Good Dog, Good Owner: Proper Etiquette for Dog Owners who Rent

Good Dog, Good Owner: Proper Etiquette for Dog Owners who Rent

If you’re a dog owner, renting an apartment or house can be a risky proposition. Dogs, even well-trained breeds, are capable of doing a lot of damage to any property. That can be a real problem if the place doesn’t belong to you. Young dogs in particular are apt to misbehave from time to time. Being a responsible renter and a good neighbor means being watchful and cleaning up when your dog has a naughty moment. Bear in mind that maintaining good dog etiquette can be a full-time job, so make sure you have the time and energy to keep your dog from urinating on the carpet every day or barking all night and keeping your neighbors awake. If your landlord requires you to sign a pet agreement that requires you to keep your furry friend under control, take it seriously.

Some lease agreements may stipulate that your pet must be trained, is friendly and doesn’t pose a threat to anyone who comes on the property. Threatening behavior is just one of many behaviors that can get you and your dog in hot water. Aggressiveness, excessive barking, chewing, whining, nipping, and “overly amorous” behavior can all be addressed through training. Pet stores, community centers and pet daycare establishments offer training classes, most of which range from $50 to $125 on average for a one- or two-month period. If paying for training isn’t in your budget, you can work with your dog on your own. Learn more about at-home training here.
Crate, or cage, training is a frequently used approach to preventing a dog from relieving himself or destroying anything once he’s let out. If you can afford the expense, consider dropping your dog at a doggie daycare facility during the week (even two or three days a week can be helpful). Daycare can also be a good way to keep your pooch from chewing on baseboards or furniture and using the carpet as his personal toilet. In some cases, a repellent spray can discourage your pet from getting into things he shouldn’t.

Dog walker
If you don’t have time to walk your dog on a regular basis, it can be well worth the expense to hire a dog walking service. Dogs need a way to work off pent-up energy, just like people do. Regular exercise can improve mood and keep your pet from doing damage out of frustration, especially if you find the right person. Take some time to interview people and see how your dog reacts to each one. Look for someone who has an instinctive understanding and natural relationship with dogs. Be sure to let the walker know if want your dog kept on a leash and find out if the service is bonded.

Be a good neighbor
If you have a dog, you need to be considerate to others. Don’t allow your dog to relieve itself on someone else’s property, and keep dog toys, leashes and other items picked up outside. You don’t want to give the impression that you’re a careless tenant or that your pet has gotten out of control. If you like to keep your dog outside from time to time, be absolutely certain that he’s well secured. Keep yours indoors if he exhibits aggressive behavior around strangers or if he isn’t able to socialize with other dogs.

The aftermath
Most landlords ask for a security deposit up front, an amount you’ll get back as long as there’s no substantial damage to the property, and a non-refundable pet deposit to cover any unforeseen “wear & tear.”  Remember that you probably won’t see that money again if you don’t clean or repair any damage your dog may have done. When it’s time to go, have the carpet professionally cleaned, or repaint a wall your dog may have scratched or gotten especially dirty.

Be mindful
Try to put yourself in your landlord’s or neighbor’s shoes. And be mindful of the impact your pet can have on those who live nearby. You wouldn’t want to live alongside someone whose dog was threatening, or one that made a lot of noise day and night. And make sure you take care of any damage your pet does as it happens rather than waiting until your lease is up.
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Article provided by Medina at

Aaron Bruenger

About Aaron Bruenger

Aaron has been active in the Greater Springfield real estate community since 1999. His first ten years were spent helping home buyers through the purchase process as a Mortgage Banker and now enjoys his role as active investor and real estate agent. He specializes in helping real estate investors, from the aspiring to the savvy, reach their financial goals by helping them acquire real estate investments with upside potential and cash flow opportunities. Whether it’s purchasing a couple rental properties or obtaining large turn-key portfolios, his experience brings solutions. Additionally, Aaron’s formal education includes a Bachelor’s degree in International Business Management with a concentration in Economics from Missouri State University.
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