If you’ve ever been faced with having to rent a house, you know that many landlords don’t want to deal with pets. Unfortunately too many renters’ critters have destroyed the place, and it’s not worth the trouble to property owners to repeat past mistakes.

I find it kind of sad that responsible pet owners are punished, especially when there are so many well-behaved dogs and cats in the world that are members of loving families. If the thought of giving¬† up your dog because you’re moving into a rental is appalling, then it’s time to include them in your property search.

First, avoid all properties that say NO PETS. Seek out those that accept them or are willing to negotiate. Second, write up a resume for the cat and dog. Include a color photo, their vet’s name, your insurance policy number,¬† information on shots and microchips, and a little bit about their demeanor and activity level. My dog is sociable, goes on a daily 2-mile walk, and is not destructive, and I included it on her resume. Also, I bring her with me when I go on a property search. I want the landlord to meet her and know that she obeys, doesn’t run off, and is in no way hyper. It works every time.

Next, get reference letters from people who know the dog. Former landlords are a good source, or the people who bought your house, to show that Rover didn’t leave giant holes in the backyard or chew through the office door.

Finally, give a copy to your vet to keep in your pet’s file. That way if the animal gets lost in its new home and you need a photo and information to put up flyers, you have a back up.

Resumes are used for much more than the job search. Don’t forget about the dog.