Apartment Hunting With Pets

Planning a move is a difficult thing. Planning a move with four-legged family members can be even more of a challenge! In working on my own relocation, I’ve come up against a lot of problems — especially because I have dogs that are considered “large” and breeds that may be “dangerous” or “aggressive”. It has definitely been a learning experience!

Some pet-moving resources and suggestions:

  • Check with the humane society local to the area you’re moving to. Local shelters and rescues often keep a list of pet-friendly housing.
  • Most rental sites will let you search for things like “cats welcome” or “large dogs welcome”. Be sure to include those factors in your search, or you’ll be wasting a lot of time calling places that just don’t allow pets.
  • Talk to friends in the area who already have pets like yours — a woman I know through an online writing group sent me a list of links to places that are big dog friendly.
  • It never hurts to ask. Call your potential new homes and ask about their pet policy. Ask if a larger deposit (if you can afford it) might not make them a little more agreeable to the idea.
  • Be flexible in your criteria. In my dream world, I’d find a house with a fenced yard to rent. In reality, I may end up in a second floor apartment without a fenced yard. It’ll mean some adjustments to my routine — walking the dogs several times a day instead of just letting them into the yard to play and potty.
  • Be open to different options. You’d like a house, but can you adjust to an apartment? You’d like to live alone, but can you adjust to life with a roommate? There are lots of places to look for rooms to rent from folks who are already settled in.
  • Know your deal-breakers ahead of time. If you HAVE to have a certain limit on rent, stick to it. If you HAVE to have a fenced yard or a first floor apartment, don’t even consider things without. It’s a waste of time to daydream about the things that just won’t work with your lifestyle. Sure, I’d love that $1200 a month house with the fenced yard and river view… but there’s very little chance of me being able to afford that right now.