There are different levels of dog-friendly apartments. While some apartments will simply allow you to have pets, others welcome your dogs with open arms and provide extra dog-friendly amenities to help you and your dog enjoy living the apartment life.
What features to look for in a dog-friendly apartment?
The most basic level of a dog-allowing apartment lets dogs live with you. There may be restrictions to the number of dogs, the size of the dog and the type of dog. When searching for a truly pet-friendly apartment, here is what to look for:
- Allows more than one dog
- Allows dogs of all weights and types
- Has a dog-potty area, including a dog waste trash can and poop bag dispenser
- Has dog water areas (bowl or running dog fountains)
- Holds dog events or activities
- Pet spa or pet washing area
- Offers discounts or packages to local pet service providers (vets, groomers, dog walkers or pet sitters)
Providing a dog potty area is very important. A grass area, turf grass or gravel space where your dogs can do their business can make a dog lover’s life much easier. If not, you have to buy your own apartment dog potty system like the Porch Potty system, which has turf grass and a tray of absorbent litter underneath. An example of a very dog friendly apartment is at Fidus Pet Communities in the Dallas, Texas area, where each apartment includes a doggy door that leads to either a private fenced yard or a porch relief system.
Is there a dog-loving community within the apartment building that supports each other and gets together for fun doggy events and activities? At State and Chestnut in Chicago, pet amenities include on site dog runs, a pet spa and monthly yappy hours for residents and their pups to mingle.
Does the apartment building provide other amenities like a dog waste station, water station or small dog park with benches and canine agility equipment? Some dog-friendly apartment communities even offer onsite dog walking, doggy daycare and grooming services. Avalon Communities has a partnership with VCA Animal Hospitals and offers residents with pets discounts of veterinary services, like a free first wellness exam and 10% off ongoing veterinary services.
What are the challenges in finding a dog-friendly apartment?
When finding a dog-friendly apartment, look into restrictions and rules. It’s not uncommon for apartment buildings to limit the number of pets, the weight of the dogs or the dog breeds. Other apartment buildings require a temperament test to make sure your dog is safe around humans and other pets. Some common restrictions include:
- The number of pets you’re allowed to have
- The maximum weight your dog can be, which is typically less than 30 pounds and therefore, naturally restricts certain dog breeds
- Allowing cats, but not dogs
- Certain breeds or types of dogs may be banned
Most dog-friendly apartments will charge a pet deposit or a pet fee, which may be nonrefundable.
How to find pet-friendly apartments?
When searching for apartments online, there’s typically a filter option that lets you search for only pet-friendly rentals. Aside from a pet-friendly apartment, check that the surrounding area is convenient and has the amenities that you need, such as nearby veterinarian hospitals, dog parks, groomers and doggy daycare.
Don’t give up your search. Finding a dog-friendly apartment that fits the needs of you and your dogs takes time. Start by asking the right questions about dog friendly amenities in both the apartment complex and the surrounding neighborhood.