Taking a dog into your home means making a friend for life. However, it’s also a big responsibility, especially if you are a renter. Finding pet-friendly apartments can be complicated by restrictions, whether related to breed or something else. Yet, there are many ways in which you can be prepared for everything this challenge might bring your way. From finding the right apartment to getting your security deposit back when leaving and everything in between, here’s what you need to know about renting with dogs.
Finding the Right Apartment
When you start browsing for a place to rent, first make sure you are allowed to have your dog live in that building.
Check the breed restrictions; the most commonly restricted breeds include rottweilers, mastiffs, pit bulls, German shepherds, cane corsos, or Staffordshire terriers. Other restrictions can refer to the size and weight of the dog or even age. If there are no such mentions, make sure to inquire with the landlord or property manager and get the answer in writing to securely proceed with the application.
However, even if your pet might be among the restricted breeds, you can still try to make a case for them if you can prove they are properly trained and behave well. As long as you are honest and transparent, you might be met with an open mind.
When renting with dogs, make sure you check the amenities provided. First, the apartment needs to be pet-friendly. Secondly, it would be best to have access to a bark park or a dog walking area nearby. If there is no such community amenity, check that there are parks or green areas close to the apartment where you can walk your pet. However, if you’re willing to spend a little extra, there are many buildings that cater specifically to pet owners, offering such amenities as pet spas, grooming service, pet-sitting services, and more.
An important aspect to keep in mind is the apartment’s location within the building. It would be best to land a ground-floor or first-floor apartment to avoid using the stairs or elevator whenever you need to take your dog out. This is particularly ideal if you have a puppy or an older dog since the schedule is less regular with these age groups.
Negotiating with the Landlord
After you’ve found the right place for you and your dog, it’s time to start negotiating. Although the place is pet-friendly, it never hurts to bring a pet CV to the lease discussion to set your landlord’s heart at ease.
A pet CV should include important information about the pet, such as the breed, age, weight, vaccinations, training, as well as your own contact information. You could also bring recommendations from previous landlords or vets about the dog’s behavior. These can really help your case when deciding the security deposit and other associated pet fees.
When going over your lease, double-check that it is clearly specified you are allowed to have your dog inside the building, and the apartment, and that restrictions do not apply. The contract should also mention all the fees and conditions which would lead to you losing your security deposit.
Dog-Proofing the Apartment & Training the Dog
If you have a puppy, then it’s a good idea to remove the carpets and add a puppy pad until it is trained. Installing locks on cabinets or drawers might be a good idea if you notice a tendency to open them and chew whatever is inside.
Dogs are curious creatures, so it’s best to keep them entertained with toys, games, and walks. When you are not at home, it’s a good idea to have a puppy corner with their crate, toys, and food. You should get them used to spending time there and make them positively associate that space with safety. This way, they won’t get stressed out if you restrict them there while away.
One of the most important aspects of sharing an apartment with a dog is how to handle barking. Dogs are excitable and might bark if they hear footsteps outside the door or see movement from the windows. They can, however, be trained to keep quiet and reduce barking through positive reinforcement.
As more and more people adopt pets into their lives, the market adapts by offering more options for pet-friendly apartments, as well as specific amenities for our pets. As long as you prepare in advance and show responsibility as a dog owner, you are sure to have an easy time finding a pet-friendly rental and making the most out of it.