How to Hide a Pet From Your Landlord

Are you trying to think of the best ways to hide your sweet pet from your landlord? Your landlord, as the owner of the property, calls the shots. They determine the price of rent, who can rent, the pet policy, and other things concerning the property. 

Everyone who has a pet knows how special they are and how you quickly become attached. It is hard to let go of your pet if your landlord has a no-pet policy. Your attachment to your pet will make you want to try every way to make sure you keep it around. 

how to hide a pet from a landlord
How to hide a pet from your landlord? While in general this is a *bad* idea – here is how to get it done

If you live in a rental property with a no-pet policy, you will want to find a way to secretly keep your pet. Even though it is risky, it is possible. Keep reading for some tips and tricks for hiding your dog or cat from the landlord and ways to keep your pet. 

What to Know Before Hiding Your Pet

Hiding your pet from your landlord isn’t advisable at all. There are many ways it can go wrong, including being forced to choose between housing and keeping your pet. It is likely easier to find pet-friendly accommodation than it would be to hide your pet. 

Despite all the tips we will give below, your landlord may still find out about your pet because they could have a spur-of-the-moment inspection, or you could get ratted out by neighbors. 

Some states have laws that allow you to keep your pet if you have been living with your pet openly for a particular time without your property manager or landlord intervening. Hiding your pet on purpose renders this protection null and void. 

dog named robin
A super and loyal dog deserves a super loyal superhero sidekick name like Robin

An Alternative to Consider

A safer and more legitimate option is getting your dog certified as an Emotional Support Animal (ESA). The Fair Housing Amendments Act (FHA) provides you with the right to a companion animal or ESA in any accommodation you have, whether your landlord has a no-pet policy or not. The act also bans landlords from charging pet deposits and fees. 

Getting an ESA certification for your dog is the best option, and you can find many online services to do it for you. Unfortunately, you have to be extremely careful if you do this online because some companies offer low prices but only give a flimsy document. More often than not, the document doesn’t have any footing and will do little to nothing in most states. 

If you find a reputable company, you can complete the whole process between one to two business days. The ESA certification makes sure you can take your pet to places that don’t usually allow pets. 

How to Hide a Dog From Your Landlord

If you would still rather hide your pet, here are some ways to hide it from your landlord.

australian labradoodle
Australian Labradoodles are a different breed the Labradoodles (although similar!)

Get a Hypoallergenic Dog Breed

One of the most common reasons landlords don’t allow pets is allergies. Even if you aren’t allergic, other people in the building may be allergic to your pet. Pet fur and dander can travel through common areas and air ducts in the building, which trigger allergies in your neighbors. 

If you don’t have a pet already, consider getting a hypoallergenic pet, such as the Maltese, Poodle, Maltipoo, or Yorkshire Terrier

Keep Your Apartment Clean

Besides getting a hypoallergenic dog, make sure your apartment is always clean. Use a vacuum or sweep your apartment regularly to clean up all pet dander and fur.

Make use of functional air filters to make your apartment smell fresh and get rid of any unpleasant smells. Furthermore, pick up after your dog as soon as it poops. 

Time Walks and Toilet Breaks

small yorkie poo puppy
A super tiny Yorkiepoo puppy! (aka Yorkie Poo the Yorkshire Terrier x Poodle mix)

If you don’t plan on potty training your dog to use an artificial grass mat or a pee pad, you will have to take it out many times each day. If you don’t want your landlord to find out you have a pet in the apartment, you must time your dog’s walks and bathroom breaks. 

Your dog will have to get used to going to the bathroom late at night and early in the morning. When walking your dog, take it to a park a few blocks away to reduce the chance of being spotted by neighbors or your landlord. 

Train Your Dog Well

Many landlords don’t like pets because of their noise and because they tend to cause property damage. Consider training your dog by yourself or took it to a training class that focuses on behavioral issues such as:

  • Chewing
  • Potty training
  • Barking
  • Scratching on doors

Barking is the most critical issue because that is one of the ways your landlord will figure out you have a dog in your apartment. You will also need to focus on training your dog not to bark at the doorbell, other dogs, delivery men, and other sounds.

water dog vs labradoodle
Both Water Dogs (Portuguese Water Dogs) and Labradoodles LOVE water and playing outdoors

Prepare for Inspections

Since your landlord is the owner of the property, they can have inspections any day. They will most likely give you a date and time for the inspection, which gives you time to plan. 

You can ask your family members or friends to keep your dog while the inspection is going on. Buy your friend or family member a gift or promise them a favor in return. Getting the dog out of the apartment is safer than trying to hide them in the apartment. 

Factors to Consider When Hiding a Dog

Some things can make hiding your pet difficult, such as the amount of space in your apartment and your pet’s smell. 

a cute dog having a shampoo
A cute dog having a bath. Keep that smell under control!


Does your pet smell? If it does, hiding is more difficult because its smell will alert people you have some animal in your apartment. 

The Size of Your Pet

A smaller pet is much easier to hide than a bigger pet. Birds and reptiles are much easier to hide than larger pets, like cats and dogs. 

Your Apartment Space

Is your apartment big enough to harbor a pet? Do you have somewhere your pet can play? Do you have many hiding places for your pet? These are some questions to ask yourself if you’re trying to hide a pet from your landlord. 

Consequences of Breaking the Rules

Breaking your landlord’s no pet policy can lead to some serious issues, depending on how lenient they are. The following are some of the consequences.

red apricot labradoodle
A recently shaven Labradoodle rests on the floor in a holiday home.

Being Asked to Move Out

Your landlord might terminate your contract and ask you to move out because you violated the contract terms. You may have to pay for damages if it is discovered your pet caused any damage to the apartment or its surroundings. 

Having to Get Rid of Your Pet

On the other hand, your landlord may allow you to stay in the house if you are caught. They might give you the option of staying on the property and taking your pet somewhere else. You could be issued a warning and asked to give your pet to someone not living on the property while you remain there. 

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

What Will Happen If I Don’t Tell My Landlord I Have a Pet?

A lot can happen, but it all depends on your landlord’s disposition towards pets, the type of pet you have, their reason for banning pets, and if you get caught. The worst thing that could happen is you are asked to move out and pay for any damage caused by your pet.

Can My Landlord Force Me to Give My Dog Away?

They technically cannot force you to give your dog away. Instead, your landlord can force you to pick between your apartment and your pet. Keeping a pet despite the no-pet policy is a breach of contract which means you can be asked to move out. 

a giant saint bernard dogs
A giant Saint Bernard dog (check out our list of big dog puppy names)


Hiding your pet from a landlord is a risky endeavor that will likely end up with you or your pet in some trouble. If you want to keep both the pet and the apartment, you can talk to your landlord or get your pet an ESA certification.