Benefits of Allowing Pets in Rental Housing

You might wonder about the benefits of welcoming pets in rental housing. Here are some statistics showing the power of pets and their impact on those around them.

According to the 2023-24 American Pet Products Association (APPA) National Pet Owners Survey:

  • 66% of U.S. households own a pet.
  • An estimated 23 million households added a new pet during the pandemic.
  • Over 65 million have a least one dog and over 46 million have one or more cats.
  • Millennials are the largest pet-owning demographic, at 33%.

During the pandemic, many people have come to count on their pets more than ever:

  • 80% of pet parents say they were able to spend more time than usual with their pets during the pandemic.
  • 84% felt that the time together increased their emotional bond.
  • 90% say they want to spend as much time with pets going forward as they did last year.
  • 62% say having pets with them is important to their mental health in the post-pandemic world.

Pets matter to people, so pets in rental housing matter:

  • Zillow’s 2019 Consumer Housing Trends Report found that 31% of renters have dogs and 22% have cats.
  • The National Association of Realtors reports that 43% of pet owner would be willing to move to accommodate their pet.
  • 74% of U.S. mayors surveyed by Mars Petcare agreed pet-friendly amenities can help rental housing improve tenant stability and reduce turnover.
  • 81% of mayors agreed that availability of pet-friendly amenities can help increase the value of residential property.
  • Various studies have suggested that people with pets stay longer in rentals than those who don’t have pets.

The health and companionship benefits of spending time with pets are widely documented:

  • The presence of dogs increases the number and length of people’s conversations with others in the community. (Jenkinson et al 2010)
  • Pet owners are significantly more likely to form friendships in their neighborhood than non-pet owners. (Wood et al 2015)
  • Numerous studies have suggested dog walking is a great way to increase physical activity and may help reduce rates of obesity. (Timperio et al 2008)
  • Pet owners feel less afraid of being a victim of crime when walking with a dog or sharing a residence with a dog. (Serpell et al 1991)
  • Pet owners tend to visit doctors less often and spend less money on medication. (Heady et al 2007)
  • Having a pet reduces blood pressure and lowers the risk of heart disease and high cholesterol. (Friedman et al 2010)
  • 94% of heart patients with pets survive serious heart attacks, compared to only 72% without pets. (Friedman et al 2010)
  • Kids who grow up with pets tend to have greater self-esteem, less loneliness and enhanced social skills. (Purewal et al 2017)
  • For those who have lost a spouse, pet ownership and a strong attachment to a pet is associated with significantly less depression. (Garrity et al 1989)

Want more info? Check out our Pet-Friendly Housing Toolkit for best practices for cities, tools for rental property owners, and tips for pet parents who rent.


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