The Big Differences Between Pet-Friendly and Pet-Tolerable Apartments

A dog and cat in grass

When looking for that picture-perfect apartment for you and your pet, it’s important to find a community that will make you both feel right at home. During the apartment search phase, remember to review the pet amenity characteristics of the community on – and then follow up with community staff regarding additional questions you may have about them before touring the property.

It’s unfortunate but, not all “pet-friendly communities” are created equal. While some go above and beyond by rolling out the red carpet for their four-legged residents, others provide only the bare minimum. Pet parents should always keep in mind what is best for them and their animals while hunting for a new home, because there is a huge difference between pet-friendly communities and those that are tolerable of pets.  

Qualities of a pet-friendly community:

A community with sidewalks, a green space, or even an on-site dog park is a great indication that you have found yourself a pet-friendly community. A large grassy area or an enclosed run allows dogs to stretch their legs and interact with others within an environment separate from the other residents. Even something as simple as a sidewalk provides a place specifically for walking – something all dogs need daily. 

An apartment community that allows each household 2+ pets means you have a pet-welcoming community. In addition, properties that accept more breeds and types of pets – like bunnies or ferrets – are considered rare and an excellent home for animal lovers – but always check with your landlord first before adopting any “exotic” pets like rodents or reptiles.

Apartment homes with waste stations, communal water bowls throughout the grounds, and holiday pet costume contests sure qualify as a pet-friendly community. Some communities may even offer residents pet-sitting/walking services – a perk for you, a treat for your pet!

Qualities of a pet-tolerable community:

Overly strict pet policies and agreement clauses signal that a community may only tolerate pets. If the contract you’re about to sign has an extensive clause regarding tenant liability and out of pocket payment for damage to the home caused by a pet, then you’re likely in a community that tolerates them – so, remind me again what the pet deposit is for?

Bringing in your pet for a pet interview is often required of pet-tolerable communities. Landlords and property managers look closely at your pet’s temperament around strangers (possibly kids, too), obedience, as well as their physical size during these pet interviews.  To increase your pet’s approval chances, bring a letter of reference or a pet resume!

Any additional pet fees or rents – aside from a standard pet deposit – might be telling of your apartment community.

Properties that enforce pet surgeries that go beyond spaying and neutering is an indication that you’re considering a pet-tolerable community. Not only are additional medical procedures costly, your pet may be in discomfort for an extended period of time while in recovery. Vaccinations like rabies and bordetella are standard vaccines that protect your dog or cat’s health and well-being.

Photo by Krista Mangulsone on Unsplash

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