You’ve finally found a place to live for you and your pet – not an easy task in many large cities – now how do you stay in your apartment community’s good graces? Apartment living means you’re living in close quarters with neighbors, and whining, yowling, off-leash pets can quickly result in complaints or apartment warnings. Pet-friendly communities expect pet owners to be responsible for their furry friends. Badly behaved pets are a liability and result in no-pet policy, so make a good name yourself and apartment pet owners everywhere with these tips:
1. Pick up after your pets. Common areas are there for everyone to enjoy. Imagine stepping in some dog doo while walking to your car – not a pleasant experience for anyone, and a sanitation issue to boot. Bring a bag with you on walks, or use the pick-up stations many pet-friendly apartment complexes provide. If you have a litter box in your apartment, you’ll also want to clean it out frequently to prevent strange odors from making their way to a neighboring unit.
2. Vaccinate. Prevent the spread of avoidable diseases by making sure your pet gets regular check-ups and is up to date on all its shots. The most important vaccines are rabies (required by law in most states), and Distemper. Your lease may also specify vaccination requirements for pets. You don’t want any additional risks if your pet comes into contact with other pets in the building, or even bites someone by accident.
3. Keep your pet leashed. Even if your pet is perfectly trained, be considerate of other residents who might not be so fond of pets. Additionally, you don’t want your furry friend to be underfoot if you’re near a busy street, parking lot, or in an area with lots of foot traffic.
4. Train your pet. Your landlord and neighbors will be much more comfortable knowing your pet is well-trained and not a threat to anyone’s safety.
5. Spay or neuter your pet. Many apartment complexes require pets to be spayed or neutered. With multiple pet households in your building, don’t risk having a litter of kittens or puppies to send to overcrowded shelters.
6. Keep your dog or cat groomed. Prevent a flea problem from spreading from your apartment to your neighbors. Even if Spot is flea-free, there’s no saying if his friends at the dog park are.
7. ID your pet. Make sure your pet is microchipped and wearing a collar and ID tag. If they ever get lost or are found wandering the complex, someone will be able to return your pet to you.
8. Take time to play. Pets who have been pent up all day or have lots of energy could turn to scratching (or chewing) up carpet, furniture, or other items in your apartment. Behavioral problems could stem from boredom, and serious damages could result in losing your security deposit. Engage your pet in daily play sessions as an outlet for all their energy.
9. Pet-proof your apartment. If you had tile or hardwood flors, the constant clicking of nails on the floor can irritate the downstairs residents real fast. Be considerate and put down a rug.
10. Pay attention to maintenance notices and crate your pet if necessary. Your landlord will give you advance notice if there’s any maintenance work that needs to be done in your unit. Make sure you crate your pet or take your pet with you during the time frame so they don’t risk hurting anyone or running away through an open door. Leave a notice for the maintenance workers to take extra caution if you’re leaving your pet shut in another room.
Image by Russell Bernice via Flickr.