There’s nothing quite as exciting as adopting a new pet. You’re getting a new best friend, after all! However, when you’re living in an apartment, there are some important factors to keep in mind. Here are some dos and don’ts of apartment living with pets.
Do adopt the right pet for you and your living situation. Adopting a pet shouldn’t be a fast process; it’s a big commitment that should be well thought out. It’s important to take time to prepare and do your research so you can find the best companion for your lifestyle. The most popular apartment pet, cats can be a great addition to any home; they are cute, cuddly and relatively low maintenance.
Dogs can also be great apartment pets, but caring for a dog requires more time, and some breeds just aren’t cut out for apartment life - like those that are very large, need a lot of exercise or are prone to excessive barking. Before you adopt a dog, research the breed to make sure your four-legged friend will be happy in your home.
Bunnies, guinea pigs and gerbils are perfect for a small apartment because they are primarily kept in a cage. They take a bit more effort to take care of compared to reptiles or fish, but are less maintenance than a dog or cat.
Don’t lie to your landlord. According to a Rent.com survey, 83% of renters reported having a difficult time finding a pet friendly apartment - but you should never try to sneak a pet into your apartment if your lease says you can’t have one. You could put yourself in the position of losing your security deposit, being evicted or having to find a new home for your pet, which isn’t fair to the animal.
Do get renter’s insurance. It’s always smart to have a renter’s insurance policy because it’s completely affordable and it protects your belongings in the case of a disaster, but it can also help you secure a pet friendly apartment. Having renter’s insurance shows a potential landlord that you have taken the initiative to be responsible and will cover any potential damage.
Don’t forget to pet-proof your apartment. Before you bring a pet into your apartment, make sure it is safe for your animal, as well as your belongings. Get down on the floor to look at your apartment from your pet’s perspective. Make sure there are no tempting wires or delicious shoes that may get chewed. Some indoor plants - including aloe vera, lilies, corn plant, dumb cane and chrysanthemums - are actually toxic to pets, so you’ll want to put them out of reach or get rid of them completely. Hardwood flooring can also be an issue for pets, as they don’t get great traction. If your apartment has wood floors, consider adding a non-slip rug.
Do make sure your pet gets enough exercise. All dogs need exercise to stay happy and healthy, but it’s even more important for dogs living in an apartment without access to a backyard. If you work long hours, consider hiring a dog walker to take your pup out midday. While cats generally need less exercise than dogs, it’s still important to make sure they get plenty of play time. Exactly how much exercise your dog or cat will need depends on the breed and age, so do your research.