5 Renting Tips for Pet Owners

By Aurora McCausland

Over 68% of people in the United States have pets. With an astounding number of people choosing to rent rather than buying a home, especially among younger people, there’s a chance that you’re both a pet owner and a renter, as well. If you fall in that percentage of the population, and even more specifically, if your pet is a furry friend like a cat or a dog, here are a few renting tips for you as a pet owner!

Make sure that you understand the pet rules in your lease

When you get ready to sign the lease of your new rental, make sure that your landlord understands that you have a pet, and that you understand what that entails for you. Generally speaking, there will be an additional pet deposit and/or pet rent that you’ll be required to pay. This covers the cost of potential damage that your pet could do to the rental unit.

What to do if damages do occur

Things happen. Your pet is likely to make a mistake or two over the course of the time that you are living in your rental property. Depending on the severity of the mistake or damage, there are a few different things you should do! If your dog pees on the carpet, that’s a relatively easy fix, as long as it’s a one time occurrence. You’ll need to make sure that you get the smell completely out, because a lingering smell makes a dog feel like they can continue to relieve themselves in that same spot. So, get a great brand of urine remover that you trust, and after cleaning the spot, sprinkle it with baking soda, let it soak, and then vacuum it up.
If the damage is a bit bigger, like bite or scratch marks on the walls or doors, or serious damage to the carpet, you should let your landlord know right away. With something like this, it’s best to not wait until it’s time to move out and the damage is worse. If you talk to your landlord, you can get the damage taken care of. And remember, that’s what your pet rent is for!

Don’t make changes to the property to accommodate your pet

We all want our pets to be as comfortable as possible. But this means making sure their bedding is soft and washed regularly, and doesn’t mean installing a doggy door  without permission. If there’s something like that that you would like to do to the property, it’s worth bringing up to your landlord. If it’s something that will enhance the property, and you’re willing to pay for it, they may let you make the updates that you want. Just remember that in this situation, it’s definitely better to ask for permission than forgiveness.

Pick up after your pet

It can be tempting to not pick up after your pet when you’re running late for work. If you have a private backyard, you have a little bit more freedom, but you do need to make sure that you keep the yard hygienic at all times. But if you share a common green space with the rest of the apartment complex, it’s really important that you keep a stash of doggy bags in your back pocket so you always are able to clean up after your pet.

Give your pet lots of exercise

Especially if your pet is young, it’s important to make sure they get enough exercise. A pet that is cooped up in a small space, like an apartment, all day long, can easily end up with a lot of pent up energy. If they don’t get the exercise that they need, then they could end up causing damages to the rental just because they need to get their energy out. So, if your rental unit doesn’t have a private yard for them to run around in, make sure that you take them on daily walks that are adequate for their age, breed, and species.


"Time spent with cats is never wasted." ~ Sigmund Freud