When it comes to pet ownership in condos, people usually come down on one of two sides: love ‘em or hate ‘em. You may think your cuddly buddy is the cat’s meow (even if he’s a dog), but your neighbors may not share your enthusiasm.
We’re going to focus this article on dog ownership since that seems the most prevalent and most apt to cause angst. However, it is worth checking before you move into a condo community if there are rules regarding all pets, including cats, exotic animals, and even fish. Community associations should have a blanket ban on pets or allow them all. But since dogs bark, they can bite and need more exercise they cause the most problems. This can cause just dogs to be banned from communities. Man’s best friend can be a wonderful companion and a source of great joy — but a pain in the neck for non-dog lovers. Usually, that’s not an issue when a dog lives in a single-family home and spends a lot of time inside or in his own backyard. However, it can cause big problems for dog owners who live in an apartment and in close quarters with those who aren’t as keen on canines.
1 Carefully read the HOA Pet Rules and regulations regarding pet ownership. There are plenty of condos that totally outlaw pets of any kind, but even those that are OK with them will have rules and HOA pet restrictions for pet owners to follow. They might have rules on the number of pets you are allowed, or the weight and height of the dog, occasionally even the breed. However, this isn’t very wise, because a small dog can be just as aggressive and loud as a large one. Make sure to check that you can have a dog before buying one because you don’t want to be in the position where you have to choose between moving house or your pet.
2 Scout areas for your dog to relieve himself that are close to home. In case of emergency, you want to know where the nearest patch of grass or bunch of bushes is. Be aware that some condos outlaw dogs “doing their business” within the community grounds, so you may need to broaden your search. You should also find the nearest place your dog can exercise. A happy, tired dog is one that won’t have a lot of pent-up energy that chews everything or barks. Consider asking someone to walk your pup if you’re out a lot, either a friendly neighbor or someone from a dog-walking website or agency.
3 Be a considerate dog owner and always clean up after your pet. No one wants to see dog poop, let alone accidentally step in it, and it is a disease carrier. It could have E.coli or Salmonella organisms or even ringworm. It’s classed as an environmental pollutant, it’s not fertilizer, in fact, it’s harmful to the earth. If it’s left on the street and rain washes it into the gutter it adds nitrogen to the water, which removes oxygen from it. So never go out without a poop bag at the ready, they’re not expensive, and you can be fined if you leave dog poop on the street.
4 Staying in the area of being considerate, you may find your dog wakes you up early when he feels the call of nature, but that doesn’t mean your neighbors need to be awakened as well. When walking a dog in any residential area either early in the morning or late at night, be aware that other people don’t want to hear you talk to your dog, and you should do your best to limit or eliminate barking. Try to go to a park or a less residential area so as not to annoy anyone. If this isn’t possible, just try to reduce any noise you might make.
5 Befriend your closest neighbors and introduce them to your dog. Let them know you are a considerate dog owner who will follow the HOA Pet Rules and do everything possible to ensure they don’t even know the dog is there. This can be a challenge if you have a dog that barks a lot and live in particularly close quarters, but if you keep it to a minimum you may keep the neighbors appeased. Persuading everyone of how lovely your pup is should help them accept and maybe even grow to like him as much as you do. The happier, more exercised and more adequate your dog is for your apartment, hopefully, the calmer your pup will be!
Dog owners who are thoughtful and understand that everyone isn’t going to love their dog as you do can certainly peacefully coexist with neighbors — even those who share a wall. If they adhere to the community rules and carefully monitor their dog’s behavior to ensure he’s not negatively affecting others. Dogs can live happily in apartment blocks, so long as they have enough exercise. So long as you are considerate of your neighbors by reducing noise, walking your dog, cleaning up after him, and making sure he never makes a mess inside (or on the side of) a building the happier your neighbors will be! The key to a happy life with your dog and neighbors is by being a responsible owner who trains his pup well.
Originally posted on 06/31/2016, updated on 09/04/2019
Vinteum exists to create open communication between residents, boards of directors and property managers. We do this through our kickass features, like our notices that send emails to all residents, our social network. We have a documents feature so that everyone knows what’s going on, an events calendar to organize HOA-wide get-togethers and meetings. We also build websites so that the whole world can know what’s going on in your HOA. All this improves the experience of managing associations and of living in a community.