Tips For Renting With Pets

I have been owned by dogs for over 10 years. I've also been a renter for the entirety of that time. Every time I see a listing for a dog adoption where the owner states: "my new apartment doesn't allow dogs," and then lists all the wonderful traits of said dog, I am baffled and saddened. While I know finding a dog-friendly apartment may not be the easiest task, it is not as intimidating as it may seem! With a bit of planning, forethought and effort, you and your canine companion will both be enjoying your new home.

There are many resources at your disposal to help you with your search.† First, give yourself time; 6-8 weeks before your lease expires is the time to start looking for a new rental. Contact local humane organizations and explain you are moving to the area. They will often have a list of landlords or housing communities that are pet friendly.

Be prepared to sell yourself (and your dog!). One of the most impressive tools you can offer a tentative landlord is a "resume" for your dog. It might include a letter of reference from your current landlord verifying their positive experience with having you and your dog as tenants. Written proof that your dog has completed a training class, or that your puppy is currently enrolled in one is another way to show that you are a responsible pet owner.

Supply medical records that show your pet has been spayed or neutered and vaccinated against rabies. Most veterinarians have no problem fulfilling requests like this for their clients- and if you keep good records you will already have such documentation. Often a written agreement stating that your pet is crate trained, will be kept on leash in all outdoor areas, and will be picked up after (by you, of course) is a good document to offer your landlord.

Responsible dog owners are likely to make excellent tenants! Why? Because we must search harder for a place that allows our furry family, pet caregivers are more likely to renew leases. Lower vacancy rates mean lower costs for landlords and real estate agents. Let prospective landlords know that you understand that living on the property in question with your dog is a privilege, not a right.

Once you find a place that accepts you and your dog, be prepared to put down a pet deposit. Often this is a non-refundable, one-time fee that covers the cleaning that will need to be done once you and your pet decide to vacate the premises. Occasionally there will be an extra charge monthly to keep your pet. Make sure you discuss these details BEFORE signing a lease and that all of the agreements are in writing. If you are moving into a housing community, ask for a copy of all of the rules pertaining to pets before signing any agreements as well.

After all the paperwork is signed and you and your pet are settled into your new digs, make sure you and he are the best neighbors you can be! Keep him occupied with toys while you are away to prevent boredom- or anxiety-induced barking. Institute a thorough flea and tick prevention program, as well as consistent grooming of your furry friend. If your building has an elevator, teach him proper etiquette, meaning no jumping or overzealous sniffing while riding! Though they may tell you it's "OK," assume your neighbors are not dog lovers and keep all interactions with you and your dog as calm and pleasant as possible.

You are your dog’s world; he deserves to be with you no matter where you are. While renting may be an obstacle you encounter in your life, it doesn’t have to be the one that separates you from your best friend.

A list of sites where you can search for animal friendly housing:



Dog Resources

Raising Your Dog

Dogs By Size

Dogs By Group

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