6 Pet Rules Every Homeowner Should Follow


If you’re wondering how to be a good neighbor, a great place to start is by understanding proper pet etiquette in an HOA community. Thankfully, many boards offer existing guidelines for you to follow, which makes everything easier.

Check out IKO Community Management’s rundown below:

Register your pet. Some communities’ CC&Rs require pet application forms, especially for condominiums, before occupying a unit. The HOA board of directors should submit policies and request for photograph for residents to review and sign before moving in.

Don’t be sneaky. Many HOAs have restrictions on the following, so don’t be sneaky about hiding your animals or not following the rules:

  • How many animals can be in a home or condominium at once?
  • Which species are allowed in a home or condominium?
  • Are there weight and height limits?
  • What are the special instructions for service or assistance animals?
  • Can pets be kept, bred, or used for any commercial purpose?
  • What are the regulations on spaying and neutering? What if the veterinarian advises against it?
  • Are pets allowed to be tethered in the yard or roam free on decks/patios/porches?
  • Are there pet-only washers and dryers for bedding, toys, and blankets?

Understand what nuisance behavior is. Many homeowners associations have regulations about nuisance behavior from pets. While “disturbance” can cover a plethora of instances, the following list is a basic guideline for pet owners:

  • Unruly behavior that causes personal injury or property damage
  • Continuous and/or incessant noise for a period of 10 minutes or intermittently for so many hour(s) or more to the disturbance of any person at any time of day or night
  • A lack of complete physical control of a responsible human companion using a handheld leash of no more than a certain amount of feet in length or in a pet carrier in common areas
  • Relief on walls or floors of common areas
  • Aggressive or other dangerous or potentially dangerous behavior
  • Conspicuous uncleanliness or parasite infestation

For Dog Owners:

Pick up after your dog. This is the most basic tip when it comes to proper pet etiquette. Dog waste harbors disease and parasites that other dogs roll around in, sniff, and accidentally eat. Avoid the spread of sickness by picking up after your dog and disposing of it immediately in designated disposal stations -- not your neighbor’s trashcan or recycling bin.

Bring your dog to the dog park only if they’re ready. This includes female dogs who are pregnant or in heat, puppies that are less than 12 weeks old, and dogs with incomplete vaccinations. This could lead to unwelcome pregnancy, injuries, or illnesses like distemper, worms, parvo, or Giardia.  

Responsible owners also should avoid bringing dogs that aren’t socially ready.

“Introductions are important and make a difference in how dogs will get along,” according to Mother Nature Network.

“Allowing your dog to [charge] up to a dog that has just entered the park is rude. The new dog is possibly on edge, examining its environment and level of safety, so your dog running full speed to that new dog could be asking for an instant fight.”

Other unwelcome displays of dominance include mounting, loud barking, aggressive behavior, or sniffing. Ensure that your pup is well-mannered with their greeting skills before you attend the dog park.

Watch your dog. If you’re at the community dog park, don’t get distracted by scrolling through your phone or taking pictures. Watch your dog to ensure that he or she is showing manners, playing properly, and sharing their territory like treats and toys.

According to the Humane Society, enforcement of these pet-specific HOA rules can include a written complaint submitted to the board, a legal hearing, permanent removal of your pet, fines, and collections for damaged property.

To avoid these consequences, follow the above-mentioned guidelines and download IKO Community Management’s HOA Guide To Pet Rules And Regulations by clicking on the button below:

Download the HOA Guide to Pet Rules and Regulations