I was five years old when my dad gave me a cocker spaniel for my birthday. Dream come true, I muttered to myself. The first few weeks were bliss. But as the weeks rolled by, so does the barking, chewing, scratching, and a hell lot of things. One day the landlord knocked unto our apartment unit. Two weeks after, we were evicted. Now I am thirty years old, and I own a pet friendly apartment.
So, if you have pets, and you plan to rent and house them with you. Here are three things you need to know.
1. The Pet Friendly Apartment
As the name suggests, it is any dwelling that allows pets. However, a pet friendly apartment goes beyond allowing pets. It is a community that welcomes pets and has nearby amenities or essential pet-related services.
Where can I find one?
Use online tools
They help you narrow down your apartment search. You do not need to go through all the hassles of asking your friends or searching for a neighborhood for a viable apartment. All you have to do is download an app or visit a website, and there you have it – you have an instant list of pet friendly places in your desired area. Here are some resources that would help you in your hunt:
2. The Perfect Pet for You
After the long search, you have finally found an apartment that allows you to bring a pet, with certain conditions of course. Before adopting or buying a pet, here some things to consider:
If you’re living in an apartment, your lifestyle and needs dictate what pet is best for you. If you have an active lifestyle, you might consider dogs. You can take them with you for long walks, or even jogging. If you’re more of a home buddy, a cat can be a perfect addition to the family.
Your career dictates the hours you spend in taking care of your pets unless you have other members in the household or a hired caretaker. If you spend long hours away from home, your pet might not receive adequate care from you. Having pets should not be based on impulse or careless wants, it should be anchored on commitment and responsibility. Just like humans, pets need care and emotional connection. Bluntly put, if you cannot be a responsible owner, do not ever think of being a pet owner.
Almost every decision in life entails money, and bringing a new addition to the family is no exception. Pets need feeding, cleaning, vaccination, and some may require frequent visits to the vet. Some owners may also opt to buy their pets accessories. These mean Bill$$$ to pay. If you are in a limited budget, high-maintenance pets may not be suitable for you.
Do you have anybody of the following in your households: below five years old, immune-compromised people (weakened immune system), and sixty-five years old and above people? If the answer is Yes, then you might need to be extra selective in your pet choice. Households with children aging from five years and below should not have reptiles (e.g., snakes, lizards, poultry, etc.) as they may run the risk of acquiring serious illnesses caused by harmful germs. However, this article does not discount the benefits of having pets to children as supported by researches. It is incumbent upon parents to teach their children how to interact safely with their pets.
The space of your apartment matters. Recognize that some animals are big; hence, needing more space. Whilst others are too tiny that you can put them in a fishbowl placed in a corner. If you are renting a studio type or one-bedroom apartment, buying a St. Bernard dog might not be a good idea. You need to factor in all the apartment features to determine which you should bring with you.
Hence, bringing pets into your homes is not without consideration. It needs planning and careful decisions. But do not fret, there are many quizzes online that would you determine which pet fits your lifestyle. To name a few:
3. Creating a Pet Friendly Space
You have finally found an apartment and a pet, but how do you keep your apartment safe for your pets? Some pets are kept in enclosures (e.g., birds, fish, rodents, etc.), whilst others can freely roam around. For instance, some owners prefer not to put their pet dogs and cats in a kennel without realizing that the former can be at risk of getting into trouble. Here are tips of pet-proofing your apartment:
Store Items High
Medicines, chemicals, and harmful substances should be kept on high drawers and shelves.
Keep Garbage out of Sight
Garbage cans are a collection of rubbish that can be harmful to your pet. Make sure that garbage cans are tightly closed (use childproof latches) or put outdoor.
Eliminate Dangling Wires
Make sure that there are no visible dangling wires in your apartment since your pets might chew on it and could cause serious harm to them.
Your shoes can be perfect chewing gums for your pets, especially to dogs. Shoes should be put inside the cabinets or in places where your pets cannot reach them.
Say NO to Toxic Plants
Plants brighten up the rooms. Some flowers may even give off a fragrant scent and create a wonderful vibe to any home. However, some plants are like wolves underneath a sheep’s clothing. They may look beautiful but are toxic. Plants like chrysanthemum, lilies, daffodils, tulips are proven to be poisonous to your pets.
Let’s face it. Pet ownership requires responsibility, emotional connection, and financial commitment. Living with pets in an apartment is another story. As pets become significant parts of the family and make our lives more fun, they could also become deal-breakers and may pose liabilities. Hence, several considerations need to be factored in before moving in with pets in an apartment.
Infographic provided by Downtown Apartment Company, a provider of Chicago penthouses for rent