The Effects of Pets & Animals On Property Value

Posted by Jordan Muela in Property Management Articles

Pets and animals offer many benefits to their owners, from constant companionship to the potential to earn money by selling the wool, eggs, and other items that come from farm animals. Dogs help those who are disabled and need assistance performing daily activities of living. Cats and dogs work as therapy animals, going into nursing homes and hospitals to help people who are sick or injured. Unfortunately, owning animals can also reduce the value of a residential or commercial property. If pets urinate indoors, scratch hardwood floors, or tear up carpets with their claws, it may be difficult to sell a property for a fair price.


Cats cause several types of damage indoors. If their claws are not trimmed regularly, these pets may scratch floors, pull up pieces of carpet, and scratch at walls. Cats that are not cared for properly may urinate on the floors or spray the walls with their scent, leaving behind a strong odor that is very difficult to remove. Feral cats are also a problem for property owners. These cats tend to live near people, as they can rummage through garbage for food scraps and seek shelter under porches and in sheds, barns, and other buildings. Male feral cats mark their territory by spraying a foul-smelling liquid that can end up on porches, doors, windows, and other building structures.


The extent of property damage caused by a dog sometimes depends on its breed. Docile dogs may never cause any damage, but bully breeds such as boxers and pit bulls may break through screen doors or gates. If a dog’s nails are not trimmed regularly, they can scratch wood, laminate, tile, linoleum, and other hard floor surfaces. The nails can also get in loops of carpet and pull them, leaving the carpet looking damaged. Another type of property damage caused by dogs occurs when an owner does not get a female dog spayed. When a female dog goes into heat, blood can get on carpets, furniture, and other fabric surfaces.


Cleanliness is one of the major issues associated with owning pet birds. Bird droppings and feathers can get on floors, window treatments, furniture, and other surfaces. If not cleaned immediately, the droppings can harden, making them extremely difficult to remove. If a bird owner allows his or her pet to eat outside of its cage, the seed hulls will accumulate on floors and other surfaces, making it necessary to vacuum at least once per day.

Farm Animals

Owning farm animals requires a great deal of hard work, as some of these animals weigh several hundred pounds and need regular food, cleaning, and medical care. Although these animals have several benefits for owners, they can also cause property damage and reduce the value of a property. Large animals such as cows and horses can damage fences, posts, and even farm equipment. Farm animals that are kept indoors can damage walls by kicking their hooves with great force.

Wild Animals

Many property owners do not realize that wild animals can also cause property damage. Deer may nibble on fencing and trample grass with their hooves. When a bear searches for food, very few things will deter it from its mission. Bears have destroyed trash cans and bent railings and fences in order to reach their meals. If a bat gets inside a property, its droppings can cause a foul odor and stick to flooring and other surfaces, making it difficult to clean the property thoroughly. Rodents may gnaw through wires, make holes in walls, and cause other property damage if they get indoors.

Despite some of the damage they can cause, owning animals also has a number of benefits for property owners. Feral cats feed on mice and rats, reducing the number of rodents that can make their way into a commercial or residential building. Dogs can actually help reduce property damage by acting as guard dogs and alerting their owners if someone is stealing or damaging property. Farm animals provide manure that fertilizes grass and helps plants grow. Some animals also eat spiders, flies, and other bugs, reducing the number of insects that get indoors. Proper care of these animals is one of the best days to prevent damage and reap the benefits of animal ownership. Providing scratching posts or scratch pads gives cats a place to exercise their scratching instincts without damaging floors and furniture. Trimming a dog’s nails regularly can help prevent scratch floors. Ensuring that farm animals live in well-maintained areas will prevent them from roaming around and damaging property. Keeping trash indoors deters bears, rodents, and birds from feeding close to a house or commercial building.

Consult these links to learn more about how animals affect property value and how to prevent this type of damage.

House Cats (Feral): This resource from the Internet Center for Wildlife Management explains how to prevent property damage caused by feral cats.

Controlling Nuisance Bears: The Missouri Department of Conservation explains how to deter nuisance bears and prevent damage caused by these animals.

Don’t Put the Welcome Mat Out! Pest Proofing: Soni Cochran of the University of Nebraska Extension discusses several ways to deter insects from entering a home.

Preventing Deer Damage: Experts from Colorado State University Extension provide several tips for preventing damage caused by deer.

Farmers’ Liability for Their Animals: This resource explains what farm animal owners are responsible for when their animals damage the property of others.

Prevent Scratching with the “3D’s”: Doctors Foster and Smith explain how to deter cats from scratching.

Marking – Understanding It, Stopping It: An informative article that explains why dogs mark and gives tips for preventing marking indoors.

Pests of Homes, Structures, People, and Pets: This resource discusses the damage caused by rats and explains how to manage a rodent problem.

Feline Behavior Problems: House Soiling: Experts from Cornell University College of Veterinary Medicine explain what causes indoor spraying and offers several hints for deterring cats from spraying indoors.

Quick Summary of Feral Cat Legal Issues: The Animal Legal & Historical Center explains the legal issues surrounding feral cats.

Birds, Urban Wildlife Damage Control: Experts from the Kansas State University Extension discuss how to prevent damage caused by wild birds.

Tips for Pest Control: The Environmental Protection Agency offers tips for safely controlling pests in the home.

Removing Pet Stains and Odors: The Human Society of the United States offers a helpful guide to cleaning pet stains and getting rid of pet odors.

Frequently Asked Bear Questions: New Hampshire Fish and Game explains how to keep bears out of garbage.

Selling a House with Pets at Home: This resource explains how to sell a home when pets live there, particularly if pet stains or odors are present.

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