Pet-friendly renting: How to find your dog’s favourite home

Brits love pets.

Four in 10 of all UK households owned a pet in 2019, according to the Pet Food Manufacturers Association. Of these, 9 million are dogs, ruffly the population of Switzerland.

Despite ‘pets’ being the fourth most searched-for keyword on Zoopla, the number of dog-friendly listings remains low.

Good news for dog-owning renters

Due to government intervention, renting with dogs might get a bit easier in the future.

The new model tenancy contracts include revisions that encourage landlords to be more open towards tenants who own well-behaved puppies and discourages total bans on pets unless there are valid reasons to do so, such as lack of space.

The hope is that more landlords will consider the idea of accepting dogs, despite the law not explicitly forcing them to do so.

Finding the pawfect place

If you’re a renter with a dog, you can start your search on Zoopla. Filter your results and select ‘pets allowed’. You can also search for other keywords that might be relevant, such as ‘park’ or ‘quiet’.

Dog-friendly properties are likely to be snapped up quickly, so you might need to start your search earlier to ensure you find a place that’s right for you in terms of size, outdoor space and safety.

One way to get landlords on your side is to create a CV for your dog containing information about the age, breed, recent vaccinations, flea treatments and a photo of your dog.

References from your vet or previous tenant that show your dog is well-behaved are going to help you as well.

If you have managed to convince the landlord, make sure to get it in writing. Your tenancy agreement should include a new clause confirming you have the right to live with your pet.

Where your dog might choose to live

What if your dog could choose where they wanted to live?

We’ve picked 10 areas we think your dog would love to call home. Select an area in the map below to see:

  • the estimated dog population;
  • the average rental price for a home;
  • the average selling price for a home.

Teaching your dog to enjoy time alone

Owning a dog means putting in a bit of extra effort to make them comfortable. You need to spend quality time with them, exercise and play with them regularly and train them to be left home alone.

This will ensure that you, your dog and your landlord are all happy.

Learning to spend time alone is extremely important for your dog. According to pet charity RSPCA, eight out of 10 dogs may find it hard to cope when left alone because of the stress of being separated from us. The RSPCA has introduced its #DogKind campaign to help owners better understand their dogs’ behaviour.

Signs that dogs cannot cope include barking, howling or destructive behaviour.

Training your dog will prevent them from becoming anxious when left by themselves.

The RSPCA recommends a few simple steps to follow to prevent separation-related behaviour:

Step 1
Begin by encouraging your dog to go to their bed and stay there for a short while with you present. Reward your dog for remaining quietly in their bed.

Step 2
Ask your dog to stay, while you move away in the room. Return and reward.

Step 3
Continue this routine, moving progressively further away and for longer periods of time. The distance and length of time will depend on your dog. If your dog reacts or moves, don’t reward them and never punish them – instead go back to the previous stage.

Step 4
Progress the training by leaving the room before you go back and reward them. Next, go out and shut the door behind you before staying outside for longer periods of time. Once at this point, start to vary the length of time that you are out.

Step 5
Once you reach the stage where your dog is happy to be left for up to an hour there should be no problems leaving them for longer periods.

If you believe your dog is already showing signs of separation anxiety, there are a few things you can do. Go to the RSPCA website for advice.

Whether you’re renting or buying a home, there are many benefits to owning a dog.

They provide opportunities to go outside, exercise and socialise with other dog owners. They can also make us feel less lonely and depressed.

Dogs also help us protect our homes and when trained properly, can help us entertain and take care of our children.

Dogs can also mean good news for landlords, as renters with dogs are more likely to stay put for a longer period of time.