How To

Tips For Raising Your New Pet In An Apartment Complex

Even the most pet-friendly apartment complexes present challenges for raising your dog or cat. Here are some tips that will ensure that your pet’s life will be comfortable and happy in his or her new apartment environment. Whether you live in an affordable one bedroom in Tuskaloosa or a penthouse in New York City, you still need to make sure that your pet gets along with your apartment and vice versa.

Give Your Pets Their Own Room

If it’s at all possible (and often it’s not) try to give your pet their own bit of private space. If you have a spare room, perfect, but we understand that you may be living in a 400-foot efficiency. If that’s the situation, try to carve out a space somewhere that is specifically designated for your dog or your cat. Keep in mind that some animals actually like an enclosure that makes them from your guests, the apartment complex repair guy, and yes, even you. Keeping an enclosure also doubles as a crate training mechanism and that will help keep your pets from peeing on the carpet. You do want your deposit back, don’t you?

Warn Thy Neighbors

Speak to your neighbors just to check that they don’t have any problems with your choice to get a pet. Even if you’re telling them (as opposed to asking them) sometimes it can help to break the news in the form of a request.  It’s a psychology thing.  If any of your neighbors have any serious issues—even if you are in a designated pet-friendly complex—it’s probably better to work these issues out with the people living closest to you. These issues are much less likely if you live in a very pet friendly city.

Pet Proof Your Pad

If you have a child in your home, you already know how important it is to secure everything your kid might get into. Just like your kid might want to try and get into the kitchen cabinet to sample those tasty green and purple cleaning liquids, your pet might just want to try also. Pets can be quite a bit more tenacious than children when it comes to opening doors or getting into cabinets, especially when left alone.  Don’t let the lack of thumbs lull you into a false sense of security. Use the same level of vigilance that you would with a child.

Get A Dog Walker

If you work very long hours or are just away on business frequently, it’s probably a good idea to enlist some outside help to make sure that your pet is properly cared for and excercized.  Perhaps if this is the case getting a new pet wasn’t the best idea to begin with but what’s done is done. And you are now responsible for the health and happiness of another living being, and you just may have to pay someone to help take care of it while you’re not around.

Make a Pet Budget

Before you take the plunge into pet parentdom, you should make a list of all the possible expenses you may incur and work these expenses into your general budget. These expenses can be rather substantial so you want to get a good feel for how having a pet might impact your party and clothing budget. There will be the inevitable vet bills, the cost of food, the cost of equipment you will need such as beds, leashes and litter boxes. Be prepared to have your finances thrown completely out of whack if your new pet requires a 2 thousand dollar visit to the emergency room. This is not uncommon. It may be worth looking into pet insurance.

Try To Take A Little Time Off

Taking a little bit of a vacation is a great way to bond with your new pet and help them get acclimated to their new environment. If you’ve been racking up vacay days, it would be a perfect opportunity for you to make use of  use them. Being with your new pet 24 hours a day in the very beginning is a wonderful way for the two of you to really forge a relationship as well as acclimate your new pet to your apartment complex.

Being responsible for the health and well being of another living thing is a huge responsibility so please do your best to make sure that you know what you’re getting into and that you’re prepared before you take the plunge : )

1 Comment

  • I just moved into a new apartment; I was living in a house with a moderately large back yard. My dog Puma is used to having a lot more room to run around in and she’s obviously bothered by the change. Losing her yard, where she loved to “bury her treasures (the toys and bones I buy her)” and then dig them up again added to the weight of change. I got some really good tips from your article on dogs and apartments…making extra play time for her and added walks outside so she can still explore. We’re both still getting used to the change of space but we’re on our way to feeling at home!

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