MOVING HOUSE: What all dog owners need to know:

MOVING HOUSE: What all dog owners need to know:

It’s all about the right move:

I’m speaking with one of the Southern Highlands‘ leading and award-winning real estate agents, Anita Roelevink from McKillop Property at her beautiful home in Burradoo. 

Today, we’re discussing the issues concerning families and couples on the move with their dogs.

Q & A:

Olga: Anita, welcome. From your experience, what are some of the issues dog owners face when they’re relocating to a new area?

Anita: It’s a good question to raise, Olga. The primary issue often centres on their dog’s ability to adjust to a new environment.

Olga: There are always necessary improvements to make with any new home, let alone if the place is suitable for the family dog and their general well-being. Do people take into account the size of the property and if there’s appropriate sheltering and boundary fencing already in place? 

Anita: Yes, they mostly do, however, finding the right home that can immediately accommodate a pet can be a challenge. For instance, if the previous owner did not own a dog, the outdoor area may not have sufficient fencing in place. So you need to look at the possibility of boarding your pet while you make the necessary arrangements to have the yard secured straight after settlement.

Olga: In the same way, dog owners should rent a house that’s either suited for “house dogs” or outdoor dogs so they never find themselves in breach of any tenancy agreement. Is it difficult to find a suitable rental property if you own a dog?

Anita: Thankfully in the country, landlords are quite flexible. Nevertheless, dog owners are required to formalise a tenant agreement annexure after their application [to rent the property] has been approved. However, a landlord is not required to provide adequate shelter or make any adjustments to the existing fencing and as such, dog owners may have to look at making alternative arrangements for their pet during the short-term lease.

Olga: Are there are instances where landlords won’t allow tenants to have a dog?

Anita: Yes, it can happen, however, such stipulations have to be outlined in the residential tenancy agreement. Also, if you have an excellent rental record, some landlords may value your history and allow you to have a small dog.


Olga: Along with the issues surrounding noise and being a general nuisance, what are the other concerns landlords may have with dogs?

Anita: The real concerns centre on property damage such as the carpet being soiled, the infestation of fleas inside the home, digging up the yard and so on. The other issue dog owners often face is that many landlords won’t allow dogs to reside inside the home. So if you have an indoor dog this could become a problem. In turn, you would have to train him or her to live outside in a kennel. For some dogs, this would be very difficult.

Olga: I agree, as the psychological impact can be quite profound. That is often the case, especially with older dogs. And that can lead to a new set of issues for any pet. What is a tenant’s obligation to the landlord if their dog has caused any damage?

Anita: You are required to report any necessary repairs you’ve made and have the premises professionally cleaned or fumigated if it’s in the residential tenancy agreement.

Olga: And for people who require a dog as a companion if they have a disability? Can you outline any procedures?

Anita: Animals that are specially trained to assist a person with a disability are required to be registered and landlords must comply with legislation regarding anyone with a disability.

Olga: On the flip side, if you’re selling your home and own a dog, are potential buyers deterred from purchasing if they see any signs of a pet living on the premises?

Anita:  Yes, most prefer to view a pet-free home. And it’s not just about presenting a home in a pristine way. During an open inspection, doors and gates will invariably be left open and no one wants to view a house when there’s a pet present. I always recommend that any seller removes their dog’s bedding, toys, et cetera before prospective buyers view the property.

Olga: I always recommend that the owner takes their dog to a familiar place such as a dog park or go for a walk when the open inspection takes place. Keep it as stress-free as possible. Anita, is there anything else you recommend to a potential seller or buyer?

Anita: It’s important to address any issue concerning your pets with your agent before you commence with a sales campaign and especially if you have to rent while you’re still finding that perfect home in the country.

DogSmart Australia has over 20-years of experience specialising in behavioural and obedience training of all dogs, regardless of their breed, age, temperament, and background.  We not only understand the way dogs think, responds and communicates, we also help dog owners re-establish the important role they play in their dog‘s life.

The DogSmart Australia Moving House program allows us to help settle your dog in any environment before a problem occurs. This includes ensuring a smooth transition before the move and during the period of resettlement.

Please contact us on 041345 2622 for further information or to request an appointment. 

Please view our page on Moving House,  and our blog on Bringing Home Baby — puppy set-up programs. Also join in the conversation on Google+, Twitter,  Instagram, YouTube, and Facebook.