Yapping, chewing, howling, scratching … not in this home!
Nobody likes living next to a yappy dog — or even a howling cat. And while a growing number of rental properties specialize in pet-friendly apartments and homes, it’s understandable why both property owners and their leasing agents are skeptical about pets.
Here are some quick tips to help your pet be a neighborly renter.
1. Get them certified
To really show your future landlord that your dog is a good resident, consider getting a Canine Good Citizen (CGC) certificate. Offered by the American Kennel Association (AKC), this certification proves that a dog has received basic training and is well socialized around both people and other dogs — thus, less likely to cause disturbances.
If your dog is currently working with a trainer, ask about this certification, as many trainers are also CGC certified. The AKC provides details about groups in various states that also offer this certification.
Additionally, get a letter of recommendation from a previous landlord about your pet’s behavior. It can put you in a strong position to look at a wider variety of pet-friendly properties.
2. Keep them busy
Take your dog for a long walk or run before you go to work to leave them tired and happy — and content to snooze instead of scratching the front door or annoying the neighbors by howling nonstop.
Separation anxiety and stress often lead to bad behavior in your absence. Give your pets distraction toys to keep them busy, or leave on a TV or radio for a sense of companionship.
Consider employing a dog walker to come once a day, or send your pup to day care. Even if it’s only one day a week, it’s one day less of them being stressed because they’re home alone.
A variety of calming products — such as plug-in pheromone diffusers and anxiety wraps like the ThunderShirt — may help reduce your pet’s anxiety levels and prevent nonstop barking throughout the day.
3. Mind the felines
If you have a cat, get a large litter box and scoop it daily. Cats will go outside the litter box and pee on carpets if their box is dirty.
Similarly, keep a variety of scratchers around the home. Cats usually like to scratch soon after they wake up from a nap, so place scratching posts close to a favorite sleeping spot. This will deter them from permanently damaging your woodwork and carpets.
4. Prevent pests
Summer is the height of flea and tick season. Make sure your pet has the necessary protection so they don’t bring fleas indoors to infest your home.
Interestingly, fleas only spend 20 percent of their life span on a pet. They spend the rest of their time in your carpeting and furnishings — and they can be difficult to eradicate quickly. Plus, landlords will charge for this kind of pest control.
Like with so many other things in life, prevention is key.
Looking for more information about renting? Check out our Renters Guide.
Originally published July 13, 2016.