What to Keep in Mind When Renting with Pets
You’ve combed the web, hit the pavement, and found a fantastic pet-friendly apartment where you and your furry bestie can hang your hat (and your leash). Congratulations! But as anyone renting an apartment with a pet can tell you, there are many things to keep in mind before you sign that lease. In this post, we’ll examine some of the necessary steps you’ll need to take to secure your place, and some tips to make it safe and cozy for you both.
Verify the Rules
It’s essential to take a moment to review your lease’s pet policies, communicate clearly with your new landlord about their expectations of renters with pets, and get everything in writing upfront.
A good example is the issue of breed restrictions on certain dogs. Some states enforce regulations on the types of dogs you can keep, and others don’t. Regardless of state law, it’s legal for landlords to prohibit certain breeds on their property. For example, the state of Oregon has no breed laws, but apartments in its cities like Medford or Eugene may not allow them per the leasing agreement.
But if your landlord does enforce breed restrictions, it doesn’t mean you have to give up. A CV with references from your prior landlord, veterinarian, and/or obedience trainer can go a long way toward pleading your pet’s case so the landlord may make an exception.
Prepare for the Added Expenses
Many extra fees are associated with renting with pets; some are fixed, and others are one-time expenses.
— Pet Rent: A fixed payment added to your regular monthly rent.
— Pet Fee: A non-refundable upfront cost for allowing your pet to stay in the apartment.
— Pet Deposit: An upfront, refundable fee you’ll pay to cover any damage done to the property by your pet. If no repairs are needed, your landlord should refund the pet deposit at the end of your lease.
Pet Proof for Safety
Your pet will probably be curious about their new space, but they’ll likely experience plenty of anxiety until they get used to it, too. To ensure your pet stays safe in their new environment, you can take steps to pet-proof before you bring them home.
Although furniture and carpets are the first to succumb to chewing, clawing and accidental damage, nervous dogs and cats may also chew on or claw at wooden window sills and door frames. You can protect them with bumpers or block them with furniture when possible. You can also prevent this by providing ample amounts of chew or puzzle toys around the house to keep them occupied while you’re out.
Be sure to keep your cabinets and trash locked to prevent your pets from getting into any potentially dangerous foods or chemicals. Not all, but some houseplants are poisonous to pets, so do your homework on houseplant toxicity and know when you should call an emergency vet for help. Whether your plants are toxic or not, keep them in hanging containers or high enough on countertops or shelving so your pooch can’t reach them. This keeps your pet safe and prevents soil stains on your carpet.
After you’ve pet-proofed your new home, it’s important to work on getting the pets accustomed to the apartment first thing, before you get down to the business of training. Give them plenty of time to gradually explore, and stay with them for reassurance. If you need to spend a couple of hours away, consider designating a room for their crate, bedding, toys, and other essentials until they get used to the whole place.
Essential types of behavioral training (especially for dogs) include:
— Barking: Whether it’s to protect their territory or simply because they’re excited, a barking dog can be a severe nuisance to your neighbors. Train them to refrain from barking when someone passes by the window or when they hear footsteps in the hall outside your door. Be sure to positively reinforce good behavior with love and treats!
— Potty Training: If your doggie doesn’t yet understand how to let you know they need to go potty, create a regular routine for taking them out. Not only will it help teach them that outside is the place to go, but they’ll also look forward to the walk. Until you get them trained, or if it isn’t possible to keep the schedule, you can use puppy pads as a teaching tool to help them understand the entire apartment isn’t open for doing their business. Puppy pads should be temporary, but it’s a good start, and they’ll protect your floors until your dog learns the rules.
— Crate Training: Some dogs feel much safer in a crate when left alone in the apartment, and it can also act as an excellent training tool. If you provide positive reinforcement when your dog chooses to use the crate, it’ll help them feel more secure, curb anxious barking, and discourage accidents.
For dog and pet lovers, a house isn’t a home without a four-legged companion. But with all that unconditional love and affection comes a lot of responsibility from us humans to ensure our dogs are safe and comfortable. When renting an apartment with your dog, be mindful of what may make them anxious or afraid. Work with your dog to put them at ease and show them you’re there for them no matter where you live. Once you’re settled in and comfortable, you and your dog can make a ton of great memories in your new place together!
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