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How to Find Pet + Dog Friendly Apartments in Boston

There aren't many dog friendly apartments in Boston.

I know. It stinks. But the fact is, if you're a proud dog parent, you won't have the pick of the litter (so to speak) with your apartments. Most "middle-market" apartments (i.e. not low-end and not high-end) don't even allow for pets — and when they do there are restrictions.

But that doesn't mean you can't find one!

We'll cover a few tips below that will put you in the best position to find a dog friendly apartment in Boston that you actually like.

dog friendly apartments boston

She's not happy about how few dog-friendly apartments there are in Boston.

Here are the cold hard stats upfront.

According to this April 2015 study from Trulia, only 9% of landlords in Boston allow small dogs (under 40 pounds) — and just 1% allow for large dogs (over 40 pounds). The stats are about the same for Cambridge, MA as well.

dog friendly apartments boston

A few rules on how to find a dog friendly apartment in Boston.

Rule #1: Be upfront that you have a dog.

Tell your agent or the landlord you're speaking with that you have a dog right off the bat — and specify the breed and weight. This approach will save you time, most likely in the form of having the agent/landlord turn you down quicker — I hate to sound so cold, but it's a nasty market.

Regarding your dog's breed and weight — many dog friendly apartments in Boston have breed or weight restrictions. 

dog friendly apartments boston

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Rule #2: "pet friendly" does not mean dog friendly.

Don't be fooled by "pet-friendly" apartments — that usually means they allow cats, but not dogs. "Negotiable" is also low probability.

Even with listings that say "dog friendly", be sure to double check. It's not unheard of for agents to list an apartment as dog friendly just to get more attention around the listing. 

Rule #3: Sit down with an agent. 

If you play the email/phone back-and-forth with multiple agents, you'll just spend a LOT of time getting nowhere.

It may not be convenient, but walking into a rental brokerage and asking to speak with an agent is your best bet. Sit down with him or her and refuse to leave until they've searched their listings for a few units that look good to you — I'm sure they'll try the "leave your contact info and I'll follow up" (translation: get lost, I've got plenty of people who don't own dogs to work with).


What if I have cats or other pets? 

You're in much better shape, but it's still difficult sadly. Far more landlords allow cats than dogs in Boston and without the weight and breed restrictions.

dog friendly apartments boston

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Here's a little something to lift your spirits.

I'm sorry if this article bummed you out. I'm a firm believer that knowing what you're getting into is way better than getting a rosy representation of what's ahead. Honestly, my goal here was to set the stage for you and give you some actionable insights on how to find a pet friendly apartment in Boston.

Even though finding an apartment may be more work for you as a pet owner, hopefully this video will remind you of why pets are so incredible and why they're worth the efffort.

My personal favorite is the majestic leap at 1:05.