Pets require a lot of time and energy, but the benefits of owning a pet are well worth the effort. Still, living with a pet is a commitment, and apartment living offers even more challenges with a furry friend by your side. If you’re considering adding a new member to your family, here are some things you should know about apartment living with a pet.
Choosing a Pet
Some pets are better suited for smaller spaces than others. Obviously, a turtle will have no problems living in an apartment while a Great Dane might have some issues. Here are some things to keep in mind as you’re choosing a pet:
- Many apartment complexes have pet restrictions. While most will allow small animals that live in cages or aquariums, renters are often required to pay a fee or deposit for larger animals such as cats or dogs. Some complexes don’t allow any pets over a certain weight limit. Before you go pet shopping, make sure you check with your landlord about restrictions.
- Even small animals offer benefits to their owners. Tiny pets like goldfish and gerbils can make you happier and less anxious, even lowering your blood pressure.
- Birds can offer their own challenges. Though space is rarely an issue with birds, they are rather messy and can be very loud. Many complexes ban bird ownership for this reason.
- Cats often do better in small apartments than dogs. While most dogs require plenty of outdoor exercise, cats aren’t quite so picky. As long as you give them plenty of opportunities for indoor playtime, they’re quite content to live in an apartment long-term.
- If you do choose a dog, make sure you’re committed to the extra upkeep they require. Dogs need a lot more patience and energy when you’re living in an apartment. In general, smaller dogs are best for an apartment, while larger dogs are more of a struggle.
Keep Your Pet Healthy
While vaccinations and preventive medicine are always important, they’re even more important when you live in an apartment. Every pet, child and adult living in the complex shares the common areas, and it’s easy for fleas to jump from one apartment to the next. Using a preventive flea and tick chewable tablet like Nexgard can help keep unwanted critters away.
Get Ready for Potty Training
Whichever pet you choose, make sure you’re ready for a significant time commitment. Dogs and cats will need to be house-trained, which can be an intense process. Kittens generally know to use a litter box from birth, though they may need a little extra guidance at first. Puppies, on the other hand, will often go whenever and wherever they feel the urge. You’ll need to schedule regular bathroom breaks at least every few hours to take pups for a walk. You may also want to purchase some puppy training pads for the occasional accidents inside the apartment.
Once you have your pet, make sure you stay respectful of and courteous to your neighbors. If your pup barks or whines all days while you’re at work, you may need to invest in special doggy training classes. Even smaller animals (like a hamster on his exercise wheel) can be loud, so try to stay aware and be receptive to any neighborly complaints.
Before you get a new pet, it’s best to be prepared. Don’t let the struggles of owning a pet dissuade you, though. Pets offer many benefits, like companionship, reduced stress and more. Just take a little time to research the different types of pets available, and you’re sure to find one that will fit your heart – and home – perfectly.