Published by Ashley Palmer.

To many landlords, dogs and cats spell fleas, carpet stains, chewed or clawed furniture, and messy, dug-up yards. Finding an apartment for Fido and Fluffy can be challenging, but with persistence and sometimes a little sweet-talking, you can succeed.

Start Searching Early

Start your search by asking your local humane society, SPCA, or animal rights group for advice or referrals to animal-friendly landlords in your area. Post ads in veterinarians’ offices, companion-animal supply stores, and health-food stores, and ask other renters with companion animals for the name and telephone number of their landlords. If you’re moving right away and you’re in a bind, ask a family member or a trusted friend to dog- or cat-sit for a bit. Many hotels will make room for you and your companion. The possibilities are limitless.

There are many online resources for animal guardians on the go. Be sure to search for your next home—with room for everyone you care for—here.

Sell Yourself

Landlords, property owners, and housing managers’ hesitancy to welcome your companion may be based on their prior experiences with careless, irresponsible guardians. Showing them that you are conscientious and a responsible caretaker for your best friend may get the welcome mat rolled out for all your family members!

When you find a great apartment, present your prospective landlord with letters of reference from your veterinarian, former landlords, or neighbors documenting that you are a responsible guardian. Offer to pay an extra damage deposit, or secure liability insurance to cover the cost of any damage your dog or cat may cause. Let your prospective landlord meet your dog or cat and see your current apartment. Since many landlords are concerned about fleas, make it clear that you maintain an active flea-control program. Don’t forget to let the landlord know your animal lives inside and walks outside only on a leash. In addition, provide written proof that your companion is spayed or neutered and therefore healthier, calmer, and less likely to create a disturbance.

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