Apartment Living: What You Need To Know Before Getting An Emotional Support Dog

If you've been battling depression and your psychiatrist has recommended that you have an emotional support dog, you probably have a ton of questions, especially if you live in an apartment that does not allow pets. Fortunately, landlords are required under the Federal Housing Act to allow people to have emotional support pets when they are necessary. Here's what you need to know. 

How do you tell your landlord and when? 

Your psychiatrist can give you a letter stating your need to have an emotional support dog for your well-being. This letter will be your proof, which is particularly necessary for invisible illnesses such as depression. Schedule a meeting with your landlord to discuss the issue with the letter in hand. Be sure to keep a copy of the letter for yourself. Be sure to ask your landlord to amend the lease or to create a new one that includes your emotional support dog so there's a record of your landlord's awareness of the fact.

It's not a good idea to wait to do this until after you have adopted a dog, just to keep a good working relationship with your landlord. During the meeting, you can expect the landlord to inform you that you will be required to maintain the house and yard. Even though landlords are required to allow emotional support dogs, they can ask you to leave or evict you if you do not maintain the property or if the dog causes damage. 

What breed is suitable to be an apartment-dwelling emotional support dog? 

All companion dog breeds are suitable as emotional support dogs, but you'll want to narrow down your choices to dogs that fit your capabilities of taking care of your new friend. Here are several examples:

  • if a family member is allergic to dogs, you'll need to choose a breed that has low dander
  • if you live in a small apartment, you'll need a dog that adapts well to smaller spaces
  • if you prefer to stay indoors, a dog that doesn't need a lot of exercise will be your best bet
  • since you live in a rental unit, you'll need a dog that does not display predatory behavior, such as digging, barking, and biting.

Fortunately, the Coton de Tulear meets these requirements and many others. They are known for their affectionate and loving cuddles, which makes them perfect emotional support dogs. For help finding Coton de Tulear puppies for sale, contact a breeder at a company like Family Puppies.