My boyfriend and I have spent the past four months looking for a pet-friendly place to rent.
When we first started looking I expected it to be a little bit more work considering we have two large dogs. What I didn’t expect was it to be almost near impossible.
I’m graduating from four years of school this spring, and would love to find a place of my own. While looking I’ve found that most decent rentals (not pet-friendly) can start anywhere from $600 to $1,000. However once you start looking for reasonable pet friendly rentals, they usually start between $900 to $1,200 and require a pet deposit of $500 or more on top of this.
This is a huge problem for many pet owners looking for places to rent. The first problem is that many pet-friendly rentals only accept cats and if they do accept dogs, there are restrictions.
The most common dog restrictions are that your dog must weigh 20 pounds or less or be less than 15 inches tall. So what about the large breeds?
Some people argue large dogs need space and shouldn’t be kept in an apartment or condo. Yet, many large dogs can be more laid back than smaller dogs with high energy levels. Most dogs don’t run around their home for exercise; they need to go outside for walks or go to dog parks to get their daily exercise.
Others say, bigger dogs are louder than smaller dogs. Still, smaller dogs can be much yappier than larger breeds. Dog owners with large breeds also have more reason to train their dogs with good manners because they know that when their dog is unruly, they can’t simply pick them up and walk away like you can with small dogs. This means large breed dogs are often trained and well-behaved.
Many landlords are also worried about pet damage. Unless you have a teething or a non-potty trained puppy this shouldn’t be an issue.
Most adult dogs make less damage and create less noise than having children in the home. Dogs don’t usually run around the home so there shouldn’t be any concerns about scratching the floors. Most dogs sleep, walk to their bowls to eat or drink (which is usually on a tiled kitchen floor), and then go lie down again.
Scratches on the floor are also easily prevented by properly grooming your dog. Many responsible dog owners keep their dog’s nails short by trimming them. This means that scratched up floors should also not be an issue.
So why do pets, and especially large breed dogs, have such a bad stigma? It’s all about informing landlords and giving them the right information.
Always be upfront about owning a pet and be willing to introduce your pet to the landlord. This way landlords can assess for themselves if they have any reason to worry.
Landlords need to recognize that having large breed dogs doesn’t have to be an issue and should not be restricted or cost more than an average rental. This is why applicants fill out applications and have reference checks. It’s about talking to the tenant and making sure they are a responsible pet owner. This would drastically help out potential tenants like my boyfriend and I. We’re dependable people who happen to own dogs; my feeling is that this shouldn’t change the price tag of having a home.
Not to mention, if more apartments, condos, duplexes, and house rentals were pet-friendly and lowered their restrictions, perhaps then there would be a lot less homeless cats and dogs in Winnipeg.