How to Keep You and Your Landlord Happy When Renting With a Dog

by Mike Powell | Updated: Aug 24, 2021

Renting with a dog may not be as straightforward as you think. When you’re a dog owner, it’s not just you and the dog you have to think about. There are other  individuals involved as well.  There’s you, your dog, the neighbors and the landlord. 

Luckily, with some preparation (and dog treats), you can ensure that all four of you have the best possible experience, especially your landlord. Here’s how to keep your landlord happy when renting with a dog. 

Check the rules 

Woman sitting on couch with dog in her lap and looking at laptop that's resting on armrest.

There are few things you need to look at before renting a home — the laws of your state, local ordinances and the rules of the property. 

You’ll want to check your state laws first. Most states have a “dangerous dog law” that covers animals whose behaviors are determined to be a threat to those around. There are also ownership conditions that you have to meet if your dog fits into these categories. Your local ordinances may have more specific laws that you’ll need to review as they can differ for each county or city within your state.

Not every rental property will necessarily have the same pet rules. Make sure before you sign a lease that the property is indeed dog-friendly for the type of dog you have and it's a good fit for both you and your dog. Landlords will generally include the weight limits, breed restrictions and the number of the dogs allowed in the lease. Some may even require a temperament check to determine if your dog is dangerous and won’t cause damage to the property or harm your neighbors.

Understanding these rules from the start could help you avoid any potential problems down the line. You’ll also be well aware of your rights as a tenant with a pet. 

Fix bad behavior 

If you’re renting with a dog, just a little bit of behavioral work can go a long way towards making your landlord and your neighbors happy. Here’s what you should consider working on: 

Chewing 

Jack russell dog with destroyed fluffy ball in mouth and other destroyed toys in background.

If your dog tends to destroy things, you’re going to end up paying for damages while also causing harm to your dog’s teeth and gums. 

It’s important to get to the root of the chewing. Is your pup chewing because they’re stressed? Separation anxiety could be the cause of your dog being stressed and you’ll need to find ways to keep them calm when you’re away.  Some pet owners use CBD oil or a calming collar to ease their pet’s anxiety. 

Another common reason is boredom. Ensure that your dog has enough toys to chew on so they steer clear of furniture and personal items. Hiring a dog walker to give your dog a walk during the day can help reduce their boredom as well.

Barking 

Dog barking while sitting on bed with owner.

Incessant barking will quickly anger the neighbors and have the landlord knocking on your door. Like chewing, it’s important to find out what’s behind the barking. 

If you’re getting complaints about the noise when you’re away from home, your dog could be stressed or bored. Use the calming measures as we mentioned above. You could also leave your dog a shirt or beanie that smells like you to comfort them while you’re out. 

It could be that something specific is triggering the barking. Pay attention if it happens when you’re at home. Notice where your dog’s attention is focused. If you can remove the trigger, the barking should stop. 

Pet messes 

Dog laying on floor while looking back at owner scrubbing and cleaning dog's mess.

Messes in the house can lead to unpleasant smells, stains and bad habits. If your dog doesn't have easy access to the outdoors when you’re not home, create a special spot in the house for your dog to do his business such as a crate located in the corner of a room. 

You may need to train your dog all over again to use this new toilet area. It’s worth spending a few weeks training so that when you do need to leave, you won’t come back to a widespread mess.  If your dog does use the restroom, clean it up as soon as possible to avoid permanent stains. 

Also, don’t leave dog food in any place they can access to chew on all day. This will increase the chances of him having to go suddenly, wherever he is. 

A renter and their dog

While renting with a dog may not be straightfoward, it doesn’t mean it has to be difficult. Check the lease agreement thoroughly and be absolutely certain you understand the pet rules before signing. Once you’ve moved in, it’s a simple case of making your dog feel as comfortable as possible so your pet doesn’t behave uncharacteristically. Make sure your pup has everything they need and no reason to cause a scene, and you can be sure your neighbors and landlord will be happy too. 

Categories: Renters

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