There is one thing that every pet owner needs to have to tip the scale in their favour: a pet resume.
Wait. What? Your pet doesn’t have any work experience? Not even something part-time?
What do they do for a living? Just lay around the house all day waiting for you to come home and feed them?
You didn’t think I meant that kind of resume, did you?
A pet resume for apartment hunting is to give the landlord reassurance that your pet will not damage the property.
Below I’ve listed what you need to include on your pet’s resume starting with the most significant first.
The single most important thing to include on your pet resume is references.
There are three references you need to get:
- Landlord and/or neighbour(s)
If you are moving from overseas and do not yet have a vet or other local references yet, that’s ok.
Get a letter from home stating how well behaved your pet is and how long your vet back home knew your pet.
For your previous landlord, a short statement mentioning again that your pet is well behaved and that there was no damage to the property. If you didn’t have a landlord back home, then a letter from a neighbour or two will suffice.
Obviously, a statement from your trainer saying what a quick learner your dog is and mention the level of training including any certification earned.
It might be easier to draught up an example letter for your landlord or neighbours to work from. The example letter should include the time they have known your pet, that they were never disturbed by excessive barking or howling and a few extra details like your pet is very friendly, good with people and children or perhaps they have watched your pet once or twice while you were out of town.
Start out your pet resume with a description introducing your pet.
A short paragraph that includes the breed, age, temperament, activity level, how long you’ve had your pet and if they are familiar with living in an apartment or city living.
It’s nice also to include a quick tidbit about your pet’s personality. Something that’s special about your pet to make them seem more personable. Perhaps they are an excellent swimmer and love the beach or love children or their favourite past time is playing frisbee in the park or they are crazy about laser pointers and can chase them around the house all day long.
It’s a good idea to mention how often you walk your dog. For most people it’s twice a day, morning and then after work. If you go jogging with your dog or perhaps you train with your dog for runs, include that too.
Don’t forget to mention going to the dog park on a regular basis to demonstrate that you not only exercise your dog but are aware that he needs a social life too.
An active dog that doesn’t get enough exercise and is stuck in an apartment all day equals property damage to a landlord. It’s best to address this straight off.
If you plan on having a dog walker visit regularly during the week or you’re thinking about doggy daycare, then be sure to mention that too.
Special Note to Cat Owners: Be sure to address good litter box and scratching habits. If you have multiple scratching posts for your cat or perhaps they have a favourite then mention it the resume.
Maybe something along the lines of, “Fluffy has good litter box and scratching posts habits. Her favourite scratching post is cardboard. She especially loves it when a little bit of catnip is added which is often the case.”
Demonstrate that you are a good pet owner.
The next thing to address in your pet resume is that you are a good pet owner. To do this state how often you take your pet to the vet for regular health checkups and give them regular flea, tick and deworming/parasite treatments even going so far as to mention the brand of flea treatment you give them.
Also, state that they are up-to-date on all vaccinations and go to the groomers every few months but be specific such as they go to the groomers every two months or every three months.
Is your pet microchipped? Then be sure to add that to your resume and the city council where they are registered. For more on registering your pet with the City of Sydney click here.
Has your pet been desexed? Yes, then be sure to state that on the resume too.
Do you have pet insurance? Mention you have insurance along with the name of the insurance company.
Will your dog be kennelled in the apartment when you’re at work? If not, will they have free range of the whole house?
What about when you travel? Will you take your pet with you? Will someone watch your pet while you’re away? Or do you board your pet somewhere?
It’s better to have specifics.
Again, if you are moving from overseas and do not yet have answers to all these questions, do a quick research and find out details that are local to Sydney.
For example, search on Yelp for kennels and pet boarding then mention you plan on boarding your animal with XYZ company while travelling. It’s better to have specifics then generalisations.
If you have more than one pet address how well they get along and how long have they been living with each other. Just enough so that the landlord doesn’t have to worry about animals fighting while you’re away at work during the day.
Lastly, but definitely not least, include a photo or two of your pet. The kind of picture that will melt a complete strangers heart or, at least, crack a smile.
Here is an example of a pet resume from an SMG reader, Megan.
Megan has a blog of her adventure in Sydney and has one post that I highly recommend you read about finding a pet-friendly apartment in Sydney where she emphasises the importance of a pet resume.
Be sure to read it and leave a comment if you have questions for her.