Pets Allowed vs. Pet Friendly

Woman and her dog at home

If you’re a pet owner who owns or rents a home or travels on a regular basis, you have likely heard the terms “pets allowed” and “pet friendly” quite a bit. Though the two terms sound interchangeable, there are distinct differences between the two. It’s important for you to find out what will be expected of you and your pet before you sign on the bottom line to rent a hotel room or lease an apartment, condo, or house. It has been reported that 53 percent of property owners surveyed will permit cats in their rental units with only 47 percent being willing to extend this same courtesy to dogs.

What Does Pets Allowed Mean?

In most cases, a facility that has a policy that states “Pets Allowed” within its units is making very clear that your pet is permitted to dwell with you, but that is the extent of the amenities you can expect during your stay. “Pets Friendly” is a term that indicates that that hotel, apartment, condo, or house not only allows pet ownership, but it also provides some basic amenities for you and your pet to enjoy.

Properties that fall within the Pets Allowed category have certain regulations residents and their pets are expected to abide by. Among the requirements you may encounter at a Pets Allowed property are:

  • Clearly defined rules for acceptable pet behavior
  • Low tolerance for excessive barking or overly exuberant dogs
  • A cap on the maximum number of pets you can own
  • A clause allowing management to inspect your dwelling to verify the number of pets you own
  • Leash requirements
  • Fines for failure to clean up and dispose of pet waste appropriately
  • The right to ask for the pet’s removal for violations of expectations

What is the Best Way to Determine if a Rental Property is Pet Friendly?

When it comes to a place to live, whether short or long term, most pet owners prefer to select a dwelling place that is Pet Friendly as opposed to Pets Allowed.

Why is this?

Pet Friendly residences often offer added bonuses to help renters and their pets to feel at home. Pet Friendly properties tend to make efforts for their pet owning tenants to feel wanted and welcomed.

Some of the perks you may find at a Pet Friendly property include:

  • An on-premises dog park
  • Lots of natural space
  • Doggy daycare
  • Contacts for responsible dog walkers
  • Pet waste stations including bags, pooper scoopers, and garbage cans
  • A pet bathing station
  • Community events with pets in mind
  • Resident pet photos featured on the property’s Social Media accounts
  • Walking areas with interesting trails and paved walkways

It is important to note that though Pet Friendly properties may offer attractions that are very appealing to dog owners, they may still require that you and your pet adhere by a certain set of regulations.

These may include:

  • The number of pets you can own
  • The size of dog allowed in the unit
  • The breeds permissible

I Want to Rent a Pet-Friendly Property—What Do I Need to Have Prepared?

When seeking to rent a property, there are always some questions you need to be prepared to answer. Standard application procedures also include some documentation as evidence of the veracity of your statements. If you are planning to rent a specific Pet-Friendly dwelling place, there are several questions you should be prepared to answer.

Among the questions you might receive are as follows:

  • What kind of pet do you own?
  • How many pets will be residing with you?
  • Do your pets have any known medical or behavioral problems?
  • Does your pet get along with other animals and with people?
  • Has anyone ever issued a complaint against you because of your pet?
  • Is your pet destructive?
  • Is your dog up to date on vaccinations? Can you provide proof?
  • Has your dog been spayed/neutered? Can provide proof?
  • Is your dog a certified therapy dog? Can you provide certified proof?

Why Do Some Rental Properties Prohibit Pets?

Every property owner and manager has the right to set the policies they desire in order for someone to rent or lease their apartment, condo, or home. There is no specific reason why one property manager may decide to prohibit pets or to allow one kind of pet but not another. Many times, the choices behind limited pet ownership or prohibiting it entirely have to do with the building owner’s liability insurance policy or concerns about potential damage from pets to the facility. Though many property owners do require a damage deposit from renters prior to occupying the facility, these monies may fall far short of any pet damage incurred on the building. In some cases, property managers are deterred from permitting pet ownership as they don’t have the time or patience to deal with complaints should they ever arise.

If a Property is Not Listed as Pets Allowed or Pet Friendly, Does This Always Mean a Firm No?

If you’ve found a property that seems perfect for you and your pet but there is no mention of pets in the listing, it never hurts to ask if your pet would be permitted to join you should you rent the facility. Some property owners are open to small, well-behaved pets living with you in your rental unit, and others may be amenable to pets that can be kept contained in aquariums or terrariums like reptiles, fish, and amphibians.

One of the best things you can do to help a reluctant property manager to consider allowing you to rent and share their unit with your pet is allow them to meet your dog or cat. Arranging an introduction to your pet will permit your potential landlord to get a glimpse of your dog’s personality and unique traits. Since many property owners are concerned about excessive noise and unruly or destructive behavior, time spent with your pet on his best behavior can go a long way towards turning a no to a maybe then ultimately a yes.

I Got a Yes! What are Some Things I Can Do to Ensure Neighborly Relations with Other Tenants and my Pet?

Just as you invested the time in bringing your dog or cat to meet your landlord, it will go a long way to keep your neighbors on your side by introducing them to your pet. Though some tenants do not like pets, they will still appreciate your effort to connect with them and display your pet’s polite behavior. Other residents who are pet lovers themselves may take great delight in the opportunity to get to know you and your cherished canine or feline pal. This simple act can help engender lots of positive feelings towards both you and your pet, an important step in maintaining good neighborly relations.

But meeting the neighbors provides more than simply social benefits for you and your dog or cat. It also helps to establish a baseline for your pet’s behavior when out interacting in more public areas of your rental property. Should complaints ever arise and your pet is the recipient of the blame, you will have others who can testify to the behavior they have seen when spending time with you and your pet, an important help should unfortunate conflict arise.

Of course, these measures will only work if you are indeed a responsible pet owner who has taken the time to train your pet and who is committed to owning animals that are socially appropriate and not a public menace. If you plan to own a pet and live in a rental property, you need to be a model citizen, making sure your pet’s waste is always picked up and properly disposed of, that your pet does not disturb the peace of other residents, and that your pet is not destructive.

What is the difference between Pets Allowed and Pet Friendly? The answer is as simple as the two terms sound. Pets Allowed means your pet is permitted to live with you while Pet Friendly signals that not only are pets permitted, there may also be some amenities on the property to make you and your pet feel especially welcomed and wanted.

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