Pets are our constant, faithful companions and best friends. They’re more than just pets, they are family. And when it comes time to put your house on the market, they need special attention. Not only should you consider their well-being during a move, but you’ll need to understand the unwitting impression they’ll make on prospective buyers — an impression that could make or break your real estate deal. Here’s how you can help your four-legged friends put their best paws forward.

Pay a visit to your veterinarian. Selling a home can be just as stressful for a pet as it is for a homeowner, particularly if the pet is older. Talk with your vet about your plan, and discuss ways in which you can help your best friend adjust to leaving familiar surroundings.

Who let the dogs out? During showings, it is best to remove your pets from home. Even the most docile animal can be unpredictable when strangers enter. A ferocious bark or even an unpleasant encounter can make a negative first impression. Remember, as a homeowner you are liable for any dog bites that occur on your property. To the contrary, a pet-friendly prospective buyer may be more distracted by your animal, and less interested in your home.

Remove stains and odors. All pets have accidents from time to time, and there are bound to be remnants of your animals even if they are temporarily removed from the home. Take special care to remediate odors and clean stained areas. The smell or look may have faded to you, but it will not go unnoticed by newcomers to the home. In fact, strong odors are one of the most common reasons clients walk away from potential sales.

Pick up and repair the yard. If your pet has free reign outdoors, you may want to pay close attention to the look of your lawn. Some animals can be hard on grass, or damage other outdoor property. And of course you should be sure to clean up any pet waste before potential buyers explore the yard.

Finally, pet toys and other evidence of your furry friends should be treated in the same way other home clutter is handled. Even if the prospective buyers have a pet, they may not appreciate seeing evidence of yours.