America is a nation of pet-lovers. It’s estimated that anywhere between 49% to 68% of American households include a furry family member. But, as the population shifts from the suburbs to more urban-style living, it can be difficult to bring Fluffy and Fido into your home. Pet ownership in apartments, lofts, and condos differs from that of rural pet ownership, but that doesn’t mean you can’t have a four-legged friend in the city. There are just a few things to keep in mind.
1. Check your rental agreement, lease terms, or owner’s association bylaws.
This should seem obvious, but it’s something that’s often overlooked or flatout ignored. The Animal Humane Society has put together this handy list of tools that can help you search for pet-friendly housing. Some housing communities may have breed or size restrictions on pets as well. Illegal pet-ownership can result in costly fees, eviction, or the rehoming of your beloved pet.
2. Consider the breed.
You’re doing the pet a disservice by bringing them into a space where their needs cannot be met. While it’s not impossible to own a large or active dog in a small living situation, you should be sure that your lifestyle and your pet’s preferences jive. Oftentimes, people erroneously think that, just because a dog is small, it is well-suited to apartment life. That’s simply not the case! Some small breed dogs need just as much playtime and activity as their larger counterparts (we’re looking at you, Jack Russels), and some large dogs are big ol’ couch potatoes. Believe it or not, Greyhounds are notorious nappers. They were built for the sprint, not the marathon.
3. Consider the personality.
All that said, breed alone doesn’t tell you everything you need to know. There will always be an outlier. And, if you’re in the “adopt, don’t shop” camp, considering the dog’s individual personality is of the utmost importance. Before adopting a dog, make time to really get to know them. Schedule a meet and greet, talk to the adoption counselors, glean insight from foster families. Each dog is unique, just like people, and you want to make sure that the dog has the vibe to mesh with your tribe.
4. Proximity to parks.
Unless you’re really, really lucky, most apartments, lofts, and condos don’t feature a backyard. And, while there is a rising trend in community dog parks within complexes, those are still few and far between. When considering dog-ownership in an urban space, look for housing that’s close to a park. Then have the discipline to take your dog there regularly.
5. Urban field trips.
If you don’t have access to a nearby park, don’t underestimate the power of urban field trips! Taking your furry buddy for a long, city walk or to dog-friendly places (like pet stores, outdoor patios, and the like) provides excellent opportunities to sniff out interesting smells and discover new and interesting things to pee on.
6. Kitties need consideration, too!
Even though cats sleep most of their life, it’s still important to make sure that your apartment, loft, or condo is kitty-friendly. Cats are typically most active at night, so you’ll want to ensure that they have plenty of space to run around when they get the zoomies. When square footage is an issue, think tall. Cat condos and kitty shelves are two great ways to provide high perches for your cat.
Live a busy life? We can take your dog to the park, on an urban field trip, and give your kitty TLC. Get in touch with us at firstname.lastname@example.org to schedule daily, weekly, or as needed walks for your dog or visits for your kitty.
This article brought to you by the official pet sitters and dog walkers of Germantown Mill Lofts!