Moving is one of the most common reasons why pets are surrendered to shelters. Pet owners often think they have no choice but to give their animal up for adoption. It might be unavoidable in some cases, but for many people, there are ways to find housing that will allow both you and your pet to take up residence.
Scour the Internet!
The Internet makes the search for housing much easier than it ever was. Now you can compare apartments side-by-side. My favorite tool is Craigslist. There are far more listings there than anywhere else, because it doesn't cost a thing to create a listing. When you search, you can select 'cat friendly' or 'dog friendly'.
If you have a pet other than a cat or a dog, you should ask first if they allow small pets like rabbits, guinea pigs, chinchillas, or hamsters. When a landlord says 'no pets', they almost always are referring to cats and dogs, and they may be willing to consider smaller pets that are caged.
Ask About Pet Policies
Many landlords and house owners are very concerned when it comes to pets. They do not permit the residence of any kind of animals, even as cute and fluffy as a cat. As a cat lover, it is highly improbable that you will give up what you love and compromise your pet for the apartment.
However, you might meet some owners who allow and even love the little creatures. The limit, though can be on the number of pets one is allowed to keep. So, if you find with enough effort, there is a chance that you might come across some owners who will not only allow them, but even make some sort of accommodations for them.
So, when you do find a listing that says they allow pets, make sure to ask them the specifics. Do they require extra pet rent or a pet deposit? What are their limits as far as how many or what types of pets? Are there restrictions on certain dog breeds? Know the specifics first.
Spay and Neuter!
A great way to show your future-landlord that you are a responsible pet owner is to let them know that your pets are spayed or neutered. Sometimes, they want documentation of this, but if they don't ask for it, let them know up front.
If you your cat isn't declawed, and you aren't comfortable with that, either look elsewhere or explain that while you are very interested in renting from them, that you aren't comfortable with declawing. If they insist, offer to pay an extra deposit if that's an option for you. There are no laws against making deals.
Keep it Clean and Quiet
If you are already living in an apartment but are interested in moving, you will find it much easier to do so if your current landlord likes you. If your pets are quiet and you keep things clean and damage-free, your landlord will be more than willing to give you a recommendation if you find a new apartment that seems a little skeptical of allowing pets.
Hearing good things from a potential renter's current landlord can make all the difference when they choose who to rent to.
Give a Little, Keep a Little
When looking for a pet-friendly apartment, you may have to sacrifice a little in order to bring your furry friend with you. The only options available might be smaller or have fewer amenities than another apartment that doesn't allow pets.
You might have to spend a little more on rent or security deposits. These are sacrifices you may have to make, but they are well worth it, if that means you can keep your pet.
Think about it―would you rather have a few hundred extra square feet and a dishwasher, or would you rather have a smaller place where you have to do your own dishes but get you keep your favourite pet? If you truly love and care for your animals, the decision is a no-brainer.
Our lives are obviously more complicated than those of our furry companions. While you're trying to find a new place to live, they might be trying to find their favorite toy that fell underneath the couch or the perfect spot on your bed to lie down for a nap. When it is time to move, though, knowing they'll be there with you will make moving a lot easier.