Additionally, identify what's non-negotiable for you and your dog: Does the home need a fenced yard and outdoor space? Is the neighborhood easily-walkable? These are important factors to consider, too.

  • Get an ID chip for your pet. No one wants to have to hunt for a lost pet, and no pet wants to be lost. ID chips can identify your pet and reunite you quickly when neighbors or the local animal shelter finds them. 

During the move

  • Find a pet sitter for moving day. Pets can have emotional ties to their surroundings, so ease your pets into their new environment slowly. Ask a friend, family member, or trusted pet sitter to host your pet on moving day. We highly recommend Wag! as a resource.

  • Put extra safety measures in place. Don’t risk a pet getting out and lost in a new neighborhood! If your move requires your dog to be outside of your direct view, a GPS collar and Apple Airtags on your dog or their carrier are great for keeping track of their location.

After the move

  • Help the dog get acclimated to the new space. Try a few walkthroughs with your pup on a leash, first, for a visual inspection. As they are introduced to the new space, it could be helpful to bring unwashed blankets and bedding from their previous home so they have a familiar scent.

  • Pet-proof your new home. Slowly introduce areas of the new house to your pets, and place familiar items throughout for comfort. Don’t forget to pet-proof certain parts of the home (e.g. hide electrical wires, ensure all windows have screens) or establish boundaries with gates between rooms. Does your new home have a second story? That’ll take some adjusting, too.

  • Update contact info. Be sure to update your dog’s microchip and update the address and phone number on their collar once you’re all moved in.

At Opendoor, we power life’s progress one move at a time. Planning to move? Whether it’s with a dog — or other pet — we’re here for you. Download the Opendoor app today to learn more.

Jennifer Patchen is a Broker at Opendoor.

**Opendoor Consumer Brand Health Study, June 2023. N387 pet owners looking to buy or sell a home in the next 12 months nationwide, across Opendoor markets.