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September 26, 2023
3 min read time

Tips for Responsible Pet Ownership in HOA Communities

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woman with dog in HOA community blog image

Are your pets like family members? If, like many pet owners, you consider Rover or Fluffy to be a vital part of your life, it may not occur to you that your animal's behavior could be impacting your neighbors. 

In any HOA community, it's important to be considerate of those living around you. Fortunately, even if the others on your street aren't pet lovers, there are easy ways to ensure they aren't bothered by your furry family. Here's a quick rundown on how to be a responsible pet owner.

1. Don't Let Pets Roam Free

Don't force your neighbors to be more friendly than they'd like with your companion animals. When you're out walking, keep pets on a leash at all times, even if they are reliably under voice control. 

If you have a cat, consider making it an indoor-only pet. According to the American Humane Society, this can reduce the odds of disease and parasites, as well as being safer for your kitty.

This may also mean constructing a fence (make sure it complies with association requirements) to keep your dogs and cats in your yard. You can get fence toppers that encourage cats to stay in their yards.

2. Minimize Noise

A constantly barking dog may put the nerves of those living around you on edge. Even if you're not violating established quiet hours for your community association, it's important to figure out what could be causing ongoing barking and work to limit that. That could mean keeping your pet inside when you're not at home if it has separation anxiety, or enrolling in an obedience course that helps you work with your dog to discourage excessive barking.

As backyard chickens and other livestock become more and more popular, you may need to ensure you're not causing ongoing noise problems. Check your HOA rules to make sure you can have these animals on your property, and avoid bringing home those (such as a rooster) that may be loud.

3. Always Clean Up After Your Pet

Your yard should not be filled with your pet's waste, nor should you neglect to pick up after your animal when going on walks around the neighborhood. Carry bags with you to quickly pick up after your dog and only dispose of the waste in appropriate places (like your own garbage can). 

What if your cat is using the neighbor's garden to do its business? That calls for more creative problem solving, especially if your cat can not be kept solely or primarily indoors. Some types of mulch are particularly annoying to cats, or there are pest sprays that can discourage any animal from hanging around. You may need to pay for these solutions if your animal is causing damage.

4. Keep Your Pet Healthy

Animals that are suffering from chronic pain or an untreated illness are more likely to be loud or behave inappropriately. Schedule regular checkups for your pets with a qualified veterinarian and take care of any health issues right away. It's a good idea to make sure they are fully vaccinated to keep other people and animals healthy, too.

5. Keep an Open Line of Communication with Neighbors

It doesn't hurt to make a point of introducing your friendly pets to your neighbors. While some people are legitimately frightened of or allergic to animals, many will welcome getting to meet and interact with your dog or cat.

Be clear that you'd like to be notified of any issues -- from excess noise to wandering -- so that you can find solutions quickly and avoid bothering them. Common courtesy can ward off many issues that may come up.

Of course, in addition to being a responsible pet owner, you need to make sure you are following any pet-specific rules. Some associations have restrictions that cover size, breed and number of animals that can reside on a property. Please adhere to these rules and don't bring in animals that may not be able to stay.

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