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My neighbors hate me because of my pet, what can I do?

Originally posted on July 31, 2018 11:30 am
Updated on July 31, 2018 11:35 am

So you have a lovely dog in your apartment, but your neighbors are often complaining about the barking of your dog. Or, your neighbors don’t like the fact that your pet cat always ventures into your neighbor’s yard. Naturally, you wished there was a way to get around this issue and diffuse the tension between you and your neighbors. Don’t worry, here are some ways to guide you on how to resolve the animal-related dispute with your neighbors amicably.

Investigate

It is crucial to communicate with your neighbors and find out what the exact problem is. Ask questions pertaining to the issue, but do not make your neighbors defensive. Was it the barking of your dog, your cat who tends to always wander into their houses or the fact that they are allergic to your pet? How often does it happen? At night while you were sleeping or in the day when you are not at home? Finding the issue that’s causing your neighbors’ annoyance will help you nip it in the bud and refrain your pet’s behavior from affecting your neighbors again. Some common reasons that could cause neighbors not to like pets:

  • Loud noises made by pets is the most common reason why neighbors dislike pets, such as barking, howling or crying noises. Some dogs are known to howl or cry when their owners leave them alone, likely due to separation anxiety.
  • Sometimes larger pets tend to create noises when they run around the apartment, which is the reason why weight limits on pets are imposed by pet-friendly rentals. The heavier the pet, the more damage it can do to the floors. Another source of loud noises made by pets is when a big dog scratches the surface of the floors when running.
  • Some pets are particularly active. Pets such as cats, when left alone, may have the tendency to wander to other properties, such as your neighbors’ yards or windows.
  • Domestic birds may create noises like pleasant chirps or piercing squawks, which may annoy your neighbors.
  • Reptile pets, though not very common as apartment pets, may surprise your neighbors if they are unaware of such pets.

Talk to them calmly

Resolve the issue with your neighbors by listening and understanding why they are unhappy with your pet’s behavior. Empathize with them and then provide reassurance that you do wish to find a solution to theirconcerns. Most importantly, take the high ground, offer them your sincere apology and tell them to bear with you as you try to solve the situation.

Take action

Once you have identified the problem, the next step is to figure out how to curb the problem and accommodate your neighbors. For instance, pick up after your dog by bringing a plastic bag by your side to eliminate dog poops on the streets, or take your dog out for a walk at the particular times when your neighbors are just about to return home to minimize the barking. Alternatively, you could get your roommate or a dog walker to take your dog out for a walk when you happen to be unavailable.

When all is done

By taking action, you should have ensured that your neighbors are no longer affected by your pet’s behaviors. However, if you have already made an honest effort to mend things, but your neighbors are still complaining unreasonably, you may have to disengage. Be careful not to get defensive and fire back at them as it fuels their hatred towards your pet or even sparks a conflict. Respond to them in a firm and kind manner that you have already done your part to settle the problem.

Always remember to keep your neighbors informed of your efforts to address their concerns and seek feedback from your neighbors to determine if there are any improvements. However, if you see your neighbor deliberately antagonizing your pet, you might wish to document that with a video camera and keep your pet safe. Above all, be polite and considerate to your neighbors, and also be a responsible pet owner.

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