Your Guide to Apartment Living With a Pet

Living in an apartment with a pet can be tricky, but there are many things that you can do to make it easier.

For people with the luxury of fenced-in backyards, taking care of a pet is easier than it is for people who live in the close quarters of an apartment, with neighbors close by and landlords to contend with. However, just because you live in an apartment, it doesn’t mean that you can’t experience the many joys of adopting a cat or dog into your family. In fact, there are many different things you can do to make apartment living with a pet easy and painless, and your go-to veterinary clinic in Carroll Gardens — The Vet Set — has come up with this step-by-step guide to help:

Step 1: Talk to your landlord.

You should never just assume that your landlord is okay with you adopting a pet. The last thing that you want is to violate your lease agreement somehow and end up getting evicted for the sole reason that you did not discuss adopting a pet with your landlord. You should also avoid sneaking a pet into an apartment that isn’t pet friendly. Eventually, your secret will be found out no matter how sneaky you are, and then you’ll be faced with an eviction or the reality that you’ll have to give up your pet. But, there are additional things to consider, even if your landlord allows pets. Some landlords will have certain requirements about the size or breed of the pet in question, and others might require an additional deposit or monthly pet rent.

Step 2. Do your research on the type of pet to get.

While most animals can do well in an apartment if you are willing to put in the time and energy necessary, there are some breeds that just aren’t the best fit for apartment living — and that can be true of both dogs and cats. Here are some things to consider when determining if a certain breed will do well in an apartment:

  • How much do they bark or yowl?
  • How much exercise do they require?
  • Will they tear up your home if they miss a walk?
  • Are they friendly/social enough to be around the other people and animals in your building?

Check out our previous blog series to learn about the best dog breeds for apartment living.

Step 3. Pet-proof your home.

Pet-proofing your home is important no matter where you live, but when getting your deposit back at the end of your lease is riding on how well you take care of the home, it’s especially important. Here are some helpful tips for pet-proofing your apartment:

  • Be choosy about furniture fabric – When you’re looking at furniture, it’s important to note that some furniture fabrics are better equipped to stand up to shedding and sharp nails and teeth than others. A few fabrics that hold up well to the abuses of pets include leather or pleather, denim, microfiber and canvas.
  • Keep cords and wires out of reach – Curious kittens and puppies test out the world around them in a few different ways, but most often, they do so by putting things in their mouths. It’s all too common for puppies and especially kittens to get electrocuted by chewing on power cords, so keep them well away.
  • Install safety locks on cabinets – As we’ve mentioned, pets are curious about their surrounding, and, naturally, they’ll do some exploring. There are many things that cats and dogs shouldn’t be exposed to, including many types of cleaning products, medications and foods. To ensure that your pet can’t get access to these things in your cabinets, consider installing safety locks.
  • Invest in pet gates – There are some areas of your home where you just don’t want your pets to go, like the bathroom, your closet (with your shoe collection!) or maybe the kitchen. One great way to keep your pet out of these area is to use a pet gate.
  • Buy a trash can that can’t be knocked over – Both cats and dogs have been known to knock over trash cans when they smell something interesting inside. So, invest in a trash can that they can’t knock over, or place the trash can under the sink or in the pantry if possible.
  • Be careful with household plants – There are some plants that are best avoided in homes with pets because they are toxic to them. For example, aloe vera, jade and rosemary are all toxic to dogs, and carnations, lilies, roses and daisies are toxic to cats.

These are just three of the many steps you’ll need to take for giving your pet a happy, healthy life in your apartment, and in our next blog, we’ll be going over a few more, so make sure you stay tuned.

If you have questions or concerns about living in an apartment with a pet, or your pet is in need of veterinary care, please contact us! We are always happy to help!

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