Leaving pets behind isn’t an option for most healthcare travelers when they take an assignment. Plus, pets can make temporary housing feel like home when traveling. Finding temporary housing with pets isn’t always easy though. Here’s our tips for finding pet friendly housing as a healthcare traveler!
- Travel nursing with pets 101
- Prepare for these pet restrictions
- Tips for finding pet friendly housing
- How much does it cost to bring a pet on assignment?
Travel nursing with pets 101
The hunt for temporary housing can be hard enough, without adding an additional element of pets. However, pet-friendly housing isn’t impossible to find, and it’s a lot easier when you have the right resources and tips at your disposal. When searching for travel nurse housing, you always have the option between taking agency provided housing or taking a housing stipend and finding your own place to stay. Here are the pros and cons to each option with pets in mind!
Pros: Some travelers with pets choose to accept agency housing so they don’t have to worry about finding pet-friendly housing themselves. Agencies that accommodate pets in their company housing often have long-standing agreements with rental properties and landlords that make it easier to secure pet-friendly housing. Some agencies may even cover pet deposits or pet rent upfront for you!
When you go with agency secured housing, they do all the research and negotiation, so the process is very efficient and stress-free for you. So, if you don’t want the hassle of finding pet-friendly housing, choosing agency housing might be your best option.
Cons: However, agencies are less likely to provide housing options other than traditional apartments. So, shared rentals with a backyard great for dogs may not be an option. Your choices may be narrowed down, but you’re also not having to do any of the research.
Find you own housing
Pros: Your other option is to take the housing stipend from the agency and find your own housing. This can offer more choices, and if you spend less on housing than your stipend amount, you can pocket that leftover tax-free money!
One perk of using Fusion Marketplace is that our platform has Furnished Finder built in, so you can see what housing is available when you’re browsing jobs! There’s also a great feature for pet owners where you can check the “Pet Friendly Only” box and just be shown listings that will cater to your furry friend.
Even on a pet friendly listing, it’s still a good idea to contact the landlord and make sure the space would work for you and your pet. This is because some listings are for an entire space and others are for shared spaces, where you might be renting out one room in a home. It’s important to make sure your pet will get along with the other people and other animals you may be living with in that case.
Other pet-friendly housing sites to use include:
- Travel Nurse Housing
- Facebook groups like Fusion Marketplace Connect, a community of travelers where you can find housing recommendations and other travel tips!
Some hotels are also pet friendly! Look into these options:
- La Quinta Inn & Suites (pets can come to breakfast, no pet fee)
- Motel 6
- Extended Stay America
- Days Inn (and many other Wyndham properties)
- Red Roof Inn
Remember, if you stay in a hotel longer than 30 days, talk with the manager to negotiate a long-term rate. Hotels will often negotiate rates that are 30 percent to 60 percent below the advertised nightly rate when you’re staying for longer than 30 days.
Cons: It might take awhile to dig through housing listings to find the perfect place for you and your pet. You also might have to spend some extra time in correspondence with landlords to get clearance for your pet. This can be stressful the first few times, especially if you don’t have all the tools and resources listed above.
Prepare for these pet restrictions
When you’re searching for pet friendly housing, keep in mind that there are some standard restrictions properties will have when it comes to pets. This isn’t to say these restrictions are across the board or can’t be negotiated, but it’s good to be prepared. Pet restrictions may include:
- Maximum of two animals in rentals, especially in a smaller unit.
- Breed restrictions such as American Pit Bulls, Rottweilers, Great Danes, Mastiffs, Cane Corsos, Dobermans, German Shepherds, Huskies, and Boxers.
- Weight restrictions requiring your pet be 50 pounds or lighter.
- Pet type restrictions only allowing domesticated animals like dogs and cats.
Another restriction to note is that Hawaii is strict about bringing animals into the state. They want to keep the islands rabies-free and will quarantine animals for up to 120 days if they don’t meet certain requirements. Here's what to do to meet their requirements:
- You should prepare at least four months in advance for visiting Hawaii with your pet.
- Your pet needs two rabies vaccinations at least 30 days apart. The second vaccination needs to be administered at least three months prior to arriving in Hawaii.
- Your pet must pass a blood test that shows a response to the vaccine at least four months before arriving in Hawaii.
- Your pet must be microchipped.
- Pro-tip: Arrive at or before 3:30 PM. Pet inspection hours are between 8 AM and 5 PM.
Tips for finding pet friendly housing
To help work around some of these restrictions, here are some tips for securing housing for you and your furry friend!
- Send a friendly photo of your pet to your potential landlord! They can get an idea of their size and demeanor.
- After your lease is up at a rental, ask the landlord if you can use them as a reference when searching for new housing for your next assignments. Landlords often feel more at ease if another landlord can vouch for you and your furry friend.
- Some travelers with big, restricted dog breeds, choose to travel in an RV. Many campgrounds don’t have as many pet restrictions, so this may be a good option to think about!
How much does it cost to bring a pet on assignment?
It probably doesn’t come as too big of surprise that renting with a pet is a bit more expensive than without one. Here’s what expenses to include in your travel budget:
- Pet deposit: This can cost anywhere between $200-$500 and is expected upfront. Property managers set a price based on the type of pet, size of pet, and property value. Some state and local laws set an upper limit for a pet deposit, so make sure to check!
- Pet rent: This is additional rent collected each month and is often charged on a per-pet basis. Pet rent usually equals 1% - 3% or more of the monthly rent.
- Cleaning fees: It’s common for properties and furniture vendors to charge cleaning fees to consider the property properly sanitized and allergen-free for the next renter. Your deposit and pet rent should go toward this cost when your lease is up, but there still may be remaining costs owed.
To avoid additional cleaning costs, try to use preventive measures during your stay like:
- Dog-walking services
- Doggie daycare
- Crate training
- Puppy pads
- Pet-friendly activities so your furry friend doesn’t get bored and destructive while you’re working
- Scratching posts for cats
Also, if you find the perfect place but the pet fee is a little too high for you, it’s worth having a conversation with the landlord and seeing if there’s any way they could lower the price. This is when it’s handy to have recommendation letters from previous landlords showcasing that your animal is well-behaved, and you left the property in good condition.
Having your furry friend with you during an assignment is essential for feeling comfortable, even when miles from home. Try these tips out the next time you’re looking for pet-friendly housing and remember Fusion Marketplace has Furnished Finder built into its platform, so you can see your housing options before you even apply for a job.