Finding a pup friendly home

Having a dog in the city can be difficult (especially if you are renting an apartment). With many landlords putting weight limits, breed restrictions and installing “no pet” policies. Moving apartment can often seem like an impossible task.


However there are some things that you can do that will make it easier for a landlord to want to rent to you (and your pets)

1) Provide a resume and portfolio with pictures for each of your pets

This may sound ridiculous but sometimes a picture paints a thousand words. We all think our pups are the most gorgeous thing in the entire world but not everyone else agrees (shock horror). However sometimes a couple of pictures of your pup looking adorable (maybe doing a trick or two) can really help.

Your pups “resume” should include any professional training and training classes that you have attended, your pets age, vet details and history of previous apartments

2) Provide letters of recommendation

In my “pet portfolio” I have 12 letters of recommendation for my pets provided by pet professionals. Consider reaching out to your dog trainer, behaviorist, day care professional, dog walker, etc and ask them for a letter of recommendation describing how well mannered your pet is.

Also get letters of recommendation from ex landlords and neighbors proving that even on a professional level, your pets are well behaved and assets to the building. Key phrases like “no barking”, “clean”, “well mannered” are useful for these letters.

Who wouldn't want to rent to these cutie pies?
Who wouldn’t want to rent to these cutie pies?

3) Train your dog

Sign your pup up for training classes where you can get a certificate of completion. Many dog trainers offer 4-6 week classes in basic obedience which can show to a potential landlord that your pup has a basic understanding of training and management. City Sit Stay  is one of a few in NYC and London that offers the CGC and Kennel Club class that is nationally recognized. The Canine Good Citizen (CGC) or Kennel Club certification is becoming increasingly recognized by landlords as an indication of a well behaved dog.

4) Offer an extra security deposit

We have turned many a “non pet” building into a pet lovers paradise simply by offering an extra security deposit. I know it is annoying to have to provide extra money up front. However, you will be getting it back in full if your pet is as well behaved as you think it is.

5) Get a good broker on side

Make sure your broker understand how important your pets are to you and insist they only show you pet friendly homes. There is nothing worse than falling in love with an apartment your broker shows you and then only finding out afterwards that the landlord is allergic to pets and it therefore not pet friendly.

Good luck




  1. July 16, 2015 / 5:42 pm

    These are great tips! Unique too – the headshots and letters of recommendation are truly brilliant. I’ll be sharing this for sure – thank you!

    • City Dog Expert
      July 17, 2015 / 8:47 am

      Thanks so much.
      Sometimes a cute picture is enough to change a landlords mind

    • City Dog Expert
      August 27, 2015 / 5:30 pm

      Thanks so much

  2. November 13, 2015 / 2:36 pm

    What EXCELLENT information! This should help peeps out there, with pets, looking to rent, for sure. purrs


    • CDE Emma
      November 16, 2015 / 2:35 pm

      Thanks! We hope it helps a lot of people!

  3. November 13, 2015 / 3:00 pm

    These are really good suggestions. I have a lot of friends who have struggled with finding pet friendly housing.

    • CDE Emma
      November 16, 2015 / 2:36 pm

      Please pass it on. I hope that it can help!

  4. November 13, 2015 / 4:36 pm

    Mr. N has his CGC. We also deliberately got a small, non-shedding dog as they’re easier to find housing with. I saw one place where the pet limit was seven pounds!

    • CDE Emma
      November 16, 2015 / 3:46 pm

      CGC is such a good thing to have. I’ve just started to look into it for our adopted old gal.
      Thanks for reading!

  5. November 13, 2015 / 7:30 pm

    Thanks for sharing these tips. Some would apply to finding kitty-friendly housing. too.

    • CDE Emma
      November 16, 2015 / 2:38 pm

      Thanks for reading! Some of them are certainly transferable to kitty-friendly housing.

  6. November 14, 2015 / 4:56 am

    These are great tips. I’m sure many pet owners are struggling with this.

    • CDE Emma
      November 16, 2015 / 3:47 pm

      Thanks for reading!

  7. November 14, 2015 / 8:18 am

    Great tips – I especially like the one about having letters of recommendation. If a landlord saw that your neighbors and especially your last landlord, or better two, give your pets a thumbs up, it just might seal the deal.

    • CDE Emma
      November 16, 2015 / 3:48 pm

      Oh yes! For sure. It all helps! 🙂
      Thanks for reading.

    • CDE Emma
      November 16, 2015 / 3:48 pm

      Thanks for reading!

  8. November 14, 2015 / 6:13 pm

    What great ideas. I am thinking of renting short term down south with Kilo the Pug and had a few “no pets” responses already. I also saw on FB another family having terrible trouble finding a place in California that accepts pets this morning. I am sure your tips could help. Sadly Kilo would not pass his CGC yet so a bit tricky.

    • CDE Emma
      November 16, 2015 / 3:50 pm

      I hope you and Kilo manage to find somewhere and I hope some of the other tips can help you.
      Thanks for reading!

  9. November 15, 2015 / 9:48 am

    These are great tips! I have never thought of or heard about a pet resume – what a creative and wonderful idea! The letters of recommendation from previous landlords should go a long way to helping convince a new landlord to allow pets in the building, too.

    • CDE Emma
      November 16, 2015 / 3:51 pm

      Thanks! We think that a “pet resume” is something which all renting pet owners should have. If it manages to tip the balance, then its worth doing.

  10. November 15, 2015 / 12:16 pm

    Thanks for the great info. Difficult in our area to find a rental that allows large or multiple pets.

    • CDE Emma
      November 16, 2015 / 3:52 pm

      Thanks for reading!

  11. November 15, 2015 / 12:41 pm

    I never thought of a dog resume, what a great idea. Letters of recommendation for you awesome pet’s behavior. Thanks for sharing these tips. I am definitely sharing this, as not many people would think of a doggie resume.

    • CDE Emma
      November 16, 2015 / 3:53 pm

      Thank you for sharing!

    • CDE Emma
      November 16, 2015 / 4:08 pm

      Thanks for reading!

  12. November 15, 2015 / 6:44 pm

    Great tips, specially the photos and letters of recommendation!

    • CDE Emma
      November 16, 2015 / 4:08 pm

      Thank you for reading!

  13. November 15, 2015 / 8:08 pm

    Great pist! As a landlord myself two of the most important things for me are reference letters from former landlords and proof of basic obedience class (certificate or verification of completing the class successfully). If a dog or cat isn’t spayed/neutered I won’t rent to the person because that will likely cause trouble with neighbors and hints at irresponsible pet ownership.
    Love & biscuits,
    Dogs Luv Us and We Luv Them

    • CDE Emma
      November 16, 2015 / 4:09 pm

      Glad to hear from a landlord! Thanks for sharing with us!

  14. November 15, 2015 / 9:24 pm

    Thanks for sharing these tips. Many years ago, I had to rent my house while I left to pursue a Ph.D. At the time, I didn’t allow pets because I couldn’t afford for someone to “destroy” my house that I would be moving back into. Turns out, the humans did more damage than a pet would do!

    • CDE Emma
      November 16, 2015 / 4:11 pm

      Thanks for reading!
      Sorry to hear about what happened to your house.

  15. November 15, 2015 / 9:51 pm

    Wow! I’m thankful I’m a home owner! I had no idea what it must be like for people renting in the city. Thanks for sharing such important tips?

    • CDE Emma
      November 16, 2015 / 4:11 pm

      Thank you for reading!

  16. November 16, 2015 / 1:53 am

    I never really thought about this as a cat owner. I can see how much it would help to be able to prove to a landlord that your dog will not be a nuisance or destroy their property. These are great ideas!

    • CDE Emma
      November 16, 2015 / 4:12 pm

      Thank you for reading!

  17. November 16, 2015 / 11:21 am

    I know this is a big issue and I am glad you laid out the step by step for pet parents.

    • CDE Emma
      November 16, 2015 / 4:13 pm

      Thank you so much for reading!

  18. November 16, 2015 / 7:02 pm

    Great post, my humans have never had any issues but I do know of many how struggle finding pet friendly homes.

  19. November 17, 2015 / 3:46 pm

    A doggie resume?!? What a brilliant idea that is! Finding pet-friendly housing has become so difficult anymore. Makes me sigh with relief that we own our own home! I will definitely share this with people who are hitting roadblocks to housing because of their pet. Thanks!

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