Great condo, but what about my pets?

As Calgary has grown and changed over the years, the type of property being built has also changed. We now see many more apartment and multi-family options than ever before. Whether high rise apartments, low rise apartments, townhouses, villas or detached homes, the concept of condo ownership is a very large part of the market.


Condo corporations typically have by-laws that determine some rules and guidelines for ownership to manage the goings on at any particular building or complex. Common rules are typically to maintain the safety and enjoyment of all owners such as rules about what can be stored in a parkade, what can be on a balcony and restrictions of use.


One big rule that is becoming an issue in my mind is pet restrictions.


More and more properties are either restricting all pets outright or else limiting pets by size of animal or type of animal. A typical example is no dogs over 20 pounds. This makes sense in some instances, but in others its tough. Many older Calgarians are moving from detached homes to condos in order to reduce costs and many have beloved pets which are family to them. In order to move to affordable homes, they have to give up their dogs. These dogs in many cases provide companionship, a reason to get up for a daily walk and the social interaction and joy that can come from a trip to the park.


Yes, 2 large barking dogs in a small apartment can be a bad idea. But that's where pet rules and board approval of animals may be a better option than outright bans cause honestly a little small dog can cause a nuisance where a big great dane can go completely unnoticed taking a nap in a warm sunny corner.


Understanding pet policies and learning which condo corporations are open to welcoming new owners with pets is key when searching for your new home with your beloved dog.


If Calgary, as a city, wants to develop more dense multi family living options, then please take into consideration the consequence of these pet policies on our overall population.

Monika on Mar 7, 2016 2:32 PM posted:
I forwarded the blog post to the Calgary Humane Society to see if they have been seeing more pets surrendered due to the pet restrictions. This is the reply from the Manager of Operations: --- Pet housing is an overall issue in Calgary and when we look at surrender reasons one of our highest numbers is no pet housing. Rental accommodations are very had to find for pets but people purchasing condos also have difficulty in finding condos that do not have pet restrictions written into their condo rules! We do not have statistics to break it out how many of the surrenders are by seniors either moving into senior apartments or downsizing to condos. There have been many studies and forums done on seniors and pets and the benefits of having pets in senior homes, it keeps them active, gives seniors something to look forward to day to day, gives them company, etc. We have seniors surrendering pets because of moving into senior housing where the pets are not allowed. It is one of the most emotional intakes that can happen in Admissions supporting a senior to give up in many cases the only family they have left. I recall an incident about 8 years ago of a senior who had to surrender his little dog, the home he was living in was sold and the new landlord put in a no pet policy and told the dog owner he needed to get rid of his pet or move, this pet owner collapsed at the counter and we had to call an ambulance. The trauma of giving up his dog was too much for him, we even contacted the landlord to ask if there was any opportunity to allow this senior to keep his dog. We received a resounding NO. In PEI, the PEI Humane Society has started a new program working with senior residence to all seniors to have pets. This was only initiated in 2015 and I do not know what the results were but they were having success working with senior residences.

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