Chicagoans love dogs, and Chicago is pretty dog friendly. Stores have water dishes and treats outside their entrances, and loving owners parade their dogs around the neighborhood and bring their dogs to brunch. Dogs provide companionship, give their humans a reason to leave the house, and make it easier to get social with people.
And yet, landlords are wary of having dogs in their buildings. They can be dirty, stinky, slobbery, make your apartment smell like them, and somehow generate enough fur to coat every surface. Their bark can always be heard through walls, and annoy other tenants. They chew on everything and urinate on floors. But your dog is awesome: its barking is under control; you walk it regularly; it won’t destroy the apartment. How can you make a landlord see how awesome your dog is, and that it will be okay dog in his or her building?
Sadie, our office mascott
1. Have the landlord meet the dog. If the dog is sweet and eager to please, that will make the landlord like the dog and visualize it being a good tenant. (Hint: take it to the dog park to wear it out. A tired dog is less likely to be obnoxious.)
2. Show the landlord that you are a responsible pet owner. Provide a reference from the last landlord, stating that the dog, like you, was an awesome tenant. Tell the landlord that you walk your dog twice a day at least (because you do, right?) If you work long hours away from home, however, you shouldn’t have a dog. Get a roommate that has the opposite schedule who can take your dog for a walk and burn off its energy. Dogs have co-evolved with us and need us around to look after their needs.
3. Have the right kind of dog. Landlords are more likely to accept dogs under 20lbs. Bigger dogs usually need room to roam. (Weirdly, greyhounds are great apartment dogs.) Choose your breed wisely- some dogs are just not meant for city living. Aggressive dogs that haven’t been trained, dogs that were bred to herd animals, and dogs that need a lot of room to run around should not be kept in an apartment. Puppies are usually not welcome under any circumstances.
4. Offer a larger security deposit. This good faith gesture assures the landlord that you are betting against the dog destroying the apartment. If it does, the landlord protected financially and can use that money to repair any damage done to their investment. Some landlords ask for pet rent or a flat fee instead because they’ve been burned by other dogs.
If you have any other hints, please write them in the comments.