Palm Beach Real Estate News

There's no doubt pets play an important role in our home. They wait for us to come home after a long day, they protect our property, and they are there to comfort us when things go wrong. Use these tips to ensure that you can enjoy your pet and sell your home at the same time!

Carpet being cleaned

Invest in a good carpet cleaner.
It’s a good idea to invest in a carpet cleaner, or have your carpets cleaned professionally to ensure there are no obvious pet stains. Plus, pet odors can radiate throughout the house. A carpet cleaner will help remove those odors and embedded fur.

Couple walking bulldog

Keep your pet out of the house.
If possible, it’s best to leave your pet with a friend, a relative, or another trusted caretaker while showing your home. If no one is available, consider putting your pet in a crate in an area where potential buyers are less likely to be—either a basement or mudroom. Put a blanket, bowl of water, and favorite toy in the crate to help your pet feel more comfortable.

Young child playing with terrier in yard

Clean up the yard.
Your backyard can also leave traces of your pet, so it’s important to clean up any waste and toys. Keep a toy bin by the door, and try to have your pet do their business in the same area so the cleanup will be easier. If there are any bare patches of grass, you can try to aerate and seed these spots or plant sod for a quick fix.

Cat and dog nuzzling in grass

Put away the pictures.
If you’re anything like the thousands of other pet parents out there, you probably have a handful of pictures of your pet around your home. You’d be surprised at how much potential buyers pay attention to pictures during a showing. These pictures will be a dead giveaway of your pet ownership, so it’s best not to display them while showing your home.

Couple reviewing information on laptop and paperwork

Familiarize yourself with your insurance policy.
Even if your pet is the nicest pet in the world, having your pet around during a showing poses a handful of potential risks. Take a look at your homeowner’s policy and make sure that it covers you in the event your pet becomes aggressive with someone on your property. Aggression doesn’t have to always be malicious: even if your pet knocks somebody down due to excitement, you could still be held liable. These types of situations happen more often than you would think, so it’s better to be prepared.

There’s no reason for your animal to hinder your selling process. Use these tips to ensure that you can still enjoy your pet, and make a deal all at the same time!

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Posted by Heather Smith on March 5th, 2020 2:24 PM

You have read all the advice on moving with pets, and you have plans in place to make the transition as easy as possible for your dog and/or cat. We will call them Butch and Fluffy (Butch is the dog). The big moving day has arrived and Butch and/or Fluffy are freaking out. And since our pets are more important than life itself, we can’t have them going bonkers, can we? So, here are some good ideas for making your pet (and you) feel at home after a move.

First, make sure your new place has been thoroughly cleaned, especially if it belonged to another pet. Your animal DOES NOT want to smell anybody else in the new place. If this is impractical, put down puppy pads for both cats and dogs. Your house will look awful, but since you have not yet unpacked, it probably does anyway.

Prior to your move, do not wash animal beds or blankets. The funkier they smell, the better, in your pet’s opinion. By the way, moving the animal stuff is a great moving day task for kids.

Next, supervise. Dogs run and cats hide. A dog can easily get lost in a new, unfamiliar neighborhood. As soon as possible, preferably the day you move, take Butch out for a nice walk. Butch will take cues from you, so the more relaxed and pleasant you are, the more relaxed and pleasant Butch will be. (This is where tranquilizers come in – for both of you.)

For cats, it is a good idea to keep Fluffy in for a few days, and expect lots of hiding. Make sure you know all of the new house’s nooks and crannies and make sure they are safe for your pet to hide in – you do not want Fluffy getting stuck inside a wall or escaping from a crawl space. Make a nice bed (with water and maybe even a litterbox) inside one of the closets. If Fluffy wants to stay in there for several days, let her. If you have a multiple cat household, you may need to temporarily give up more than one closet. Hey, you are too tired to unpack anyway, right? Who and what is more important, Fluffy or your shoe collection?

It goes without saying that you will need to use the same food and water bowls for Butch and Fluffy. Put food and water down as soon as you get into the new place. Do not worry if they do not eat for a day but make sure they stay hydrated. Put them in about the same place that they were in your old place – kitchen to kitchen, laundry to laundry, etc.

Here is a favorite trick, although it has an ewww factor. On moving day, take the sheets off the bed in the old house and then put the very same sheets back on the bed in the new house. Bring your pet to bed with you. Nothing will be as comforting for your pet as being safe and warm with their human and being surrounded by familiar smells.

Keep the same routine – same daily activities at the same time, same leisure activities, at the same time – and soon Fluffy and Butch will have their comfortable routines set, too. And they will be as happy in their new home as you are.

Posted in:petsPosted in:pet safetyPosted in:moving with pets and tagged: petspet safetymoving with pets
Posted by Heather Smith on February 20th, 2020 2:22 PM

Humans love their dogs. This, the purest kind of love, makes complete sense.

Dogs are loyal, sweet, and the best companion anyone could ask for. They’ve been living paw-in-hand with us for thousands of years. They’re part of the family and they stick with us through whatever’s going on in our lives, so we wish we could have them in our lives forever!

But our best friends are not invincible. One of the worst things that can possibly happen is when they get into something they shouldn’t and it makes them ill—or worse.

Now, you probably already know about a few things like chocolate and grapes that are harmful for pups….

But you might not know about all of these.

Check out these Common Home Improvement Items That Are Dangerous For Dogs so you can puppy-proof your pad for good:


Batteries – You need to keep these on hand for everything from the remote control to your smoke alarms, but you’ve got to keep them away from Lulu. When ingested, batteries can cause a whole host of issues including ulcers. Keep them in the garage where little paws can’t dig them out.

If I see it, I eat it! Gotta problem with that?

Detergent – Yes, dogs eat TidePods, too, and it’s just as bad for them as it is for the dumb humans who started the trend. Actually, both laundry and dish detergents are bad for our constant companions. Detergent can cause damage to the mouth and intestines, so keep the Dawn and the Tide out of Skipper’s reach.

I’m not dumb enough to eat a TidePod (but you should hide it anyway).

Indoor Plants – Some plants are fine for Fluffy, but others spell big trouble. Plants like Diffenbachia, Amaryllis, or Cyclamen can cause everything from swelling of the mouth and throat to respiratory distress to cardiac problems and death. Houseplants are cool and all, but your doggo is way cooler, so do your research on what’s safe and what isn’t.

C’mon, I’m colorblind. All plants look the same to me!

Pest Poisons – It stands to reason that if it can kill a rat, it can also kill a rat terrier. Actually, this stuff can kill dogs of all sizes. Keep this stuff locked up tight far away from Sargeant—or better yet, look for a product that repels rats and mice electronically instead.

I’m not a rat terrier, but I play one on TV.

Foam Wall Insulation – Dogs will chew on just about anything. Any dog owner who’s come home to find a door or table leg shredded to bits can attest to that. What happens if they chew into a wall, though? Well, if you’ve got foam insulation, they run a very good risk of choking. If your dog is a chewer, keep him busy with his toys instead.

Baby, I was born to chew!


Cocoa Mulch – This popular bedding material smells good to our puppy pals, but the results can be disastrous. Cocoa mulch contains theobromine which is the same poisonous-to-pups ingredient in chocolate. It can be downright deadly if ingested. Think of Chester and stick to pecan mulch instead.

Mulch may make a good bed…but it’s not a great snack.

De-icing Salts – If you live in a cold climate, you probably don’t think twice about throwing down de-icing salt in winter. After all, the whole world’s a slip ‘n’ slide without it. Even though it’s kind of a necessity, use caution with this stuff when it comes to your pupperoo. Prolonged exposure to walking on the salts hurts their paws and, like everything else on this list, they’re poisonous if consumed.

I know I said I wanted a walk, but I changed my mind.

Fertilizers – You probably have a bag of this stuff laying around in your garage or garden. Be careful with it! Dogs love to dig in because of the stinky scent, but beware. Both commercial and organic fertilizers are dangerous for dogs; they can cause all sorts of digestive issues, seizures, and more. Switch to manure for a temporarily stinkier, but safer experience.

If you put down fertilizer, I WILL roll in it. Just sayin’.

Antifreeze – This stuff is great for your car, but terrible for your pets. It can cause fainting, seizures, weakness, and more. Even worse, it has a sweet taste to it, so if your dog takes a sample lick, chances are good he’ll lap it all up. While your dog might not have access to your vehicle’s innards, antifreeze is also used in some HVAC systems, some toilet cleaners, and even solar water heating systems. Check your for leaks on the regular to keep Rowdy safe.

Give this little snickerdoodle a safe house.

Sago Palms – Sago Palms are extremely toxic for the hungry hounds who dare to snack on them. If you have one at your place, consider replacing it with a dog safe tree variety, instead.

I’m not saying I would eat a tree, but I’m not saying I wouldn’t, either.

Flowering Bulbs – Daffodils, Tulips, and Autumn Crocus all bring a cheery burst of color to any exterior, but what they do to the unlucky pups who eat them is less than cheery. These plants can all cause serious symptoms like vomiting, diarrhea, convulsions, and organ damage, so keep Fido OUT of the flower beds.

This little guy loves to stop and smell the flowers. Just make sure they’re safe ones!

Oleander – This popular plant is highly toxic to dogs and humans alike. All parts of this plant are toxic, and they cause effects ranging from nausea and vomiting to seizures and death. Ditch the oleander and pick a non-toxic alternative like magnolia bushes instead.

C’mon. Pick a new plant. I’m worth it.

Keep me safe, human!

Keep your best furry friend happy and safe by eliminating access to any of the items on this list, and always do your research when adding new home improvements.

If your doggo gets into any of these items, head to your local vet ASAP or call the ASPCA’s Poison Control Hotline to get help.

Posted in:pet safety and tagged: pet safety
Posted by Heather Smith on December 12th, 2019 3:57 PM


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Heather Smith

Illustrated Properties 125 Worth Avenue, Suite 202
Palm Beach, FL 33480-4094