Dogs make people feel safer, but they can slash a home’s value!

Keeping a dog certainly helps householders feel they’re safer and less likely to be broken into, but it can cause major problems when it comes to selling a home. Rotweiller

Those are the findings of a recent survey by insurance broker Policy Expert which asked its customer base a number of questions about dog ownership and keeping pets in the home.

However, pet-ownership isn’t all positive, the research reveals. Dogs may act as a good deterrent for potential intruders, but it appears that owning one, or indeed other pets such as cats, can make those potentially buying or renting a property less likely to do so.

They can also damage a property which would have implications for your home insurance and whether you can claim for it or not.

Dog owners feel safer and less likely to be broken into

Among the dog owners who took part in the survey 41% say they feel much safer because they have a dog, while 29% think it makes them feel a bit safer.

Another 29% say it doesn’t make any difference to their feelings of security at all.

Reflecting the feeling of extra safety that goes with dog ownership, just over three-quarters, 75%, are certain it also makes their home less likely to be broken into in the first place.

However not all are so sure and 15% actually think having a dog makes no difference to whether a burglar decides to target their home or not.

Faith in man’s best friend

When it comes to deterrence, most dog owners believe their pet pooch would at least bark, if not actually attack, an intruder in the home.

A large majority, 75%, say their dog would bark at an intruder and 5% think it would actually attack an intruder.

Unfortunately, clearly not all have such faith in their four-legged mobile house-alarm: almost one in eight believe their dog would simply make friends with the intruder!

A very small minority, just over 1%, think their dog is so apathetic to what’s going on around it that it would ignore the intruder, and 6% aren’t at all sure what their dog would do.

Dogs and other pets can put off buyers and renters

One downside of dog and pet ownership, however, seems to be that it could reduce the value of a home on the open market. This is clearly something very much to consider for those who have pets and who are considering selling or renting out their property!

The survey shows that among all respondents, pet owners or otherwise, 80% would be put off buying or renting a home if there was a smell of pets in the property.

Of these, 38% say that the smell would have to be ‘very strong’ for it to affect their decision.

Likewise, if you own a dog it could also impact on the value of your neighbour’s house; just over one in eight say that the presence of a dog in an adjacent home would put them off buying or renting a property, while 15% aren’t sure if it would or not.

Many people’s aversion to the smell pets can create is also reflected by the 25% who say they have at some point avoided visiting someone’s home because of pet odours.

Policy Expert

As an online insurance broker, Policy Expert help our customers to compare insurance products and find a policy that’s right for them. Customer care is at the heart of everything we do and we have a dedicated customer service team on hand by phone, email, twitter and instant chat. For more information speak to one of our experts on 0330 0600 600 or email

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