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College 101: Pets in the Pad

I’m ready to graduate in just about every way. I have a job lined up, a potential roommate, and big plans for my own space. I just don’t have the space itself--and I’m worried that I won’t be able to find the right one. That’s because of one more plan I have for the moment I graduate: I’m getting a dog. I’ve always wanted one, and once I’m really on my own, I’ll finally be able to get one. But I’m concerned about being able to rent a space that allows dogs. Any tips on shopping around for dog-friendly apartments?

You are wise to think ahead when it comes to finding housing for you and a dog. About two thirds of apartment-hunting pet owners reported having trouble finding a spot that would take in both them and their furry friend. That’s because, as you have already heard, many landlords have policies against allowing renters to keep animals on the property.

It’s not too hard to see why. While we all know some great pets, animals in general can be tough on a property. Dogs and cats can ruin hardwood floors and soil carpets, and other tenants might not be as keen on your large, loud, or over-friendly pet as you are.

But the tide may be turning. More than 70% of renters now have pets, on survey found. And landlords may be slowly picking up on the ways in which renting to pet owners can be good: they tend to have higher and steadier incomes than non-pet owners, for instance. Though it’s hard to say for sure, it seems that more and more landlords may be allowing pets. But how can you find them?

You’re off to a good start already, the Humane Society says, because you’ve started your search early. That’s key, as is using online search tools, realtors, and other resources to help you narrow down your list. But don’t write off the no-pets places entirely: the Humane Society says such landlords can often be convinced with a “pet resume” and other proofs of your pet’s good behavior. Be prepared, though, to pay a bit extra. Whether an apartment allows pets all the time or only in special cases, you will likely have to shell out a bit more for your deposit, and you may have to pay a bit more in rent each month.

Remember, though, that just because you can have a pet in a given place doesn’t mean you necessarily should. The experts at Petaluma Veterinary Hospital told us that different dogs have very different requirements in terms of living space. Large dogs are tough to care for in big cities, as are high-energy ones. And if you’re at work all day and relying on a dog walker’s occasional visits, your dog may not be getting the care it needs. On top of that, cities are full of unique dangers: city pups are 44% more likely to visit the vet over gastrointestinal issues, for instance.

Though you may not want to, it may make sense to wait a bit to get your dog. SW Ohio Real Estate’s home experts told us that, for many homeowners, pets go hand-in-hand with a move from the city to the suburbs. There’s a reason for that idyllic suburban stereotype: that green yard (the white picket fence is optional) is perfect for your canine companion, and more interior space means that your dog has a bit more room to roam even if you’re at work.

“Happiness is a warm puppy.” ? Charles M. Schulz

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