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Trulia_PetFriendlyRentalMarket_PetsAllowedDogs may be man’s best friend, but they’re not necessarily your landlord’s. Nor are cats. If you’re a renter with a pet, one of the biggest challenges is finding a place to live. May is National Pet Month, so we’ve set out to find rental markets where your furry friend is as welcome as you are.

San Francisco Opens Up the Golden Gate for Pet Owners

To find America’s most pet-friendly places to live among the 25 largest rental markets, we’ve looked at several factors and combined them into a single ranking:

  • Most Pet-Friendly Landlords: Since finding an apartment that allows pets is crucial, we combed through all the listings on Trulia Rentals to see which market has the percentage of rental listings that allow cats, small dogs, or large dogs.
  • Least Expensive Pet Fees: Another pain point for pet-owning renters are all the added fees that landlords charge for Fido or Whiskers.Trulia_PetFriendlyRentalMarket_PetCharges So to figure out how much extra rent you’ll need to pay, we also calculated the average pet deposit, pet fee, and pet rent in each market using the listings on Trulia Rental.
  • High Concentration of Pet Stores and Services: Lastly, we used Trulia’s neighborhood amenity map to see which rental markets have the highest concentration of pet store or services, including vets, groomers, and dog walkers.

Turns out, pets will leave their hearts in San Francisco. Of the 25 largest rental markets, the City by the Bay tops the list, thanks to plenty of rentals that allow pets, low pet fees, and plenty of pet stores and services. But San Francisco isn’t the West’s only metro that’s gone to the dogs … and cats. Seattle, Denver, Oakland, and Portland, OR, round out the list of the top five cities for pets. The next five pet-friendly metros include four in other regions. Chicago, St. Louis, New York, and Dallas consistently rank high for each of our pet-positive measures. However, on any given measure, there’s lots of variation. Below is our overall ranking of metros from most to least pet friendly, taking all measures into account.Sheet 1 In the rest of this post, we’ll show you the rankings for each of our seven pro-pet qualities.

25 Most Pet-Friendly Rental Markets
U.S. Metro
19 Orange County, CA
Note: 25 largest U.S. rental markets ranked from most to least pet-friendly based on # of rentals that allow pets, low pet fees, and plenty of nearby pet stores and services

Trulia_PetFriendlyRentalMarkets_MonthlyCostsCats vs. Dogs: Landlords Friendlier to Cats

Nationally, landlords would rather hear a meow than a woof. Among the 25 largest rental markets, 20% of rentals explicitly allow cats, slightly more than the 18% that allow small dogs. Unfortunately, if you’ve got a St. Bernard or a Great Dane, you’re barking up the wrong tree: Nationwide, just 4% of rental listings say your big dog is welcome.

When we look at individual markets, Dallas comes out on top for rentals that allow cats and dogs of all sizes. Since 2013, over 60% of Trulia’s Dallas rental listings specifically allowed cats and small dogs, while 20% allowed large dogs. Chicago, Denver, Phoenix, and Portland also make the top 10 in these three categories, and they show landlords favoring cats over dogs and small dogs to large dogs.

Sheet 2The “Hidden” Cost of Housing Your Pet

Finding a rental is just the first hurdle for pet owners. They may also have to fork out extra charges tacked on to the rent. These charges typically come in three forms: pet deposits, pet fees, and pet rents. What’s the difference? A pet deposit is a refundable fee paid upfront to the landlord on top of your regular rental deposit. A pet fee is similar, except it is not refundable. Pet rent is a monthly nonrefundable payment paid in addition to regular rent. The good news is that it’s very unlikely renters with pets would need to pay these fees. Less than 1% of the rental units listed on Trulia that allow pets specifically say they charge one or more of them. And, of all the rental units that impose pet fees, a whopping 78% charge only one. Just 22% charge two of these fees and less than 1% slam you with all three.

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