Any pet owner can tell you that moving to a new home with your dog, cat or other companion can be a hassle. Some landlords won’t allow certain animals, breeds, or may have strict no-pet policies in their lease agreements. To make things even more difficult, a number of websites used to find housing do not have reliable search filters for pets, or have outdated information on each property.
To make things easier, we did a comprehensive review of the top housing websites with pet-friendly options, including the pros and cons of each. We hope this helps you on your move to a new home or apartment!
Apartments.com is the most used website to find apartment and home rentals in the U.S, and it makes sense why. They have some of the best listing coverage of any city in the nation, and includes a map search, numerous filters, 3D tours, as well as intricate floor plan details. They have both “dog friendly” and “cat friendly” options, however lack filters for other animals.
To use the pet friendly filter, search for your desired city or neighborhood, click on “More” on the top navigation bar, and find the filters under the “Amenities” section. Then click “Done”, and your listings will populate.
Once you’ve applied the filters, make sure to read the description of each individual property to make sure your specific pet is allowed. Some may also require a pet deposit, or other documentation.
Here’s a directory of all major city pet-friendly pages: https://www.apartments.com/pet-friendly-apartments/
- Great listing coverage in cities and most towns across the country
- Strong features for filtering, including beds, baths, amenities, etc
- Map based search
- Virtual tours in a number of properties
- Dog and cat friendly housing filters
- Dog and cat friendly filters, but not for other animals
- A lot of inventory is considered “multifamily”, rather than small landlords, or “mom and pop” type apartments
- No additional features beyond rental search
Zillow is another behemoth in the online real estate game, most known for their for-sale website, as well as their home price estimate tool “Zestimate”. They have in recent years branched out into rentals, and have great inventory around the country.
Similar to Apartments.com, Zillow has incredibly detailed information for each property, including high resolution photos, 3D tours for some properties, as well as floor plans. You can also search for rentals close to specific schools, and overlay those schools on top of your map search.
To search for pet-friendly housing, first search your desired area. Then, on the top bar, click the “More” button. You’ll then see a “Pets” section with options for large dogs, small dogs, and cats. Click the filters you would like turned, on and finish by clicking “Done”.
- Strong listing inventory across the country
- Great filtering options, including virtual touring and schools
- Pet-friendly filter
- Additional filter for “large dogs” and “small dogs”, as well as “allows cats”
- High resolution photos and informative descriptions
- Does a great job with dog and cat filters, but again does not have filters for other animals. You can try to use the “keywords” filter to see if other listings pop up
- At times there is an overload of information, that the website design does not keep up with
Zumper is the largest and most successful of the new wave of apartment rental startups. The website claims to have over 1 million rentals listed at any point in time across the U.S. and Canada, and has a suite of features on top of the basic rental search platform that other sites have.
In terms of the basics, Zumper has things covered. Well designed website, user experience, photos, as well as floor plans. You can also search for places with an easy commute to work, and close to the best schools in an area.
Where Zumper differentiates itself is its instant application feature. For a number of properties, renters can submit digital applications, as well as run their credit through TransUnion’s service. This is sure to save a lot of time and hassle when compared with the standard back-and-forth of paper applications.
To search, first type in your desired location. Once on that page, click the “All filters” button on the top left, and check off “Allows dogs” or “Allows cats”. Click the blue button the bottom to see the options.
- Best designed website of any that we tried
- Dog and Cat Friendly Housing filters
- Good listing inventory, particularly in cities and large towns
- Virtual touring, with 3D tour and video tour capabilities
- Ability to digitally apply, and run your credit with TransUnion for an apartment
- Listing coverage can be spotty in some small towns
- Not every property has the Instant Apply feature
- Does not differentiate between Dog types
Trulia is another great option when looking for pet friendly housing. Once searching in a particular area, there is actually a pet-friendly tag for every listing that accepts cats and dogs, without the need for a filter. For more specific searches, you can select the “Pets” tab on the top to select cat friendly or dog friendly.
Trulia also has a great side-by-side map view for searching, allowing you to drill town into the exact area you’d like to live. The website is also owned by Zillow, and benefits from Zillow’s vast network on listing partners for inventory.
Where Trulia shines is the ability to really dig into each listing to get a feel for the area. Local information includes Street View, School data, crime map overlays, as well as restaurants and other attractions nearby.
- Solid listing inventory
- Dog and cat friendly filters
- Easy to see which listings are pet friendly
- Good website usability and design
- High quality images and descriptions
- Local listing information, including Street View, crime statistics, schools and more
- Owned by Zillow, so may have some duplicate listings if you also search there
- No additional features beyond just rental search
PadMapper originally launched 10 years ago as the first map based apartment search engine. While almost all rental search sites now have map functionality, PadMapper really shines in this sense.
In addition to the features that other websites have – high quality photos, neighborhood info, etc, PadMapper has both dog and cat filters, as well as the ability to search for long or short term rentals. The site also has a great section for each listing called “Pet Policy”, where it lists out the number of pets allowed, any fees, and whether there is pet rent.
To search for pet friendly housing, search for your area, then click on the “More Filters” button. In the drop down menu, find “Pets”. And lastly, click “Done” to see all of the listings.
- Intuitive, map based housing search
- Each listing includes a pet policy section, which lists out information in more detail
- Strong listing inventory in both the U.S. and Canada
- Filters for Dogs and Cats
- Does not have neighborhood information, as well as crime, schools, attractions that other sites have
- Despite nice design, is still bare bones search experience with not many extra frills
6. Apartment Guide
Apartment Guide was another great option that we checked out. In many of the cities we searched in, Apartment Guide had some of the most listing inventory of all the websites. The search engine has all the standard filters – price, beds, baths, amenities, in addition to new 3D tours and home videos.
What differentiates Apartment Guide from the others on this list are the reviews of properties. For most apartment complexes, former or current tenants can leave reviews of the landlord and property, providing you some insider knowledge before you rent.
While the site does have a pet friendly filter, it sadly does not differentiate between dogs and cats. So you’ll need to do a little extra digging and research.
To search for pet friendly housing, first type in your city/town, click on “More” in the top menu, and under the Pets section click “Pet Friendly”. Click the red button on the bottom right to search.
- Good photos, 3D tours and videos
- Reviews of properties and landlords
- Some of the best listing inventory we found
- Good photos, floor plans, descriptions
- Pet friendly housing filter
- Tags such as “Remodeled”, and “Rent Specials”
- Filters do not differentiate between cat and dog, can only filter by “Pet Friendly”
7. Apartment List
Rounding out our list is another successful startup called Apartment List. The website has all the standard features of the others, including map based search, neighborhood guides, filters such as beds, baths, etc, as well as solid listing information.
For those looking for a slightly more customized search, Apartment List also has a quiz that helps you narrow down to listings that exactly match your needs. That being said, the user experience of the website wasn’t great as you had to take this quiz in most cases to see places that you wanted to see.
The image below shows the pet friendly housing option as part of this quiz you need to take.
- Good listing inventory
- High resolution images, detailed information for each property
- Dog and cat friendly search
- Many filters to choose from to help narrow down search
- In many cases, the site annoyingly makes you take the quiz whether you want to or not. This may put off some people from using it
Moving with your pet is hard enough, so dealing with the research of finding out which places will accept you can make for a tough time. We hope the above options help you throughout your search- they certainly did with ours! While each is slightly different in what they provide, you can rest assured that every one of these is quality. In addition to the web, all of these companies have top rated apps in both the iOS store and Google Play store if you’d rather search on your phone or tablet.
We wish you the best of luck in your move, and let us know if you have any questions or comments on these options!