8 Home Staging Tips for Pet Owners

You’ve decided to sell your home, but there are a few things to do before anyone schedules a tour. You have to post pictures online to attract buyers, which means cleaning your house from top to bottom. If you have pets, there’s a lot more to consider than just a standard straightening up.

Here’s how to prepare every inch of your home so people fall in love with your property. Add these tips to your to-do list so your residence looks great despite your sometimes messy pets.

1. Clean Your Yard

The first picture on most listings is an exterior shot of your front yard. No one will browse the rest of your photo album if they spot hidden piles of waste in your grass. Clean your yard to get rid of doggie-doo, outdoor toys and any other messes your pet made while playing in the sun.

2. Designate a Toy Box

Pets often scatter their toys around the house, which doesn’t look great to prospective buyers. Drop your pets off with a friend or kennel so they have another place to hang out while you snap a few photos.

When they’re out of the house, designate a special box for every bouncy ball and squeak toy. It can double as decor while it holds everything in a neatly organized location. Find one with a lid to hide everything away, or make the toys an accent piece in a woven basket that matches your interior design.

3. Vacuum Every Room

Your fluffy best friend is adorable, but their fur gets everywhere. Vacuum the floors, inspect every room to get rid of pet hair, and stage your house for tours or pictures. It may involve dusting surfaces and wiping off your ceiling fans, but your home will look more welcoming because of your efforts.

4. Neutralize Your Home’s Odor

Even if your home doesn’t have a litter box, it likely smells like animals live there. You’ve become used to it over the years, but your guests won’t. One of the best home staging tips for pet owners is neutralizing whatever odor lingers in each room.

Set up air fresheners and open the windows. Clean whatever else may contribute to the smell, like a dirty fish tank or unwashed dog bed. You’ll banish terrible odors until after your guests leave, which could convince them to picture your house as their own.

5. Wipe Your Windows

Family pets often press against the windows when they spot something fascinating. It leaves smudges behind that cause unsightly streaks. Don’t let them distract people flipping through your virtual listing. Wipe the windows in every room before taking any pictures.

6. Deep Clean Your Carpets

When your pet tracks mud across your carpets or laps at their water bowl until it spills, the moisture gets trapped in your carpet fibers. Mold can grow and result in additional odors.

Schedule a deep cleaning for your carpets, or do it yourself with a few cleaning agents and enough time for everything to dry so the moldy smell disappears.

7. Remove the Litter Box

Litter boxes are notorious for making any room smell terrible. It’s also a plastic eyesore that distracts visitors from the decor you worked so hard to pull together. Remove it well before anyone takes a tour of your place during open house hours. Cover it in your garage closet or another area out of sight while your pets hang out elsewhere.

8. Repair Any Damage

Pets sometimes make a mess of things that require a project to fix. If your pup recently chewed through your baseboard or your cat tore holes in your curtains, fix them before staging your house. Your pictures will be flawless, and future buyers won’t have to repair any permanent fixtures right after moving in.

Stage Your Home With Pets To Be Picture Perfect

Preparing your house for the market takes some time, but it doesn’t have to feel overwhelming. These home staging tips for pet owners will speed up the process and make people fall in love with your property.

Once you get rid of odors, messes and distracting tiny details, virtual and in-person visitors won’t hesitate to schedule a tour and imagine themselves unpacking stacks of moving boxes.


Evelyn Long is the editor-in-chief of Renovated. She published maintenance and decor advice for homeowners looking to buy and sell properties.