Naper_iStock_000029790470_XXXLargeLooking for a house or apartment can be stressful, especially in some of the more desirable areas of town. However, as a pet owner, you have likely felt a greater burden in finding a home that suits your needs and allows for fur friends.

This challenge is a common one, with more and more pet owners facing “no pets allowed” policies when searching for adequate housing options.

Misunderstood Breeds and Multi-Pet Households

One of the primary types of pets discriminated against are larger breeds, such as Pit Bulls, Dobermans, and Rottweilers.

It’s also true that when a landlord allows cats, he or she may not allow dogs (and vice-versa). So for pet owners with more than one type of animal, it’s even more of a struggle to find a safe, comfortable place to live. It can also seem unfair when you consider the payment of additional deposits per pet.

Unfortunately, there’s not much you can do to change strict pet policies, but you can advocate by teaming up with pet-friendly rental campaigns through the SPCA and other nonprofits.

Rental Points to Ponder

Once you find a welcoming place to rent, it’s important to make sure the space is a good fit for your pet. After all, a large dog with a lot of energy isn’t likely to be happy in a 450 sq. ft. apartment. Also consider the general security and compatibility of your new home.

Room to roam – If you have a small lap dog or a senior cat, your space needs will likely be minimal. However, if you have an energetic pooch, a bit more room is necessary (especially if you want to keep any breakables intact).

High-rise precautions – Apartment life in an urban area usually means high-rise apartments or condos. Of course it’s possible to reside in such a dwelling with a pet, but you will need to take extra precautions, such as locking windows and balcony doors. Also make sure your pet doesn’t lean or rest against any screens.

Avenues of escape – If your pet goes missing, it doesn’t matter where you live – the panic sets in. However, cities equal more risk for encountering traffic, people who might steal a pet, and impoundment. To reduce the chances of your pet getting loose, make sure all gates are locked and fencing is secure. We also recommend microchipping your pet, which is one of the best ways to ensure a safe return.

Know your neighbors – Not everyone adores pets (weird, we know). If your neighbors are quick to complain about dog poo or barking, it may not be the best place for you and your fur friend to live. Of course, please be vigilant about cleaning up after your pet and providing training and enrichment, which will diminish those barking tendencies.

If you are a pet owner who’s having a hard time finding a place to live with your fur friend, don’t lose hope. Use social media and solicit advice from friends and neighbors to help find a pet-friendly home.

If you’re considering apartment life, please check with the Pet Experts to see what vaccines your pet will need. The ongoing canine influenza virus is a good reminder that communal places like elevators and public lobbies are areas where viruses can easily be spread. You’ll want to make sure your pet has every protection to prevent the contraction of viruses.