Petiquette: The Rules For Living In An Apartment With A Dog

In years gone by, pets had their own little wooden houses outside in the yard. These days, though, pets are part of the familyThe pup sleeps on the couch more than the humans do, and there’s more dog hair lying around than people’s hair. 

Thankfully, many apartment complexes are getting onboard with the pet-friendly concept and are allowing dogs to share living space with their owners. 

If you and your dog are in this position, it’s a good idea to do a quick petiquettecheck

Not every neighbor is going to love having a dog next door, so it may require some effort on your part to make sure the landlords, the neighbors, and your pup are happy. 

Double Check the Lease 

Before you even move into an apartment, check and double check the lease agreement

Animal policies should be clearly outlined in the paperwork. If their policies are unclear, you should query it beforehand – don’t make assumptions! 

The details of the lease will depend on the landlord. They’ll set their limitations and expectations for any pets, and may include information on what kinds of pets are allowed and which aren’t, how many pets you can keep, and specific requirements of pet owners. 

Some will also charge a separate fee for pets. Others will be happy to let your fluff stay for free. Reading through the pet policy on the lease beforehand can save you a lot of grief – you may find the apartment is not suitable for you and your dog. 

Pets Allowed or Pet-Friendly? 

There’s a difference between apartment complexes that allow pets to live with their owners and those that are pet-friendly. 

Pets Allowed simply means your dog (or cat, or goldfish, etc.) can live in the same space as you. You’re expected to take care of them and make sure they don’t leave a mess anywhere. 

Pet-Friendly means that the complex provides some amenities and facilities for pets! There may be an outdoor pet area, a walking area, doggy water fountains, or a toy area. 

Make Sure Your Dog Isn’t A Risk 

Others may not know that your dog is safe, but you need to make sure. Remember, your dog will come into contact with others at some point, and you want them to pose no risk. 

Train Them Well 

A well-trained dog is first prize. If your pooch is overly aggressive, the landlord is within their rights to refuse them entry. At the same time, a pup who is excessively friendly may make neighbors uncomfortable. 

Depending on what you’re comfy with, you can send your dog for professional training or train them yourself. YouTube is your friend! Focus on simple commands and potty training in a dog crate first. 

Get Them Vaccinated 

The last thing you want is your dog passing around a disease! Make sure they’re vaccinated, dewormed, and otherwise healthy before introducing them to their new apartment complex. 

As an extra precaution, you may want to make sure none of your neighbors suffer from a severe allergy to dog fur

rules for living with dogs

Keep The Barking Down 

Incessant barking is a recipe for unhappy neighbors! Of course, your dog can’t be expected to stay quiet all the time. The occasional bark or barking spell will happen, but it’s important to take measures to prevent dog-related noise as much as possible. 

Calming Measures For Dogs 

Dogs bark because a) there’s a threat, b) they’re bored, or c) they’re suffering from separation anxiety. 

Barking is obviously justified in the case of a threat. But to prevent the other two from becoming a problem, it’s a good idea to make a plan to keep your pup distracted. 

  • Get your dog a puzzle toy treat. 
  • Provide noise in the background, like the radio. 
  • Leave your dog something that smells like you (if separation anxiety is the issue). 
  • Leave them with a chew toy to keep them busy. 

Soundproofing As An Option 

If you’re struggling to control your dog’s barking, soundproofing could be the last resort option. The first (and easiest) way to try this is to cover windows and doors with heavy curtains. 

If that doesn’t work, you may need to soundproof with insulation foam. Make sure to check with your landlord before making any permanent changes! 

That said, soundproofing should be a temporary solution. You still need to work on getting your pup calm and comfortable. 

Prevent Destructive Behavior 

If your dog is prone to chewing as a way of relieving their boredom or stress, it’s crucial that you take steps to prevent them from destroying property that isn’t yours. 

Chewers will need a stash of chew toys or heavy-duty bones as a substitute for furniture. If boredom is the problem, try a puzzle toy that gives your pup mental stimulation and a treat at the end of it. 

If those don’t work, you may need to leave your dog in a crate when you leave the house, until they’re trained. 

Exercise Your Dog Regularly 

A bored dog is a dangerous dog! Having too much energy and not enough space to blow it off could result in chewing, scratching, or general destruction. 

Just taking your pup for a short walk can make all the difference. Even a good wrestle or stick-throwing session could help. 

If you can, exercise your pup in the morning before you leave. This will leave them the rest of the day to chill and hopefully they won’t have enough energy to be destructive! 


The good news is that it’s totally possible for you and your dog to coexist happily with neighbors and landlords. All it requires is a bit of planning, a bit of work, and lots of chew toys! Remember, although this may seem like a lot of work, it’s about respect – for your landlord, your neighbors, and your beloved pup.

Write Your Comment

You may use these HTML tags and attributes:
<a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <strike> <strong>

Subscribe to Newsletter
And get the latest insights, tips, and tricks delivered to your inbox.
Great, we have added you to our mailing list
Join Our Newsletter

What is Rentberry?

Rental Service

Rentberry unites landlords and tenants to make their rental experience fair, secure and transparent.

Price Negotiation Platform

Affordable rent is not a myth. Negotiate the final price with your potential landlord and find a common ground together.

Time-Saving Tools

Having your whole rental experience in one place is real. Sign electronic agreements and rent a perfect place in a few clicks.