Adopting a pet can really bring joy to your life. But if you’re renting, having a pet can make finding your new home a bit more challenging. A lot of single-family rental properties in McKinleyville may seem to be a place where a furry family member would gladly call home. However, landlords and/or property owners may not be delighted by the plan to have animals on their property.

Tales of irresponsible tenants are plentiful, and it gives otherwise responsible pet-owning tenants a bad name. This is an instance where the behavior of the few affects the reputation of the whole. This resistance to having pets in rental homes means that you may have to take some things into consideration before deciding to adopt. By going through these seven questions, you will better see how adopting a pet will impact every facet of your life.

1.      Does your landlord and/or lease allow pets? If so, what are the restrictions?

As a tenant, the first and foremost question you have to ask before deciding to adopt a pet is whether or not pets are allowed at your home. There are a lot of landlords who are open to allowing pets but there are also those who have strictly banned all animals from the premises. Re-read your lease; most leases will clearly state which direction your particular landlord leans. If your lease allows pets, be sure to read it carefully. There may be restrictions on animal type, size, breed, etc. You may need to find out if there are local regulations for rules about keeping animals in your particular neighborhood. If you still have doubts, ask to have them clarified. Because if you get caught with an unauthorized pet, you may end up having to deal with some serious penalties.

2.      Do you or anyone living in your rental home have allergies?

There are millions of pet owners who discover after adopting that they are allergic to their own pets. As stated by AAAAI (American Academy of Allergy Asthma, and Immunology), pet dander, saliva, and urine can all trigger allergic reactions and even aggravate asthma symptoms. If you or someone else in your rental home has allergies or other respiratory issues, adopting a pet may seriously impact your’s and someone else’s health. If this happens, you would need specialized treatment for your symptoms, and this can make the financial burden of pet ownership greater.

3.      Do you have a yard or enough space for a pet?

Pets need space to play, explore, and live their lives. This goes regardless of size. Your pet may be very small or very large. So, before adopting a pet, make sure the rental home has enough room— or can be adjusted to provide room— so your pet can run around and get to live a healthy life. For instance, dogs need access to a safe, secure yard (or another specified area) to do their business. Generally speaking, the bigger the pet, the more space you’ll need.

4.      Are you home enough to care for your pet?

When it comes to adopting a pet, we usually like looking at the benefits it brings us, but we rarely consider the responsibility it demands. If doing your job or other commitments means staying out of the house for long hours or having to travel a lot, adopting a pet may not be a good idea. Pets require constant care and attention, so if they spend a harmful amount of time alone, they might develop unhealthy and destructive habits. A bored or anxious animal can destroy furniture, bedding, and other household items, and dogs may become a nuisance by barking excessively. The only way to reverse this is to spend time interacting with your pet, encouraging them to connect with you mentally and physically.

5.      Do you have a backup plan for when life gets busy?

Traveling after adopting a pet can take a lot out of you. If you plan a trip away from home for a few days, you cannot just leave your pet alone. You’ll need to prepare a backup plan for animal care. There are places that allow you to bring animals with you, but they are very few. Also, traveling with your pet can make them feel really anxious and scared. This means that in the event of an emergency, you better have already prepared backup care for your pet. This can be as simple as having a friend or family member take care of them or making use of a pet care service.

6.       Are you financially ready for a pet?

The cost of owning a pet doesn’t end with the adoption fees. Some animals need routine grooming and virtually all of them need regular medical attention. You’ll need to prepare yourself in case your animal gets sick or is injured. You’ll need to save the funds to pay for emergency medical care which can easily run into thousands of dollars for just one incident. Then there is a financial aspect to owning a pet that is directly linked to your status as a tenant. Many landlords charge additional fees and/or higher rent for tenants who want to keep a pet on the property. Yet these extra costs do not yet include the potential property damage your pet might cause, which, in all likelihood, you would have to pay out of pocket. This is why you have to be financially ready to adopt a pet. You’ll be putting yourself in trouble if you don’t think this through, financially speaking.

7.      Are you prepared to care for your pet for the next 10+ years?

A lot of pets live long and healthy lives. This means that pet owners who rent should see to it that they are in a position to handle a pet for the next 5 to 10 years or even longer. Take a few moments to think about the future you want to have, then think about how a pet factors into that. Doing this would make you more informed so you can make the best decision for yourself. Who knows, maybe a pet is what you need.

In Conclusion

If you went through each of the seven questions and are ready to adopt a pet, there’s still one more thing you should do. Communicate with your landlord or McKinleyville property manager so they would be aware of your plans. This way, they can make the needed changes to the terms of your lease.

Are you interested in renting a home from Real Property Management? We have a lot of rental properties that allow pets. Browse our rental listings and get in touch with us at 707-444-3835.