dog friendly apartments

I love my dog.

I wouldn’t move anywhere without him.

And my sentiments echo the vast majority of dog owners out there, which means finding dog friendly apartments for rent – for everything from diminutive dachshunds to mammoth mastiffs – is of the utmost importance.  The good news is that increasingly, apartment complexes are beginning to understand the pivotal role pets play in their residents’ lives and are accommodating dog owners when it comes to their policies – even to the point of putting pet-centric amenities in place. That means finding dog friendly apartments is easier than ever.

The bad news? There are often restrictions, caveats or fees.

Here are a few things to think about when you’re searching for dog friendly apartments.

Search wisely

Apartment listings on this website include a filter to weed out communities with a no-dogs policy. Use it. This eliminates the painful discovery that the neighborhood you love most won’t accommodate your best friend. Once you’ve got your list narrowed down to include only dog friendly apartments, you can filter further based on other requirements you have, like amenities you need or want.

Prepare to spend a little more                                                                                                                        

Pets are typically going to cost you more. Pet fees, pet deposits and increased rent for pet owners are all common. A pet fee is a non-refundable fee tenants are sometimes charged up-front, a one-time charge that simply gets your dog in the door. A pet deposit is a refundable amount that will be returned to you when you move out, provided there is no dog-related damage in your unit upon inspection. You can also typically expect a higher rent. Typically this charge runs $15-50. (Where I live, for example, it’s $30 for one dog, $50 for two.)

Related: Top 10 dog names for 2017

Look for dog-friendly amenities

Speaking from experience, the best amenity any apartment community can have for pet owners is waste-specific trash cans with plastic bags for clean-up. Look around the complex. Are there a lot of them strategically placed throughout the property? This is a great sign.

Other great community features include dog parks and walking trails. Many communities really embrace their dog-owning residents, offering fun events like “yappy hour,” where dogs and their people can show up at the clubhouse or dog park for treats and socialization or even pet pool parties. Ask the management at your prospective communities to see if they schedule anything similar.

Find an Apartment

See if tenants are acting responsibly

Check the grass and sidewalks as you walk about the property. Many dog owners forget or ignore the cardinal rule and don’t pick up after their pets. See how many of them live in this complex, or if it does a good job of enforcing rules for pet owners.

Check out neighbors and their pets

If you zero in on a specific apartment, you might want to visit the complex with your dog in tow. Take a walk – on a leash, of course – and see how that goes. See if any nearby neighbors, or tenants on the path from your unit to the mailbox (or fitness center or mailboxes) present any problems.

Talk with the manager

Find out if your manager is a dog lover. If he or she is, then ask about their dog. Find your common ground. Introduce your dog and mention of few of its better qualities. If your dog has had any obedience training, take the certificate with you. Letting the management know you have been responsible in your pet ownership will only help your relationship with management, and could even benefit you during a future conflict.

Good luck finding a great apartment for the two of you! We’ll be cheering you and your four-footed buddy on as you look!  

Related: Meet dog friends with your buddy

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About The Author

A.D. Thompson has been a journalist and editor for more than 25 years, and a mother for 13. She cannot believe how old that sentence makes her sound. A.D. is a consumer of both coffee and wine, and a veteran Odyssey of the Mind coach for both of her daughters’ teams. Her family happily resides in an Orlando apartment community. She is the Orlando Expert for USA Today 10Best and has worked with regional publications including Orlando Signature, Edible Orlando and the Orlando Sentinel.

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