Pet Policies

Responsible Pet Owners Month: Encourage Your Residents to Make a Positive Impact

    Being a responsible pet owner is undoubtedly a yearlong objective. But that doesn’t mean pet owners can’t occasionally take inventory of just how well they’re doing on the accountability scale.

    February is Responsible Pet Owners Month, which creates a prime opportunity for community managers to encourage their residents to take part. Odds are your community is largely full of responsible pet owners, but even the most stellar of the bunch sometimes aren’t 100% compliant with your pet policies.

    One idea for property managers during Responsible Pet Owners Month is to pass along a quick checklist for residents that outlines and refreshes the necessary steps to be an ideal pet owner.

    Items on the list can include:


    Sometimes animals are so healthy and vibrant that it’s easy to forget that their vaccinations are overdue. Many indoor cat owners opt not to vaccinate their cats because the rationale is, after all, they’re indoor cats. However, many states require core vaccines by law—such as rabies and distemper for dogs and calicivirus for cats—and all pet owners should be acutely aware when they are due. While regular veterinarians will offer reminders, it’s possible that many of your residents are transplants from a different part of the country and haven’t yet acquired a local vet. A simple vaccination reminder could make the difference in meeting the deadline and lead to healthier and safer pets.

    Proper registration

    Many communities have recently added a platform for residents to register their pets at the property. This ensures that all pets at the community are properly reported and creates the most pet-friendly experience possible for pet owners and non-pet owners alike. But at any community, it’s possible that a resident might have unreported pets or service/support animals. Encourage these residents to properly report these animals, and consider offering an amnesty month in February, where those who come forward with these pets aren’t assessed a penalty or reprimand of any sort.

    Pet insurance

    This concept seemed far-fetched a few decades back, but many are opting to utilize pet health insurance to mitigate the cost of potentially financially-altering medical procedures. While pet health insurance certainly isn’t required, those with animals or breeds with a predisposition for certain ailments might consider it. Onsite teams can distribute literature that outlines the particulars of pet insurance and make certain it’s readily available on the community website for residents, who then can decide whether it’s a good fit for their personal pet situation.

    Naturally, onsite teams can get creative with Responsible Pet Owners Month, as well, by scheduling a variety of pet-related events. Perhaps this is the time to invite local veterinarians onsite to answer any questions or play host to an adoption event. Pets are an integral part of a community, and February serves as the perfect month to underscore the reasons why and further boost your pet-friendliness.