According to information compiled by the Insurance Information Institute, sixty-eight percent of households in the United States own pets.
That is around 85 million pets. The research cited by the Insurance Information Institute comes from the National Pet Owners Survey from 2017 to 2018, conducted by the American Pet Products Association.
In 1988, which was the first year that this survey was conducted, only around 56 percent of American households reported having a pet.
Of the households with a pet in the U.S., most have a dog. In fact, more than 60 million households have a dog, and just over 47 million households have a cat.
More people are renting in the U.S. than at other times in history as well, making it fairly understandable that renters want pet-friendly features.
Rental managers and property owners are focusing more than ever before on delivering desirable pet-friendly features and amenities to remain competitive in the rental marketplace.
If you’re a pet owner and you’re in the market for a new rental, the following are some things to look for.
A truly pet-friendly rental community isn’t just one that accepts pets—it’s one that embraces pets and makes them part of the lifestyle.
Some rental communities will claim to be pet-friendly but there are no amenities or services for pets, and many have strict restrictions such as weight limits.
Your pet is a part of your family, and you want to feel they’re welcome where you live.
You also want your rental community to make life easier for you. As part of that, consider a rental community offering concierge services. For example, more communities are starting to offer home cleaning & pet walking services to renters.
Other services might include pet sitting available on-demand, or even pet daycare where you can take your dog during the day while you’re at work or out and about.
On-Site Pet Amenities
Some of the possible pet amenities were described above, but there are plenty of other options as well. For example, does the community offer water bowls or treat stations around the property? Is there a place where you can wash your pets?
Are there baggies and scoopers out for when you take your pet for a walk on the property?
These are all not just conveniences, but they can be tell-tale signs that a community goes beyond marketing to pet owners and really does welcome them.
Narrowing Down Your Search
Sometimes being able to hone in on a community that’s truly pet-friendly versus one that says it is relies on doing some digging. One way to start your search and narrow down the right communities for you can be the use of tools like PeoplewithPets.
PeoplewithPets.com is a nationwide directory of pet-friendly apartments but also rental homes and hotels. You can search by property, state or city.
As well as being a pet-friendly apartment and rental directory, the site also includes details such as whether or not the properties have breed restrictions, and you can search for nearby pet-friendly amenities like dog parks and activities that are pet-friendly.
Think Beyond the Property
If you’re in the process of choosing a pet-friendly rental, you have to think about not only the community itself or the house itself but also the local area. Even if the property is extremely pet-friendly, if the nearby area isn’t, it’s not going to help you very much.
Are there dog parks and pet-friendly outdoor spaces nearby? Will it be easy to walk your dog in the area? Are there dog-friendly shops and restaurants in the neighborhood? What about trainers, groomers and pet-supply stores? Are any of those close to the property?
Do Other Residents Have Pets?
If you’ve found a few communities that you think would be a good home for you and your pet, take a visit during the day and possibly on the weekend.
See if there are other residents with pets and if they’re out and about. If there are pet-friendly amenities, are a lot of other residents taking advantage of them?
Does it seem like a place where pet owners and their furry friends are happy?
Even if you find a rental where there are great pet-centric amenities, if you’re one of the few residents with a dog who’s out and walking around, it might not be a great fit.
If you move into a community with a lot of pet owners, both you and your pet will have the opportunity to socialize.