It’s no secret that New Yorkers love their pets. According to the NYCEDC, there are an estimated 1 million pets currently residing with their humans in NYC. From dog parks to doggie day cares and even a cat cafe, it’s clear that NYC has gone to the dogs… and cats.

But the fact is most NYC properties have clear “no pet” provisions. And the buildings that do permit pets, many have strict weight limits on them. Think: small and mini. If Fido is a 150 pound Saint Bernard, you may have some additional work ahead of you.

Here’s 7 sure-fire tips to help make your quest for finding the perfect pad for Fido, and yourself, a little easier:

1. If you build it, they will come

Cute Puppy

Photo: Mike Spasoff/Flickr

Know where to look. Roughly 6 percent of Manhattan’s properties are “pet friendly.” You won’t fare as well in the outer-boroughs. Only about 2 percent of Staten Island’s offerings permit pets, and a mere 1 percent in the remaining three boroughs. Here again, Manhattan is the place to be.

2. Location, location, location

Tan Cute Puppy

Photo: Pål-Kristian Hamre/Flickr

Now that you’ve narrowed your search down to Manhattan, take a peek in the Upper East Side. According to StreetEasy research, it offers the most “pet friendly” pads. Be sure not to overlook both Midtown East and West. Aside from “pet friendly” properties, Midtown boasts the most pet shops in the city — over 150 shops catering to all your doggie’s needs.

3. Honesty is the best policy

Pug Pup

Photo: rpavich/Flickr

Be upfront with prospective landlords about Fido. Emphasize the good, and touch on any behavioral issues that might come up. A little explanation goes a long way, and prevents headaches down the road.

4. Make sure Fido has glowing references

Cute Basset Hound

Photo: Justin Beckley/Flickr

A letter from previous landlord(s) will make Fido stand out among any other applicants. Having a reference demonstrates not only that you are a responsible and devoted pet parent, but that Fido is not destructive or disruptive.

5. Over-explain your daily routine

Terrier Tongue

Photo: Gabriela Pinto/Flickr

Emphasize not just your routine, but your pup’s. How many hours will you be out? Do you have a pet sitter or dog walker for longer days? How much playtime does Fido get before you leave for the day? Remember: a tired pet is less likely to be destructive or exhibit nuisance barking.

6. Smile for the camera

Doggie Princess

Photo: Petful/Flickr

Show pictures of your pet. The cuter the better. Who can say no to a doggie princess?

7. Money talks


Photo: Ville-Matti Kaartinen/Flickr

Be willing to pay a fee or deposit, and it just might work in your favor if you offer one outright on your own. As the old adage goes, money talks.

Knowing your pet’s needs and being both patient and flexible will go a long way to finding the perfect pad where both you and Fido can live happily ever after.

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