Whether you are moving for more space, a new job, or a change of scenery, remember that if your dog is unhappy, then your new place won’t seem worth the trouble.
Before looking for a new place to live, dog moms should consider these apartment hunting tips.
5 Apartment Hunting Tips for Dog Moms
1. Pet-Friendly Premiums
Landlords often have a different definition of “pet-friendly” than dog owners. Even landlords who love dogs realize that dogs can cause property damage, from accidents on the carpeting or separation-anxiety induced scratches on floors, doors, and windowsills. Some breeds just never seem to stop shedding.
That’s why “pet-friendly” may mean “dogs allowed, for an additional fee”.
When reviewing “pet-friendly” apartment or house rental listings, dig deeper and find out if the landlord requires a pet deposit, pet rent, or a pet fee.
It is entirely reasonable for landlords to protect against the cost of cleaning and repair this way, but if it is a deal breaker for you as a tenant, you’ll have to look elsewhere.
2. Check for Weight and Breed Restrictions
Along with pet rent or pet deposits, some landlords put a limit on the size and breed of dogs they’ll accept.
While some of these restrictions arise from a sensible concern for increased liability from known “aggressive” breeds, many are just misinformed. If you find a pet-friendly place you love that doesn’t accept your dog’s breed or weight, try to negotiate. Demonstrate that you’re a responsible dog owner with vaccination and neutering records, references from past neighbors and landlords, and some kind words from your vet.
Your dog should have a “resume” showing training certificates and testimonials, breed, weight, and age. Offer to have the landlord “interview” your dog to demonstrate what a good tenant she’ll be.
3. Indoor, Outdoor, Private, and Public Spaces
If you make it passed fees and restrictions, consider the environmental perks for your dog. Outdoor play space, dog waste disposal stations, and even indoor pet relief areas are becoming more common apartment complex amenities. Does your potential new place offer these amenities?
Landlords know that pet-friendliness is an attraction for rental property. You might be surprised by the variety of amenities found through online searches of pet-friendly property listings.
4 Consider Pet Insurance
You’ll probably be required to obtain renter’s insurance, but be aware that many renter’s policies exclude dog damage, including bites. Even though you know your dog would never bite or threaten anyone, purchasing pet insurance provides additional assurance to a landlord that you and your dog will take good care of the property.
5. Remember Your Own Needs
An often neglected apartment hunting tip for dog owners is remembering to consider your own needs along with the dog’s.
Sometimes, finding a place that will welcome your dog and make her happy is so time-consuming that dog moms forget their own needs.
Dog moms should never discount the need to attend to safety, even with a canine companion. Check out lighting and security, common areas, ease of moving in, and proximity to transportation and entertainment.
Once you know a place will be good for your dog, confirm that it will be right for you, too.
Be sure to check out these moving day tips for dog moms before moving day arrives. The day will go more smoothly if you prepare in advance.
What apartment hunting tips can you offer?
Share your experience with me in a comment below, or stop by my private Facebook group for dog moms and join in the conversation there!