While searching for the perfect apartment can be challenging, adding a pet into the mix can make things even more difficult. Yet, if you plan ahead and are flexible, you’re bound to find a great fit for both you and your furry friend. Here are a few essential rental tips to keep in mind if you have a pet or plan on adopting one.

Find a Pet-Friendly Community
Rent.com offers a pet policy filter you can use to show only units for rent where pets are ok. When you search for units in a particular area, just click on More Filters at the top, and the Pet Policy drop down is at the top of the available options, making it easy to view apartments that’ll accommodate your pet!

You can also contact your local Humane Society, veterinarian, or animal rescue to guide you on where the best pet-friendly rental communities are and what types of pets they accept. Some larger rental communities may offer a dog park and other pet-friendly amenities to make your pet’s stay more enjoyable.

Consider Short-Term Options
If you’ve recently adopted a pet and your current rental community doesn’t allow one, you can place your pet in a kennel while you search for a place that does. You can also try staying at a pet-friendly Airbnb or letting your pet crash at a friend’s house temporarily.

Don’t Keep It Secret
If you decide to get a pet at your current place, discuss it with the rental management first to find out what kind of pets are allowed, if any. Otherwise you may risk getting your pet and yourself evicted.

Provide a Pet Resume
Give potential landlords all the information they need about your pet – including breed, weight, age, and if it’s been spayed or neutered and housetrained. Include a letter from your vet with your pet’s vaccination history along with any training class certificates. Also, don’t forget to provide references from previous landlords about your pets.

Read the Pet Clause
Before you sign your lease, make sure you understand the terms and conditions of having a pet, including the pet deposit and what happens if pet damages occur, so you’re not taken by surprise if you have to pay any additional fees.

Keep Your Pet Happy
If you have a dog, take it out to play daily, especially if it’s been inside all day. It will give your pet a chance to release pent-up energy in a positive way — or else you’ll risk seeing that energy come out in destructive ways. To keep your pet occupied while you’re away at work, consider toys, doggy daycare, or a dog walker.

Pet-Proof the Apartment
Invest in a pet gate to keep your pet out of any rooms you don’t want their paws in. If your pet isn’t house broken yet, take rugs off the floor if you can. Also, give your pet a space of their own – like a pet bed, crate or a soft rug. Place pet food and water in a spot that’s easy to clean. Plus, don’t leave food on tabletops — keep dry goods inside a pantry or cabinet.

Be a Good Pet Neighbor
Picking up after your pet, keeping it on a leash when you’re out, getting it spayed or neutered, and keeping noises down are great ways you and your furry friend can be a neighbor everyone will enjoy.