Having a pet is a wonderful experience that brings joy and love into your life. However, responsibilities are a big part of the experience, as well. And, when you’re looking for a temporary place to live with your furry friend, you need to be ready to face reluctance.
The rental industry is adapting as more people to become pet owners, but there are still restrictions. What’s more, some people won’t rent to you for fear of any damage that the pet might do to the apartment. So, as a renter, be sure you’re aware of these tips when renting with pets.
Finding an Apartment
When you’re looking for a rental, create a checklist and pay attention to the location, apartment features, and surroundings. Ensure that there are dog parks, trails, veterinarians, and other facilities nearby, so you won’t have to travel too far with your pets and risk stressing them out.
Look for a pet-friendly apartment. This may include an apartment without carpets or with easy-to-clean surfaces to reduce the risk of damaging the landlord’s property. A doggie door would also be helpful if your pet is independent and likes to go outside on its own.
As for the surroundings, try to find a place with a yard—preferably a backyard—and green spaces so your pets can enjoy the outdoors. If that’s not available or if you prefer to keep your pets indoors—especially with cats—an apartment with plenty of space will give them room to run around and use up their energy.
Signing the Lease
Before entering the rental agreement, make sure everything concerning your pet’s approval is confirmed in writing. When you meet with your landlord, be honest about your pet, including its size and behavior. You can even offer to introduce them to the pet to ensure full transparency.
Additionally, negotiate the consequences of potential damage ahead of time, and discuss all the fees you will have to pay so there won’t be any surprises along the way.
Furthermore, if you have a dog, you’re probably aware of the many breed restrictions that exist. Most commonly, breeds like German Shepherds, Pit Bulls, Rottweilers, and Mastiffs are banned. If you own one of these, do your research to make sure you won’t lose your application. You could also try negotiating with your landlord to convince them that your dog is well-behaved—provided that the restriction was put into place by the landlord.
Other restrictions that are common in rentals concern the type, number, and weight of your pet(s). Discuss all of these aspects before signing the lease.
Preparing the Apartment
Before you bring your pets into your new apartment, take the time to prepare it for their arrival. For example, look around the space to make sure there’s nothing dangerous for them. Also, remove small items from the floors and have some chew toys around—just in case they act out and start chewing on things the moment they move in.
If possible, bring in your own carpets before moving the pets. This will help spread their scents—as well as prevent the floors from getting scratched if they start running around frantically. Along the same lines, bring in your pet’s things and diffuse a familiar smell around the apartment—such as your perfume, your air freshener, or anything you use that has a fragrance.
Furthermore, if you are feeding your dog on a wet food diet, don’t forget that you need to have a refrigerator to store your dog’s food.
When you’re ready to introduce your pet to the new place, it’s best to let them out of their crate directly in the apartment. Remember to check the surroundings for anything toxic or dangerous, such as certain plants, poison traps, and others.
If your property has a yard, check the fence around it for holes or damage, and talk to your landlord about fixing it—or offer to do so yourself.
Preparing for Moving Day
Moving day is going to be full of stress for both you and your pet, so prepare for it.
Before moving out of your apartment, don’t forget to repair pet damage. Most pets will cause some kind of damage to a rental property and it’s the tenant’s job to fix this before they move out.
Also, remember to keep your pets away from the moving process. Let them stay in the old apartment for as long as possible; although they will be scared because of all the coming and going, they will be in a safe space.
For the move itself, keep your pet in their crate and cover it with a light blanket. This will help diminish the shock of a new environment. Have treats with you and use them to create a sense of security for your little friend. Bring their toys, bed, blankets, and anything else with their scent and place them around the apartment to create centers of safety for them.
After you take your pet out of the crate, tour the new apartment to show them where to eat, drink, and do their business. Spend time with them in every room to make them feel comfortable. After that, give your pet the freedom to explore on their own while you unpack or clean. Act as naturally as possible; they will feel your stress and anxiety and probably reflect it.
Living with Your Pet
Now that the moving process is over, it’s time to integrate them—and yourself—into your new home. Make it feel like it’s yours. Establish some routines to create an orderly schedule, and make time to play with your pet, take them out, and show them that there are no dangers nearby.
As a renter, it’s also important to invest in renter’s insurance. But, depending on which package you purchase, you may need to add additional coverage for pets. Most policies won’t cover damage done to the apartment by pets, so discuss this with the insurance provider in advance to see if there are any costs you can lessen through your renter’s insurance.
Furthermore, be sure to read the terms and conditions carefully; not all damages are covered by such a package. For instance, certain exotic pets, dog breeds, or types of accidents—such as dog bites—are often not covered, so ask about that before signing any contract.
You might also consider investing in pet health insurance. Note that these policies do not cover pre-existing health conditions, and there’s usually a waiting period before purchasing the insurance and when the coverage begins, which is intended to prevent fraud.
There are many things to consider when renting with a pet, but among the most important aspects is knowing your pet and teaching them how to behave. You know best how to prevent problems and take care of your pet; so, whether you’re a cat owner, a dog owner, or have another tiny friend, make sure they are welcome wherever you go, as well.