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Beyond Pet-Friendly: How Does Your Property Score When It Comes to Being Pet-Inclusive?

By Judy Bellack, Industry Principal, The Pet-Inclusive Housing Initiative

The rental housing industry has welcomed pets and their owners for some time now. This is abundantly clear in today’s property marketing, which boasts ‘pet-friendly’ units, with many communities including dog parks, waste stations, grooming stations and even pet social events to accommodate their furry residents. 

But as we know, there’s often a significant disconnect between how operators see themselves, and the consumer’s experience in locating housing that works for them and their pet. According to the Pet-Inclusive Housing Report, while 76% of rental housing operators call themselves pet friendly, 72% of consumers say pet-friendly housing is hard to find, and 59% say pet-friendly housing is too expensive. 

Pet ownership is on the rise, particularly among younger renters, and those seeking rental housing are unlikely to compromise on bringing their four-legged family members with them. However, many prospective renters run into challenges when faced with restrictive pet policies that limit the size, number and/or breed of a family pet (only 8% of rental housing is free from such restrictions). And then there’s the proliferation of pet-specific deposits, fees and rent – none of which make it easier or more welcoming for pet owners to rent.  

So, how does your property stack up when it comes to being truly pet friendly from a resident’s perspective? 

The team at Michelson Found Animals’ Pet-Inclusive Housing Initiative have developed an easy-to-use scorecard to help you answer that question. By providing information in several categories (policies, amenities, fees), the scorecard will reveal whether your property is merely ‘pet friendly,’ or if you have achieved true ‘pet inclusive’ status. Ultimately, you’ll also be able to benchmark your property against similar properties to see how you rank. If your property is already pet inclusive, you’ll have yet another marketing tool with which to promote your inclusivity; and if your score leaves room for improvement, it may serve as a roadmap for becoming more welcoming to companion pets.

Simply click here to calculate  your Pet-Inclusive (PI) Score; and while you’re on the site, discover helpful resources for enhancing your pet inclusiveness, as well as enlightening case studies demonstrating the many financial and community relationship benefits of embracing more pets.