There’s nothing quite like coming home to your apartment after a hard day of work and being greeted by someone happy and excited to see you.
That’s one of the joys of owning a pet.
But having a pet can be a challenge while living in an apartment. Just the same, if your apartment allows pets, here are some ways to make having an animal companion easier.
Be Sensible and Considerate
Having a pet is a big responsibility—not only for the animal but for people such as your neighbors or landlord.
Some dog breeds are known for being loud and excitedly and decidedly do not make good apartment pets. Some cats scratch everything. Some birds can be surprisingly loud.
Always check the pets policy on your lease. Consider the size of the pet compared to the size of your apartment. It’s often a good idea to talk with your landlord to get their input. They may know some things about fellow tenants or the neighborhood that could impact your choice of animal friend.
And remember to keep your pet up to date on vaccinations—for their sake and the sake of others around them.
Have a Consistent Schedule
Most pets prefer a predictable routine. Dogs, cats, or even some birds feel most secure when you get up around the same time each day, feed them around the same time, and even turn in on a regular schedule. If your dog knows they’ll be taken from a walk every day at certain times, they’ll usually be patient enough to wait for those times and have fewer accidents on the carpet.
Be prepared for some “acting out” when the schedule is disrupted. Even if you’ve hired a pet sitter or used a kennel, many pet owners are familiar with the experience of a cold-shoulder cat or mopey parrot when they get back from a vacation.
The sooner you’re all back on your routine, the happier they’ll be.
While we’re on the topic, remember that a pet is an every day companion. It will need attention and playtime each day. An ignored pet is an abused one. Don’t bring a pet into your apartment unless you’re committed to spending quality time with it every day.
Always Leash Up
It doesn’t matter how voice-controlled your dog is, it’s always better to have your dog leashed when outside anywhere other than a dog run.
Your dog may respond well to commands, or it might be the friendliest pup on Earth, but not all dogs are the same. Some dogs can be very nervous around other dogs—even aggressive. If your unleashed dog comes bounding up to another dog thinking they’ve found a play partner, someone could end up getting hurt.
Also, some people aren’t comfortable around dogs. Sometimes it’s a matter of taste. Sometimes it’s past trauma. Whatever the reason (and the reason isn’t any of your business), be a good neighbor and keep your dog on a leash.
It’s true, and you have to keep on top of that. Even small pets like gerbils, hamsters, and birds need their leavings disposed of in a regular, sanitary manner, so they don’t stink up the place.
Keep the catbox regularly cleaned. Clumping litter makes the job pretty easy. When taking your dog out, have a handy supply of plastic baggies and know where there are receptacles nearby to dispose of the waste.
Never leave your pet’s messes behind for someone else to deal with.
This is all part of owning a pet. Fortunately, the trade-off in companionship and love makes it worthwhile.
Get Some Form of Pet Insurance
Pets are like people. They get sick. They get injured.
You’d be surprised how high vet bills can be. It’s best to be prepared. Look into either acquiring pet insurance or a special credit account. This way, should you have any unexpected health issues, you can handle them in a timely, humane manner.
Good Pet Owners Have Good Pets
Living in an apartment doesn’t mean not allowing yourself the pleasure and companionship of a pet. And the happiest, most well-behaved pets are often those with owners who go that extra mile to take care of their needs.
Good pet care isn’t difficult, but it is a commitment.
And it’s totally worth it.
This article was brought to you by Link Apartments® West End, an upscale apartment community in downtown Greenville, South Carolina.