Apartment hunting can be challenging when you have a large dog that will be accompanying you. Even when you concentrate your search to pet-friendly apartments, the size of your dog may make it difficult to find an apartment that meets your needs. The following tips can help you find a rental house or apartment you and your dog can enjoy.
The Right Housing Type
Flexibility is a key factor when you’re searching for an apartment that accepts large dogs. Instead of moving into an apartment complex owned by a large renting company, you may have more success if you look for individually-owned properties and possibly single-family rentals. Individual property owners are more likely to be easier to work with and more open-minded about pets, especially if you provide excellent references from previous landlords. However, there are more luxurious apartments by bigger companies that offer housing catered specifically to dog owners. These apartment complexes generally come with dog runs to help you get your big dog’s energy out. Above all else, it’s important that you focus your search on apartment rental listings that advertise being pet-friendly, as those who don’t plan for pets in their complex at all aren’t likely to bend the rules for a big dog.
Dogs owners share a bond simply because they understand the important role a dog plays in their owner’s life. Ask your friends, co-workers or veterinarian if they know of any apartments or landlords that welcome large dogs. You might even want to check with local rescue groups for suggestions. Visit a local dog park and discuss your situation with other dog owners. Some of them might also be renters that could give you names and locations of landlords or apartment complexes that don’t have weight or size restrictions on dogs.
Introduce Your Dog
Arrange for the landlord of a property you’re interested in renting to meet your dog. Arrive with your dog looking its best. Bring vet records with you to show that your pet is current with vaccines. If your dog has a certificate of completion from a training program have that with you to present to the landlord. Also, have one or more reference letters from previous landlords praising your dog and your excellent housekeeping. Sometimes people who aren’t familiar with large dogs assume they are rambunctious, destructive and aggressive. Most large dogs, however, are very calm and tend to be some of the safest dogs to own. When they see your well-behaved dog, they may be more receptive to the idea of allowing you to rent from them.
Pet-friendly apartments are often located near parks. Parks provide a good exercise opportunity for apartment owners and their dogs. Single-family rental homes on the outskirts of the more developed areas might also be a good option for you and your dog. The restrictions may not be as severe with a single-family home because the landlord doesn’t have to consider how other tenants would react to living in close proximity to a large dog.
Use all available resources to help you find a rental that will accept you and your large dog. Be prepared to pay an additional deposit and possibly a higher rent, as a larger dog comes across as a greater liability in the eyes of most landlords. The higher rental fee might be negotiable and can be reduced once the landlord sees you and your dog are responsible tenants, so make sure to present yourself and your pet in the best light possible during your search.