Pixie and I live in Los Angeles and it's an incredibly crowded place to be. Looking for the perfect apartment to rent for yourself is very hard. Looking for the perfect apartment to rent with a dog is nearly impossible. It took me 6 months to find the perfect place for us so I thought I would share some tips to make it easier (hopefully!) for you and your most important family member.
Choose a website that uses pet filters
I've tried every website that you can think of including craigslist, RadPad, apartments.com, zillow, and padmapper. They all have pet filters but it doesn't seem like craigslist and apartments.com was very accurate. I would choose pets as a filter but when I would go to the listing, it would say no pets. There's only so many times you can say ugh in one sitting. Out of all the websites, I recommend RadPad. It's super easy to use, the dog filter actually worked, tons of photos, and you can message the landlord directly on it. Best of all, if you find a place through RadPad you can pay with your credit card. Serious game changer!
Look only at a pet friendly apartment
The reason why I wanted to leave my previous apartment is because it used to be pet friendly but all of a sudden, they decided to hate on all pets. They made it seem like owning a dog is equivalent to owning an elephant in my tiny studio apartment. Umm not cool. Even though it limits your options greatly, I've learned that it's SO much easier living in a dog friendly apartment complex. The anxiety I felt every time Pixie made any sort of noise was so dreadful. At my new pet friendly apartment, I've met all of my neighbors and 4 out of 6 have a dog so they don't mind at all when Pixie decides to battle it out with the squirrels outside of our window. And of course I love that she has new friends to sniff out quite literally.
Write a wish list
Of course allowing your dog to live with you is a must have. But that's not the only thing you want. For me, it was good lighting. Even though it's sunny here most of the year, my apartment was gloomy. Also essential here in LA is a parking spot. Cher from Clueless knows how difficult finding parking is. For Pixie, it was essential she has tons of grass and a pet store nearby. Treat runs are a necessity. She also said that walking distance to Chipotle isn't a necessity but life changing.
Google search your potential landlord
I thought I had found the perfect place. It was super dog friendly, the onsite manager was super sweet with a dog of her own, and the apartment itself was great. I did some googling just in case and I'm so glad that I did. They couldn't have had more negative reviews to the point where CBS interviewed this poor guy who lived there for over 10 years who had concrete floors because they refused to update his apartment within a timely manner. No matter how awesome the place was, I couldn't risk being in a place like that.
Write a compelling about me for your application
I know that generally speaking, a landlord prefers to choose a tenant without a pet. But Pixie is no ordinary pet. She is my perfect little munchkin that never has accidents and never chews anything (duh.) My new landlord needed to know this so I attached an about me page explaining how perfect Pixie is and that I'm a very responsible dog owner. My landlord called and said that I seemed like a nice gal with a nice dog. I think my about me page worked!
Go visit your potential apartment during the day and at night
When Pixie's gotta go, she's gotta go. As a female with a 6 pound dog that's definitely not in the category of guard dog, it's important for me to feel safe during those emergency poo times. I checked out the apartment and brought Pixie along while it was light out to make sure she had plenty of grass nearby to do her business. I waited till the sunset to make sure that there was enough street light for both of us to feel safe. Pixie marked her new territory with her tail high so I decided both her and I were good to go.
It's so hard to find the perfect place for you and your dog and I'm so happy to call my new apartment my new home. I'm excited to go home every night after work which is very different from my previous apartment. How did you find your rental apartment with your dog? Tips from dog parents are super welcome!