Discover the Ultimate Pet-Friendly Cities for Renters: Richmond, VA Tops the List

Kid, dog and cat on sofa.

As more people embrace the joy of pet ownership, the conversation around pet-friendly rentals is gaining traction. Today’s city dwellers aren’t just seeking affordable rent and convenient amenities – they are increasingly looking for urban spaces that welcome and accommodate their four-legged companions. 

Increasing Pet Ownership

Golden Retriever and British Shorthair in the bed together
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According to the 2023-2024 American Pet Products Association survey, 66% of U.S. households own a pet.

Many factors have driven the surge in pet ownership in the USA. The isolation during the pandemic resulted in many seeking the companionship pets provide. The millennial and Gen X cohorts, who comprise a substantial portion of pet owners, perceive having pets as an avenue to create familial experiences. Additionally, pet-friendly environments and increased disposable income have made pet ownership more accessible and appealing.

Embracing Pets Is Great for Business

Child hugging kitten
Depositphotos Photo by gurinaleksandr

Attracting all types of pets is beneficial for landlords. By accepting cats and dogs, landlords see a significant increase in the pool of qualified rental applicants. The expanded options allow them to choose the best tenants. 

In addition, these great tenants tend to stay for more extended periods, reducing turnover costs. As a result, there are fewer vacancies and lower administrative expenses.

Also, landlords can charge additional pet fees, increasing their passive rental income.

As per the latest study from Zumper, coastal cities topped the list with the most significant rent increase for pet-friendly vs. non-pet-friendly rentals.

  1. New York, NY
  2. Santa Ana, CA
  3. San Jose, CA
  4. Los Angeles, CA
  5. Jersey City, NJ

NYC landlords can charge an extra $250 a month. The median 1-bedroom pet-friendly rent is $3,950 compared to $3,700 for non-pet-friendly options. 

Santa Ana, CA, comes in with a $200 difference, closely followed by San Jose, CA, with a $180 difference. So, budget accordingly if you’re looking for housing with a furry friend. 

Meanwhile, Los Angeles, CA, shows a $160 gap, with a pet-friendly median of $2,500 and a non-pet-friendly median of $2,340.

Jersey City, NJ, is the worst city for pet owners due to high rent prices, limited availability of pet-friendly rentals, fewer veterinarians per capita, and higher vet costs. Despite its high walk score, potential pet owners may be discouraged by the city’s air quality and limited outdoor spaces, hindering their ability to enjoy an active outdoor lifestyle.

Apartment building owners are adding pet-friendly amenities such as dog parks, treat stations, pet pools and wash areas to attract pet owners by providing value-added real estate benefits.

America’s Most Pet-Friendly Cities for Renters

Smiling couple petting their golden retriever on the couch at home in the living room
Depositphotos Photo by Wavebreakmedia

Pet-friendly amenities, cost of living, green spaces, and access to affordable veterinary care are crucial factors that significantly influence the quality of life for both you and your beloved pets. 

1. Richmond, VA

2. Madison, WI

3. Columbus, OH

4. Minneapolis, MN

5. Kansas City, MO

Richmond, VA

Richmond, VA
Depositphotos Photo by sepavone

Richmond takes the top spot as the most pet-friendly city. The city provides affordable pet care services, ensuring that animals receive the best possible care. Richmond also boasts an above-average percentage of pet-friendly rentals, a relatively low cost of living, and many parks per capita, offering many activities and exercise opportunities. The city’s good air quality and walkability score also create a healthy environment for pets and their owners to thrive.

Madison, WI

Madison, Wisconsin
Depositphotos Photo by sepavone

Taking the second position, Madison offers numerous pet-friendly amenities, including parks and recreational spaces, encouraging owners to engage in various outdoor activities with their furry companions. Madison also provides high veterinary care availability and a moderate walkability score. The median rent for a pet-friendly 1-bedroom apartment is $1,480, providing an affordable cost of living.

Columbus, OH

Columbus, Ohio, USA skyline and park.
Depositphotos Photo by sepavone

Securing the third position, Columbus offers exceptional pet-friendly amenities and a relatively affordable cost of living. With a high percentage of pet-friendly rentals and ample parks per capita, Columbus provides plenty of opportunities for pets to enjoy outdoor activities and socialize with other animals. The city’s affordable veterinary care and moderate air quality offer a healthy and happy environment for pets and their owners.

Minneapolis, MN

Minneapolis, MN
Depositphotos Photo by rudi1976

Known for its stunning lakes and recreational spaces, Minneapolis ranks fourth as one of the most pet-friendly cities. Minneapolis boasts an above-average number of parks per capita, ensuring that pets and owners have plenty of outdoor options. The city’s abundance of veterinary care and good air quality make it a safe and welcoming environment for pets to thrive.

Kansas City, MO

Kansas City, Missouri, USA downtown skyline with Union Station at dusk.
Depositphotos Photo by sepavone

Claiming the fifth spot, Kansas City, Missouri, offers a pet-friendly atmosphere with numerous parks per capita and a good percentage of pet-friendly apartments available for renters. The low walkability score is compensated with affordable veterinary care options.

Pets Influencing Housing Choices

Senior Couple with Dog
Depositphotos Photo by aremafoto

When renting an apartment or home, there are several factors to consider, including affordability and location – is it safe and convenient? 

Additionally, does the rental accommodate your entire family, including your furry companions? While pets may not be your foremost concern when beginning your apartment search, avoid assuming your landlord allows pets. 

Pet ownership brings joy and companionship, but it also entails responsibility. Having a four-legged friend relying on you may impose certain restrictions on where you live. If you can choose your location, free from family or job constraints, explore rental options in one of the most pet-friendly cities in America. Although you may pay more to enjoy the benefits of a vibrant city, it will ensure a welcoming environment for your beloved furry companion. 

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