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The current housing crisis in San Francisco and other cities has created a number of hardships for Americans and their families. Not only is it more difficult than ever to find affordable housing, it also means that many pet owners are being forced to relocate into smaller apartments, which may include stricter pet policies.
Despite being named America’s most dog-friendly city in recent years, many San Franciscan dog owners are having an increasingly difficult time finding a home that is affordable and will also accept their beloved companions. For the past several years, many pet owners have been finding themselves in rental communities. These communities often require pet owners to follow the landlord’s strict rules for dog etiquette.
To avoid hefty fines or eviction notices, there are some things you can do:
Because pet-friendly housing can be difficult to find, some renters are tempted to “sneak” their pets into their homes under the landlord’s radar. However, sneaking a pet into an apartment can lead to:
- Hefty fines
- Your landlord requiring you to get rid of your pet
- An eviction notice
You should always tell your landlord you have a pet, even if you adopt one halfway through your lease. It’s better to be up front and ethical than to have your landlord find out (and possibly retaliate).
Train your pet.
Today’s pets often live in small, urban dwellings, such as apartments, instead of houses with large, fenced-in backyards. In addition to minding your landlord and respecting your neighbors, it’s also important to obey local laws and regulations regarding your pet.
Proper training can remediate (and even prevent) many of the behavioral issues commonly seen among pets in apartments and rental homes. Start by housebreaking your dog. Teach him to walk beside you on a leash, along with some basic commands like sit, stay, and heel.
Clean up after your pet.
Proper pet etiquette applies to pets and pet owners. Being a good renter means taking responsibility. In addition to housebreaking him, keep your dog on a leash and always pick up after him.
If your dog suffers from separation anxiety, it can be difficult for you as well as your neighbors. Allowing your dog to bark or be destructive is not only upsetting and disrespectful to your neighbors, it can even result in your landlord citing you for costly fees or even terminating your lease. Consider working with a dog trainer to alleviate behavioral issues, and check with your vet about potential medical issues that might be contributing factors.
Get help when needed.
Depending upon your dog’s breed, age, and existing medical conditions, you’ll need to walk your dog three times daily or more. If this is tricky while balancing a demanding full-time job, a busy travel schedule, and/or a lengthy commute, consider hiring someone to walk your dog for you. This is an excellent way to prevent accidents, give your dog exercise, and socialize him with people and other dogs.
Another option is doggy day care. In addition to ensuring your dog is well fed and properly walked, doggy day care staff can also administer medications, and some even provide additional “pet spa” services, such as bathing, grooming, and nail trimming.
Tens of millions of Americans are pet owners, and 7 out of 10 of them consider their pets to be a family member. As you can imagine, parting with a four-legged friend would be heartbreaking for pet parents. Once you’ve found a pet-friendly landlord, it’s important to follow the rules of doggy etiquette to ensure you and your dog are as comfortable and happy as possible while living in a rental community.