Service dogs bring companionship and ease to thousands of people’s living situations. The animals make everyday tasks simpler for those with mobility problems, blindness, and much more. If you qualify for a service dog, getting your own will undoubtedly bring some light to your life.
If you live in an apartment and are looking to bring a service dog into your life, there are a few additional things you need to keep in mind. However, don’t let the extra considerations discourage you.
1. The Costs of the Animal
A service animal comes with high training and certification costs in addition to the normal costs of having an animal. Keep the thought, ‘how much does a service dog cost?’ in mind before you dive into getting a companion. Research the estimated price and add that into your other bills. Then, include monthly pet food, water, and other things like beds into the total.
Fortunately, landlords cannot charge pet fees because of your service dog under the Fair Housing Act, so you won’t be charged anything extra for your accommodation.
2. The Space the Animal Will Need
With the costs accounted for, now you need to think about incorporating your service animal into your apartment space. Do you have enough room to comfortably house a creature? Perhaps you have room for a smaller dog rather than a large one.
Consider where you’d place their bed, food, and how you’d incorporate exercise into their life. Does your complex have a space where you can take your canine out for a walk? Maybe there’s a local park where you can take the puppy to play?
Also, think about where you’ll store the leashes, jacket, and other things like toys. If needed, incorporate additional storage into the price of the service dog.
3. Apartment Training
Service dogs, though well-trained, still require time and attention to adjust to their surroundings. Give yourself enough time to help your animal get used to being in their new home.
Plan to tour them around the apartment and show them where various items are. You can simultaneously fill the dog in on how they’ll help you around the house. Your service animal will be house trained, but you could include a doorbell for them to use to signal when they need to use the restroom.
4. Your Landlord
When you live in an apartment, you’ll need to discuss bringing your service dog home with your property manager. Keep in mind that it’s illegal for a landlord to refuse your companion if you have the proper paperwork. You don’t need their permission nor can they influence you. However, having a conversation with them beforehand could prove helpful.
You can show them your documentation if you so desire, but you are not required to.
If you live in an apartment, you’re in proximity to others, whether you have other roommates or neighbors. Because of this, you should keep the surrounding people in your mind while you’re preparing to get a service dog.
If you have roommates, talk to them before you start the process of getting a dog. Clear the air on any allergies or apprehensions beforehand. For those with neighbors, you could send a courtesy note letting them know about your new addition.
A Service Dog Will Bring Light to Your Apartment
If you choose to get a service dog to help you, living in an apartment isn’t an issue. As long as you consider the additional factors, the process will go smoothly. With those thoughts cleared up, it’s time for you to go out there and find your dream animal.