How to Find Pet-Friendly Houses

Pet-friendly houses are those houses that allow the accommodation of pets as well as their owners at the same time. These types of houses are not many in Nigeria, because of the certain religious or traditional beliefs concerning certain types of wild animals like dogs, cats etc.

Some people believe that cats in particular are usually possessed by evil spirits or witches, they fear the effect of these unknown spirits if animals are allowed into their premises.

Others think that keeping dogs in a house is dangerous and might pose harm to their kids or visitors. This fear for animals has beclouded the minds of a lot of people which has changed their philosophy on the way they see animals. Opinions vary on this subject meanwhile, people who rear animals in their houses don’t think that it’s out of place to have wild dogs as security or cats as pets.

Property owners also share in this ideology, maybe because they are directly affected since potential tenants’ opinions or beliefs on pets could crush their objectives of realizing full rental value from their property.  

As of late, the number of pet-friendly houses is declining because of tenants’ perceptions, the few houses that allow pets have strict guidelines enshrined in their tenancy agreements for tenants to abide by.

Facts About Pet-Friendly Houses

It is in owner-occupied houses that pets are allowed, this is so because there is a high chance that the pets have become familiar with all members of the family hence, the possibility of hurting a family member is low. Owner-occupied houses in this context are properties not let to tenants, it is used by the property owner himself either for residential, commercial, industrial or agricultural purposes.

Investment properties that have more than two tenants are not likely to allow pets due to the different backgrounds and tribal sentiments of the tenants.

In a nutshell, properties such as bungalows, duplexes, mansionettes etc. are pet friendly but tenement houses, blocks of flats, terraced, condominiums, townhouses etc. don’t usually allow pets.

The Characteristics of Pet-Friendly Houses

Fenced Compound:

A pet-friendly house is expected to be fenced around its perimeter to avoid wild pets trolling out or straying off the road, hence pet-friendly houses should be secured with any type of wall such as; block wall, wood wall, brick wall, metal wall, barricades (metal grills or bars, chain locks etc.) to prevent intrusion or escape of the pets which could cause harm to another.


The floor of a pet-friendly house should be as smooth as possible to make it easy to clean. As the pets poop on the floor around the house, it is necessary to clean up immediately to prevent the spread of disease when the premises is contaminated. The floor could be neatly screeded, tiled with ceramic materials, finished in polished woods etc. to reduce stains and allow easy washing.

Pet Pen:

The health and safety of the pets are as important as that of the owners, the pet owner would want to build a small house for the pet(s) to protect it from the scorching sunlight, heavy downpour and theft. This depends on the type and nature of the pet in question. There are wild or trained pets that may not need a house they are not only pets but a source of security that may scare away intruders by barking.

Serene Neighborhood:

Pet-friendly areas are mostly serene and calm environments, in the sense that there is low human or vehicular traffic when compared with other areas. The roads should be either, tiled, paved or levelled well for the pets and their owners to take a walk when necessary.

Nearness to Vet Doctor:

Pet owners would always need the services of a veterinarian for occasional checks on the health and hygiene of their pets. It is always an advantage for a pet-friendly house to be located close to their pet check-ups or treatments when they fall ill.

Pet-Friendly Neighbors:

Pet owners love to live with co-pet owners so they can complement for example if both pets are of the opposite sex, the owners could easily arrange for the pets to mate to birth young ones which is eventually shared or sold to make money.

How to Find Pet-Friendly Houses

  1. Engage the services of a qualified real estate surveyor and valuer to help you scout for pet-friendly apartments.
  2. Concentrate your search on low-density areas
  3. Decide on the type of pet you want to own or already own and locate houses that allow those.
  4. Open up to your landlord that you have a pet and would love to move in with it.

Reasons Landlords Do Not Want Pets in Their Houses

  1. Noise: Landlords try to avoid complaints from tenants on matters relating to noise from pets e.g. dogs owned by a neighbour. Hence, they make it clear to potential tenants from inception that pets are not allowed on their premises, some landlords go as far as designating a full paragraph in the tenancy agreement just to show how unacceptable rearing pets is on their property.
  2. Dog or Cat Poop: When dogs are not caged or properly trained they end up littering the environment with poops to the detriment of the health of residents. It is not hygienic to have animal droppings scattered around the premises, hence, property owners tend to reject tenants with pets.
  3. Property Destruction: Sometimes when not properly monitored, pets could become wild and destroy properties such as furniture, block walls, tear up carpets and so on.
  4. Dog Bites: Dogs could become wild and harmful when they are hungry or see a stranger in a house, strangers or intruders could be bitten by dogs or sustain injuries in the process of escaping from the premises.
  5. Diseases: Zoonotic diseases such as Rabies (from dogs), Trichinosis, Bartonella henselae (from cat scratch), Psittacosis (from birds) etc. are some of the many diseases that can be transmitted from pets to humans. To prevent such, landlords ensure that tenants do not have pets.

Frequently Asked Questions on Pet-Friendly Houses

Are there pet-friendly houses in Nigeria?

Yes, some landlords still accept pets

What types of pets are usually allowed?

Most landlords that admit pet owners allow dogs, cats and birds. A few allow monkeys and rabbits.

Are there special conditions for keeping pets in a house?

Yes. It will be spelt out in the tenancy agreement that the pet owners should keep a close check on their pets, the owners must not under any circumstances allow their pets to wander around the premises or stray out of their cages.

Where can I find pet-friendly houses in Nigeria?

You can find pet-friendly houses in very quiet neighbourhoods such as low-density areas where fewer tenants live in a premise. In Lagos for example, the majority of the pet-friendly homes are located on the Island where the high and might reside.

What types of pets are not allowed in a house?

Wild and carnivorous pets are not allowed in any part of Nigeria. Wild pets like cubs, snakes, crocodiles, and bats are not usually entertained by landlords in order not to endanger the lives of others.

Do pet owners pay special rent?

No. if the landlord consents to moving in with your pets, you will pay the same rent and fees as other tenants.

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