Apartment Living with Pets

Valley Animal Center was featured in a Redfin blog! You can read their article “Renting with Pets: What You Need to Know” where they share many tips and considerations about renting with pets. Read further for more tips about renting with pets in an apartment setting!

One of the greatest challenges with living in an apartment and being a pet owner is often the limited living space. How do you keep your dog active in a small space? Where do you put cat trees for your cat? Sometimes we just have to work with what we have!

  1. If you own a cat and have limited space to put trees or cat hammocks (or maybe you have no space!) consider being strategic with your furniture placement. Maybe instead of a cat tree, line a shelf with a blanket or towel so your cat can hop on up and perch when they want to see a higher view. Sometimes we have to get creative with making something multi-purpose.
  2. If you have a dog who needs more running space than your apartment can offer, join a dog park (such as ours) or schedule in time to take your dog out on walks around the apartment complex.
  3. With both dogs and cats, you can always have enrichment games indoors. Treat puzzles or a few minutes here and there training your pet in new (or old) tricks keeps their mind active. Mental stimulation can be just as exerting as physical exercise for your pets.

What if you live in an apartment with roommates or another family member? With apartment prices being at an all time high, you and your pet may find yourself having to room with someone else. Here are some tips:

  1. With communal living, it’s important your roommates are on board with you having pets! Ideally, this is something that is established before you, or they, move in together. But maybe you want to adopt a pet after you’ve been in your apartment for a while. Communication is important to ensure that all residents have agreed to adding a furry friend to the residence.
  2. If you live with roommates, you might find yourself having to discuss boundaries and responsibilities with your pet. This can be anything from where your pet is allowed/not allowed to go such as your roommate’s room, when/how you’ll clean up after your pet, etc.
  3. You also might find yourself having to teach your roommates how to interact with your pet, or how to read their body language/signals. The last thing we’d want is your roommate to get nipped or swatted and then form a subconscious negative impression of your precious pet!

Living with pets in an apartment setting can pose many challenges, but pet ownership is very rewarding. Your pet can be a great companion and family member. However, if you are someone who doesn’t have a pet yet and are thinking about adopting a pet, here are some things to consider before taking on the big responsibility of pet ownership:

  1. Size: Most apartments will have a size limit on your pet. Landlords can be worried that bigger pets will cause bigger damage but as a responsible pet owner, we have to be considerate that our smaller apartment space may not be the best-suited for a large dog. Since most apartments also don’t come with a yard space for your dog to run around in, consider adopting a small breed dog for your apartment living. If your landlord does allow for large breed dogs and you want to adopt a large furry friend, then do be prepared that your big dog will need to be taken out for more space to run and work out all their energy.
  2. Age: Most cats and dogs that are in their teen and under years tend to be more active and playful. Adopting kittens and puppies will often mean you have a bundle of energy that will zoom around your home, and possibly make some adorable yet frustrating messes. Adopting a senior pet often means more lounging energy. (That’s not to say senior pets can’t be just as energetic as their young counterparts!) Even if you aren’t living in an apartment, choosing a pet whose energy level matches yours and your lifestyle will lead to a more compatible companionship.
  3. Finances: Although owning a pet can be rewarding and awesome, it does cost money. Most apartments will require a pet deposit and some will require an additional monthly pet rent. Aside from those expenses, you have to consider expenses for food, enrichment, vet visits and so forth. The initial cost of pet ownership can be overwhelming but if you plan ahead and adjust accordingly, it is possible!

If you have other tips you’d like to share, comment below! If you are ready to add a furry family member to your life, please adopt HERE and be the home of an animal in need! For more information about adopting a cat, click HERE. For more information about adopting a dog, click HERE.