ATTENTION PET LOVERS! What you need to know when renting an apartment with a pet

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Searching for the ideal home may prove to be extra difficult if in addition to satisfying your needs you must also meet those of your pet.
When moving with a pet, the rental search is no longer just about finding the place that is closest to your work or university or making sure you are in a safe area. First and foremost you have to confirm the property is pet-friendly.
Some property owners are hesitant when it comes to renting their home to tenants with a pet for the fear of disturbing the neighbors which in turn may cause noise complaints and fines to the pet destroying the inside of the property especially if it is furnished.
Fortunately, many property owners see tenants with pets as preferential and stable as often these pet owners are also living with their families and can afford the cost of owning a pet.
Follow these tips for renting when you have a pet:

Make sure they have a pet-friendly policy

While there are some landlords who forget to ask this information in their ads, it is best to be upfront with your future landlord that you are moving with a pet to avoid problems in the future that could result in financial losses.
Take the time to ask whether the landlord has any restrictions on size of pet allowed or if they have a list of species not allowed even before seeing the property in person – this will help to avoid falling in love with a property that cannot fully meet your expectations if they don’t accept pets from the start.
Should you love the property but the owner does not love pets, consider negotiating a separate security deposit just for your pet to cover any potential damages.

Not only the apartment, the area also must be pet-friendly

Not only should your home be pet-friendly, the neighborhood you live in should be pet-friendly as well. Do some research on the neighborhood you choose and the surrounding businesses and parks to see if you’ll be able to bring your little friend around with you should your pet need to go outside. Parks and green areas are the first thing you should look for. Where there are parks, there are pets.
There are plenty of places in Panama that are pet friendly including, parks, restaurants, coffee shops, and stores. As well, make sure you have a vet option nearby, for monthly visits or any emergencies.

Cinta costera III, Panama City. Source: Industrias Duero


Keep your pets-eye view

A goldfish would never have the same needs of food, space, and attention than a turtle, a cat, or a dog. Look for a place from your pet’s point of view. A place where they have enough space for playing, eating, sleeping and a place where they can do their business.
Another must-do, especially if you’re planning to rent this property for a long time, is to ask the property manager or owner whether any remodeling can be done such as a pet door, pet shower, eating cabinet, pocket gates, and climbing stations – so they stay away from furniture – among others things in the apartment.
Remember to be patient once you move out with your pet’s behavior. Just like their owner, your pet is also adjusting to its new surroundings. Introduce it to each area of the apartment, and allow it to explore from there.

Watch this video for some tips for moving your dog to your new home, or check this one for moving your cat to your new home.


Tips for first-time pet owners who are renting

When renting a property and you have pets, keep in mind some basic rules of living well together:

  • Never take a walk without a leash, even if your pet is well behaved. It’s better to be prepared so you can avoid uncomfortable situations with other pets and their owners or with people who may have a phobia. Also, living in the city means cars everywhere; keep the pet on a lease to avoid accidents.
  • When entering shops or small spaces such as elevators, walk in first rather than your dog, to have a quick view of the situation and not surprise other people with your pet.
  • In elevators remember to place yourself against a wall to prevent people from stepping over your little friend.
  • Clean up your pet’s mess, not only when they do their business in public areas – but also when they lift their little paws to touch surfaces and other people.


Look for a home that is already pet friendly if possible. That will make the negotiation with the landlord and move in process a lot easier on both you and your pet.
Hope you find this article helpful if you’re planning to rent with a pet-family-member.
To know how to personalize your apartment without long-term commitments we recommend you read about our decorating tips when renting a home here.
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