Give your pet and the inspector the space they need.
Provide a safe and secure space for your pet.
Distract your pet positively with treats and toys.
Watch for signs of stress.
Consider a pet sitter.
Whether you have to schedule a pre-listing home inspection or you need one as part of a permit application, you’ll want the whole process to go as smoothly as possible.
And while you may have gotten your home clean as a whistle and secured the day off from work, there could be a big factor you’re forgetting. Considering your four-legged friends before getting a home inspection means you can minimize the stress levels for nervous pets, your home inspector, and yourself.
Follow these suggestions to help your furry roommates and the inspector stay safe and relaxed.
1. Inform the Inspector About Your Pets in Advance
When hiring a local licensed home inspector, mention you have pets. Some inspectors might have allergies or be nervous around big dogs or hissing cats. Often companies or local authorities have multiple inspectors, and they can send out one who is comfortable around animals.
If you have a dog that barks and gets over-excited when the doorbell rings, you could even ask the inspector to call when they arrive instead.
2. Exercise Your Pooch Before the Visit
If your dog is prone to getting a little anxious or over-excitable when new guests arrive, taking them on a walk beforehand can help. They can release some of that nervous energy and hopefully feel more relaxed during the visit.
3. Give Pets and Inspectors Space if they Need It
The last thing an inspector needs when they’re trying to concentrate on spotting potentially dangerous structural issues is a leaping, barking, whirling pup demanding their attention—regardless of how much of a dog lover they are. A curious cat on their trail won't help them focus on producing an accurate report either.
Likewise, a nervous pet won’t want a stranger trying to pet them and invade their space either. It’s nice if an inspector wants to make friends with the furry members of your household, but don’t be afraid to advocate for your pets and politely let the inspector know when they prefer being left in peace.
4. Keep Your Pet Secure and Busy During the Visit
An anxious pet may feel safer being kept away from the inspector during their visit, and an inspector can get on with their job better if they don’t have an over-friendly dog jumping on them all the time.
There are various solutions for securing your pet during the appointment. You can keep an excitable dog on the leash, keep your cat in a separate room, or use a baby gate as a barrier.
If your pet normally settles in a crate or carrier and feels relaxed in this space, then popping them in for the duration of the visit would make sense. Offering calming and distracting chews, treats, and toys are good options too.
5. Pay Attention to Body Language
It’s always a good idea to be present during a home inspection, and even more so if you have pets in the house. If your pet is in the same room as the inspector and you notice them becoming anxious, remove them. Continual exposure to stressors can make them more nervous and even result in aggression if we push them too far out of their comfort zone.
Signs of stress vary depending on the type of pet you have, but you might see things like:
Unusual behavior like hiding, not wanting attention, wanting more attention than normal, or even aggression
Excessive panting, barking, or meowing
If you see any of these signs, be gentle with your pup. Remember, this is their way of warning you that they don’t feel comfortable. Help them feel more comfortable by preparing beforehand, giving them the space they need, and rewarding any positive, calm interactions.
6. Consider a Pet Sitter if You Have Concerns
If you have a willing family member or regular pet sitter and you know your pooch or cat will be skittish, it might be easier and less stressful all around if they stay with them the day of the appointment. The average home inspection costs between $200 and $500, and if an inspector has to abandon their visit because of an unruly pet, this is an expensive mistake to make.