A Home for Every Pet – an Excerpt from the BETTER CITIES FOR PETS™ 2019 Annual Report

No one should ever have to choose between their home and their pet.

Research suggests that housing issues are a top reason pets get surrendered to shelters. A lack of pet-friendly housing results in homeless dogs and cats, and people missing out on the benefits of a life with pets. Plus, property owners miss out too: Pet-friendly properties get rented faster and tenants stay longer. For these reasons and others, there’s work to be done to ensure pets are welcome in all types of housing.

A lack of affordable pet-friendly housing is a significant hurdle for many families.

Less than half of cities say pets are always welcome in rentals. Amenities to support pets, like relief areas and drinking fountains, are lacking too.


Pets are welcome in most rentals and condos, regardless of breed or size.
43% Often/Always
53% Sometimes
4% Rarely/Never



Housing/neighborhoods have pet relief areas with free waste bags.
40% Often/Always
47% Sometimes
13% Rarely/Never



Housing/neighborhoods have drinking fountains/hydration for pets.
17% Often/Always
60% Sometimes
23% Rarely/Never



Housing/neighborhoods have pet amenities, like pet grooming areas.
7% Often/Always
63% Sometimes
30% Rarely/Never

The above charts at right reflect data from BETTER CITIES FOR PETS™ certified cities. See all data sources here.

man petting cat at home

Pet-Optimized Pads

Today’s tenants will pay a premium for cutting-edge pet amenities and services. Here’s what they want for their pets.

45% Dog park or dog trail

39% Pet wash

31% On-site vet visits

31% Doggie pool or water feature

30% Indoor pet relief area

21% On-site pet training

See a full list of data sources here.

Best Practice Spotlight

woman with dog in apartment with moving boxes

Pet Alliance of Greater Orlando promotes and provides support for pet owners to find housing through its Pet Apartment Registry. Being pet-friendly also means helping pet owners keep pets in homes. Nearly 92% of BETTER CITIES FOR PETS™ certified cities have programs that distribute pet food for families in need, to avoid pet abandonment in times of financial stress at home.


See how else cities are working to make life better for people and pets, and the seven trends that are driving them. Check out the full BETTER CITIES FOR PETS™ 2019 Annual Report here or download a PDF version below.

Cover of the 2019 annual report

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With the Playbook for Pet-Friendly Cities, you’re on your way to a happier, healthier place for people and pets alike.