If you are a renter considering bringing home a pet, there are a few things you should do first:
–CHECK YOUR LEASE! Some homes are not pet friendly and will not allow any pets on the property. For those rentals that are pet friendly, most will have breed and/or weight restrictions, plus require an extra security deposit and monthly pet rent. Some landlords and management companies have begun to use pet screening applications to be sure prospective pets meet all requirements for the rental unit they will be living in. We know it’s hard to resist those puppy dog eyes, but before bringing Fido home, always check with your landlord on pet policies and see what their process is for adopting the new member of the family. Remember that any damage the pet does to the property, the owner will have to fix or replace, so there is a reason for the extra charges when owning a pet in a rental.
–CHECK YOUR FINANCES. The cost of owning a pet can be surprisingly expensive. From the cost of monthly pet rent to food and toys, plus grooming and vet visits, things can really add up fast. Consider sitting down and creating a monthly budget to see if owning a pet is financially feasible. Having to rehome a pet due to unexpected financial responsibility can be devastating both to the pet and the pet owner.
–CHOOSE THE RIGHT PET FOR YOU! Consider both the needs of the pet and your home environment. If you live in a small apartment, a dog who needs lots of exercise and outside time may not work well. In addition, an animal who barks, whines, or otherwise makes a lot of noise may be a disturbance to neighbors. Pick the type of pet that works with your home and lifestyle.
–PET-PROOF YOUR APARTMENT. Before bringing home your new member of the family, be sure your home is equipped for it! Avoid messes, health risks, and damage to property by making sure trash bins, toxic cleaning products, and any fragile or expensive belongings are out of reach of the pet. Consider keeping your pet in a cage or kennel while you are away if you know your pet will get into mischief while you are gone.
Owning a pet is a huge responsibility but a rewarding experience! Just make sure you know what your lease says about owning pets on the property and take the necessary steps to be a responsible pet owner in a rental unit.