Living with pets in apartments

Household 2 min read

According to an Apartments.com survey, more than 70% of apartment renters in the U.S. own dogs or cats. Apartment living with pets can be challenging with small indoor living spaces and limited outdoor access. If you’re renting a home with pets and you’ve alerted your landlord that you’re bringing home a new pet, the next step is making sure your pet will be comfortable with apartment living. Learn more about pet security deposits.

Here are a few tips to make living in an apartment with a dog or cat an enjoyable and stress-free experience.

Tips for apartment living with pets

1. Consider your pet’s personality

Size isn’t the only factor to consider when having a dog in an apartment. Large dogs with mellow personalities may do better living in an apartment than small, high-energy dogs such as toy poodles and terriers that bark a lot. Adopting a senior dog who requires less exercise is another good option for apartment dwellers.

If you’re moving to a new place with a pet you already have, learn more about how to navigate the challenges that come with moving with your pet.

2. Establish bathroom routines

It’s easier to have dogs in apartments if you establish a routine for their bathroom breaks. Take your pet out at certain times throughout the day and evening. Train them to use the bathroom in designated areas around your apartment building.

Cats like privacy when using the litter box, so keep their litter box hidden away in the bathroom or a spare bedroom. By using an enclosed litter box, it cuts down on messy litter scattered on the floor.

3. Give pets plenty of exercise

High-energy level breeds such as labs, retrievers, and shepherds can adapt well to apartment living if they get plenty of daily exercise, including outside playtime. Large dogs need a lot of exercise and love to run around and fetch. Make sure they play outdoors as much as possible.

If you work all day and don’t have the time to exercise your pet, you can hire a professional dog walker to exercise them.

4. Keep pets entertained

Like humans, pets can become depressed and lonely if they don’t get enough play time and exercise. If your pet seems restless or bored, it may mean they need more entertainment or one-on-one time with mom and dad.

When living with pets in an apartment, give them plenty of fun, interactive toys to play with throughout the day —especially if you’re gone all day. Place toys in different rooms and locations throughout the apartment. Spreading their toys around gives pets a good excuse to walk and exercise as they search for their favorite toys in another room. Switch their toys every few months, so pets don’t get bored playing with the same toys.

When living with cats in an apartment, think tall. Make sure they have tall, multi-level cat towers and kitty condos with scratching posts. If your cat loves to curl up on the window ledge and look out, secure and lock windows, so your cat doesn’t escape. If this is your first pet, learn more about bringing home a new pet for the first time.

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