Getting a pet is a difficult decision, especially when you’re a renter. And if you plan on renting an apartment in Toronto or in any other large city, things get even more complicated. The good news is the only wrong move you can make is to take the leap without doing the research. So, if you’re here, you’re already on the right path! Now let’s have a look at the pros and cons of renting with pets:
Pets can boost your mental health
We all go through stressful periods in our lives. Whether it’s a personal issue or an extra busy period at work, pets reduce stress levels and can help manage your anxiety.
Another psychological benefit people often don’t consider is the effect caretaking has on the mind. Being responsible for and nurturing another being can give you a sense of purpose and relieve feelings of sadness and isolation.
They encourage you to be more active
If you just can’t seem to find the time or motivation to exercise, a dog will help you get moving. Studies show dog owners get at least 22 more minutes of exercise per day than non-owners. And while this benefit is particularly noticeable when you have a dog, all pets can help you get on the right track. Just regularly feeding, cleaning and giving affection to your pet can give you an energy boost and set the stage for building other healthy habits.
Pets help children develop healthy
Whether you’re already a parent or are planning to become one, pets will help kids develop and learn how to interact with the world. The attachment and responsibility children feel toward their pets help them relate to others and express their emotions in a healthy way. This can be especially helpful for children with neurodevelopmental disorders. Kids with ADHD, for example, can benefit from the routine of caring for a pet, while neurodiverse children can improve their social skills.
Moreover, studies on allergies show that adults who’ve had a cat or dog in the house before they turned one are approximately half as likely to be allergic to them when they grow up.
Renting is pricier for pet owners
You probably already know getting a pet means you’ll definitely spend some funds on food, health, and toys. But pet ownership can also come with hidden costs when you’re renting, like the pet deposit. The fee is legal in all provinces and can set you back anywhere from a few tens of dollars to half or even a full month’s rent.
Finding a pet-friendly apartment can be difficult
In all provinces, landlords can refuse your application if you have a pet. The regulations again depend on the area you live in, but in most cities, the leasing contract should mention the listing isn’t pet-friendly if that’s the case.
At the same time, the apartment you rent should ideally have pet friendly features, especially for dogs, such as a bark park, pet sitters, or pet washing stations. Moreover, your home should be close to a park and have enough space for your fluffy friend to move around.
Dog ownership comes with another aspect to consider: breed restrictions. Pit bulls are banned by law in certain provinces. Besides that, apartment communities where you could rent a pet-friendly home can establish their own rules when it comes to which breeds they accept. This tends to apply to breeds that are considered aggressive, such as German Shepherd, Cane Corso, Rottweiler or Staffordshire Terrier.
Pets are a lifetime commitment
If you need or want to move, you’ll have to consider your pet. Your little friend can have a hard time adjusting to the new environment, while searching for pet-friendly apartments every time can be quite a hassle.
On the other hand, when you do find the perfect home, you might have to move out if the owners decide to ban pets. In most provinces, you’ll be grandfathered in if this happens, but make sure you keep up to date with regulations. In Nova Scotia, for example, a landlord can evict you on this basis provided they give you four months’ notice before the anniversary of the lease.
All pros and cons considered, only you can decide to get a pet. But if you want to spend the time and resources to care for one, it will be a happy addition to your household whether you’re a homeowner or a renter.
RENTCafé is a nationwide apartment search website that enables renters to easily find apartments and houses for rent throughout the United States.