Pets in Your HOA Community

We all love our pets! They become a part of the family and you want to take care of them. With owning pets comes a responsibility not only to that animal but also to your neighbors and other members of the community. How can your community create an environment that welcomes pets while preventing improper disposal (or lack of disposal) of pet waste and other pet related issues?

IKO Community Management has a few suggestions to help your community be a clean and friendly pet sanctuary. This is the responsibility of both the HOA board and more importantly the pet owners themselves. Here are some guidelines for pets in your HOA community.

Pet Friendly Common Areas – Does your community have underused common areas? Consider setting one of these spaces aside for a dog park. Dog parks allow dogs to get rid of excess energy that may lead them to be disruptive to neighbors. A secure fence that lets dogs run free should surround dog parks. Rules that should be enforced in your park will vary by area, so check your local guidelines. A short list to get you started:

  • Dogs must have all their vaccinations and they must be up to date
  • Dogs showing aggressive behavior will be banned
  • Owners must be with their dogs at all times
  • Dogs must be wearing a collar

These are just a few examples. Try to create a list of rules that allows for fun while keeping all the dogs safe and comfortable. If you are unable to set aside a common area for a dog park, encourage habits within you community that create a safe environment for dog owners to walk their dogs. This includes keeping sidewalks clear, enforcing speed limits and requiring dog owners to leash their pets among other practices.

Dog Waste and Disposal System – While owners should be responsible for carrying their own doggie waste bags, it’s a good idea to have dog waste and disposal stations throughout your community. Whether the owners forget to bring bags with them on their walk or didn’t know that their pouch was empty, it’s a great way to keep your community free of dog waste. Depending on the size of your community you may need multiple stations. If you’re a pet owner make sure that you’re bagging your pet’s waste properly for disposal. No one wants a bag of kitty litter to break while it’s being carried to the trash bin. NEVER leave your dog’s waste in your yard. Nothing is more unpleasant than seeing, smelling or stepping in someone’s dog’s waste. Your HOA Community most likely has rules against this as well. Always carry waste bags with you when you’re walking your pet and follow community guidelines when it comes to disposing refuse.

Encourage Activity – Just like children, pets get antsy when they’re cooped up without means of using up excess energy. If you have dogs this could lead to them barking and disturbing your neighbors as well as causing chaos in your home. If you have cats, not giving them enough exercise can lead to home and furniture damages. Set aside time at night for you and your family and play with your pets. While walks are great for dogs, chances are they’ll need more than that to help them calm down and stay healthy. Play fetch in your backyard or tug-of-war if you’re stuck inside. Cats love to exercise their hunter instincts. There are plenty of great toys for them to pounce on at your local pet store. If nothing else a piece of string will suffice! Activity is a great way to calm your pets down and interact with them as members of your family.

IKO Community Management wants everyone in your community, including the animal members of your family, to get along. Follow these tips to start creating a pleasant environment for everyone!

Download IKO's Guide to HOA Rules and Bylaws