Most people who would like to foster or adopt a pet feel that can’t be because they live in apartments. However, living with pets in an apartment doesn’t mean that you can’t offer your fur babies a good home.
With small, indoor living spaces and limited outdoor access, apartment living with pets can be challenging. However, Dr. Sara Elliott, founder, and director of Veterinary Services at British Veterinary Hospital, shares insights into which pets tend to do best in apartments as well as five tips to make living with pets in an apartment an enjoyable and stress-free experience.
How to Enjoy Living with Pets in an Apartment
Size isn’t the only factor to consider when living with pets in an apartment. It is essential to consider an animal’s energy level, noisiness, and even friendliness. Large dogs with mellow personalities may do better living in an apartment compared to small, high-energy dogs such as toy poodles and terriers that bark a lot.
Dogs thrive on routine. It’s easier for dogs to adapt to apartment living if you establish regular times for their bathroom breaks. Train them to go to the bathroom in the same designated areas around your apartment building. Cats, on the other hand, prefer privacy when using the litter box, so keep it hidden away in the bathroom or a spare bedroom. Using an enclosed litter box cuts down on messy droppings scattered on the floor.
Exercising your pets
High-energy breeds such as Labradors, Retrievers, and Alsatians can adapt well to apartment living as long as they get plenty of daily exercises, including outside play time. Ensure they play outdoors as much as possible and if you work all day and don’t have the time to exercise your pet, you can hire a professional dog walker. Although the silliness and energy of puppies and kittens can be fun, people often underestimate how much work they actually are, especially if you are living with pets in an apartment. Consider taking on a senior pet, which is less labor intensive. They are typically housebroken, accustomed to living in a home, often know basic commands and have a more laid-back approach to life.
On the other hand, it can be difficult for cats to find a space to call their own in a tiny apartment. Cats are curious by nature and love to explore. Cats enjoy climbing high and like to be out of reach so they can look down and observe their surroundings. One tried and tested tactic is to ensure cats have access to 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.
SEE ALSO: Importance of Playdates in Child Development
Just like us, our pets can get depressed and lonely if they don’t get enough play time and exercise. If your pets seem restless or bored, it may mean they need more entertainment or one-on-one time with you.
Give pets plenty of fun, interactive toys to play with, especially if you are out all day. Place toys in different rooms and locations throughout the apartment. This gives pets a good reason to explore 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.
Keep your apartment-dwellers official and trackable
According to Dubai Municipality, every pet must be vaccinated and micro-chipped before registering with the municipality and getting their unique identification. Even if you have an indoor pet, such as a cat, it still needs a form of identification. Cats do escape at times, and unlike human children, cats are unable to vocalize their names and addresses.
Living with pets in an apartment can make them thrive and be happy. The most important thing when deciding whether to foster or adopt a pet is not where you live, but how much time you can give that pet and ensuring your pet has a full and engaging life, with plenty of play-time and activity.