If you find yourself in a community that isn’t as welcoming to pets as it should be, you may feel like you’re the only person concerned with pet-friendly living. The truth, however, is that you are not alone. With pet ownership in cities on the rise, the demand for pet-friendly workplaces, housing, and facilities is stronger than ever.
Everyone, even people who don’t own pets or may have allergies, benefits from a community that looks after its inhabitants — those with two legs, four, feathers, or fins. Pets support the development of friendships within a community, give us exercise, and have even been shown to extend our lifespans. When pets are welcomed, people are welcomed, and it’s worth it to advocate for our friends.
Do you want to encourage your workplace to institute pet days or more pet-related benefits? Would you like your property manager to set up pet sanitation areas for tenants? Articulating your priorities will help you determine the best course of action for pursuing the change you seek.
See if there’s anyone else in your neighborhood, building, or office who shares your value of pets and the benefits they have to offer. Teaming up with others in your community not only provides strength in numbers, it also gives you a chance to identify common opportunities for improvement. You may discover previously unknown needs that can be met fairly easily.
If no one asks about pet-friendly policies, no one will know that they matter to you. If management is not receptive to your requests, you’re not powerless — persistence and negotiation can help.
There’s a wealth of information online — sample policies and example cases you might want to study. Better Cities for Pets has a number of comprehensive tools for building good policies you could suggest as starting points.
Remember: you’re not alone. If your community doesn’t have many local resources devoted to improving pet-friendliness, national organizations are often eager to expand, and can help you get a foothold in your area.
Look into reserving a space to publicly discuss your concerns. Bring in facts and figures and use turnout to demonstrate a collective interest in adopting more pet-friendly policies.