Many of us have pets which are considered members of our families. In fact, nearly half of Americans have a dog and around thirty-five percent have a cat. These furry friends can provide many emotional benefits and give affection and companionship to their human families.
If you are a resident of a homeowners’ association or condo association and you have pets, it is important to make sure you are following the rules in regards to possible restrictions. Most communities are proud to be pet-friendly, but usually have sets of reasonable guidelines to make sure you and your pets can coexist peacefully with all residents of the community. Here are some tips to ensure that your four-legged friends will continue to be welcome in your association:
- Review the rules. Some associations require approval for pets or they have weight restrictions. If you currently own a large dog and are considering moving into an HOA, make sure you read the governing documents to see if your pet will meet the requirements. Additionally, if you already reside in an HOA, make sure before you get a new dog that it will not violate existing rules and regulations.
- Clean up after your pet. This is very important since your neighbors probably do not want to step in anything left behind by your pet. A lot of associations have doggy bag stations which make cleaning up after your dog much more convenient. This is a simple step to take that will help keep your fellow owners happy and therefore less likely to make complaints about you or your pets.
- Be mindful of noise caused by your pets. All dogs bark from time to time, but sometimes barking can become excessive and become a nuisance to surrounding neighbors. Sometimes a pet owner may become accustomed to the sound of their own dog barking, but this is likely stressful and upsetting to neighbors who might be trying to relax or sleep. If your dog barks excessively, try to isolate the cause. Maybe playtime or a walk will help relax your furry friend and reduce barking. In some cases, it might be a good idea to research the problem online or even seek out the help of a professional. Not only will this help keep the peace with neighbors, but it will likely strengthen the bond between you and your pet.
- Do not allow your pets to wander. Anytime your pet is outside, he or she should be on a leash. Even if you think your dog will not run off, all it takes is a nearby squirrel or another distraction to gain your dog’s attention and create a potentially dangerous situation. Also, some people are afraid of dogs and should not have to feel nervous if your unleashed dog is wandering towards them. You may know that your dog is friendly, but a stranger might not realize this. Additionally, leashing your dog is usually not only a regulation for the association, it is often a city law. For the safety of your pet and other residents, always leash your pup.
Pets are great members of our families and usually a very positive addition to any neighborhood. Just remember to be respectful of others and follow regulations within your association. If you do this, even residents that might not be as keen on pets will likely be perfectly fine with having you and your pets as neighbors.