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Pets for Apartment Living

December 5, 2012

NOTE:  At the end of this post, you’ll find an interesting infographic from ForRent.com, about the best and worst pets for apartment living.

Jim and I have recently discussed downsizing to a condo to lessen the burden of repairs and upkeep in our senior years.  Research quickly show us that this may not be the right option for us at this time because of all our pets.  Cats can be great pets for condo or apartment living but large dogs – not so much.

Our Maggie, a 48-lb bundle of energy with an incredibly loud mouth, probably wouldn’t be welcomed by neighbors living in such close proximity.  Gator, our 100 lb., oversized Weimaraner, would fare very well in a multi-family building but his size and deep bark might well intimidate other residents.  Plus, he doesn’t care for small dogs.

With all that in mind, we may not be ready for that lifestyle for a few more years but for those who are, choosing the perfect pet for apartment living is crucial to success for all.

Before signing a lease or purchasing a condo, ask for a copy of any by-laws or rules that might affect your existing pets or any you plan to acquire.  Be sure those are current documents.  We learned the hard way that not all sellers are forthright and honest.

When I signed the contract for our Florida home, I asked to see the subdivision by-laws, since I knew it was a restricted area.  The seller had them ready and they clearly showed that we would be able to construct a fence around part of the property.

Once we moved in, a fencing contractor said he didn’t a fence was allowed in our section of the subdivision.  A couple of phone calls brought forth a copy of the current  by-laws showing that indeed, fences were now forbidden.  The seller had shown me an older set of by-laws.  Whether intentional or not, it was too late, because we had already moved in and didn’t want to turn this into a nasty lawsuit.  Our older, very large Great Dane and his Schnauzer brother had to learn the ropes of getting their exercise only by daily walks and visits to the dog park.

Do your homework and be certain about what is and is not allowed by the complex you are considering.  You will probably pay a pet deposit and possibly an extra monthly fee for the privilege of housing an animal.  Know exactly what that deposit covers.  Cats with claws could damage carpets and window blinds unless they are properly trained.

Many dog breeds can live contentedly in an apartment or condo.  If your dog is small, quiet and calm in nature, its breed and size won’t matter, as long as you provide plenty of exercise by walks or play at dog parks.  Proper training may be necessary.

Know your pet’s personality and then assess its ability to adapt to smaller quarters with unfamiliar noises coming and going from other units.

There are plenty of smaller pets that make great choices for apartments or condos.  Fish is usually accepted by most complexes.  They are pretty, without noise, and relaxing to observe.

They say that reptiles make good pets for small spaces, but I am not the writer to encourage them.  Many people are attracted to snakes as pets but since I am completely snake phobic, you’ll have to look elsewhere for the necessary information.  Be sure to ask the management if reptiles are allowed, because there may well be restrictions on type and size.

Some people choose rats, hamsters, gerbils or guinea pigs for pets.  Other choices include furry creatures like ferrets or sugar gliders.  Just be sure they are allowed by the building management before signing a lease or investing in those pets.

Small birds make nice pets, but try to stick to parakeets, canaries, love birds or finches – any smaller bird that isn’t too loud.  Large birds, like parrots or macaws, are great companions but tend to be too noisy for apartment living.  Neighbors will be complaining about the squawking of such a loud pet.

Whatever creature you choose for smaller space living, the fact remains that Americans love their pets.  The infographic below, courtesy of  ForRent.com, details the importance of pets in today’s apartment dwellers.

 

Best & Worst Pets for Apartment Living
Best & Worst Pets for Apartment Living was created by ForRent.com

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