What Renters Want with Jessica Fiur: A Dog as an Amenity?

Some communities are offering a "house dog" as unofficial mascots and as an amenity for residents. Would you consider this amenity?

By Jessica Fiur, Managing Editor

jfiur thumbnailWould your resident roll over and beg for this amenity?

Wait, wait. I can do better.

Is the amenity market ruff?

No, uggh, that one was awful. Try this one:

Raise your paws if you would like this amenity at your community.

Gah! This is harder than it looks. OK, whatever, some communities are offering a “house dog” as unofficial mascots and as an amenity for residents, such as Fifield’s NEXT community in Chicago, as reported by MHN. There. No dog puns, just information. Are you happy now?

By having a communal dog, residents are able to have all the fun of playing with a cute puppy, without having to clean up after him, give him its worm medication, or avoid his glares when you mention the word “neuter” within earshot. (And, no, I have no idea what happens to the dog when the leasing office is closed. I’m guessing a staff member takes him home? Or maybe residents can take turns taking care of him, like they used to do with the class hamster?)

And less disgusting to clean up than that weight machine in the gym that guy didn't wipe down after his workout.

And less disgusting to clean up than that weight machine in the gym that guy didn’t wipe down after his workout.

It’s certainly an interesting idea. People love dogs, but sometimes apartment living isn’t conducive to keeping a pet. For example, if a resident works late hours, or if the walls are thin and the neighbors can hear the barking, or if there’s just not enough space in the apartment.

I think this is a wonderful idea for communities to adopt! And why even stop at dogs? I’d be happy to loan out my toddler for people to play with during the day. That would be great for residents who want to play with an adorable 2 year old without having to worry about changing diapers or dealing with piercing screams because the chicken nuggets are nugget, not dinosaur, shaped. Or, heck, I’d even be willing to throw in diaper-changing duties. Then residents can let their teenagers try to take care of a toddler as some sort of cautionary tale. No judgments if it gets me out of changing a few diapers.

Fine, stick with puppies.

Anyway, communities that have a house dog could benefit from this off-beat amenity in other ways as well. They can use the dog in all their marketing. The dog can come to resident events and people can take pictures with him, which could be used in social media campaigns for the community. Plus, they’re just so cute.

What do you think about having a dog as your apartment mascot? Have you tried this and found success? If so, share your story. (And, please, let us know what happens with the dog when the leasing office is closed!) We’d love to hear your thoughts. Post your comments on our Facebook page or send a tweet to @MHNOnline.