Wednesday, February 7, 2018

Tips for Renting with Pets

Pets can be a wonderful addition to your home.  Whether it is a dog or cat, goldfish or parakeet, pets offer companionship and keep you connected to what is most important in life.  However, living in an apartment or condo can pose challenges for pet-owners.  Limited space and close proximity to neighbours means renters need to take extra care when considering whether or not to get a pet.  By keeping a few things in mind you can enjoy the benefits of pet-ownership, and dodge the pitfalls.    

Choose Wisely

The first thing to consider is what pet best fits your life, and your space.  Fish are a wonderful and lower-maintenance pet option.  They bring both colour and a soothing sense of calm to your space.  Other less-hands-on pet options are birds, and small rodents, such as guinea pigs, hamsters, or gerbils.  These more independent creatures give you a little more interaction than fish, but mostly keep to themselves. Cats and dogs are, of course, delightful companions, but they demand more care and attention.  Cats and dogs love to spend time with their owners and eagerly await your return, but be sure to pick a cat or dog that suits your space.  Cats, for the most part, are pretty conducive to apartment living, but some are a little more rambunctious than others, so it might help to do a bit of research.  Dogs, on the other hand vary significantly between breeds.  When selecting a dog, choose a breed that is better matched to smaller, less active living, such as Pugs, French Bulldogs, Chihuahuas, or Shih Tzus.

Be Responsible

Once you have chosen the right pet, be sure to consider whether or not you are up for the responsibility.  First, be sure you are able to keep the noise your pet makes down to a minimum.  Dogs, cats, and some birds can make quite a racket, so opt for quieter animals or breeds, and do your best to train and discourage loud calls.  Secondly, be sure to keep it clean.  Aquariums, cat litter boxes, bird and rodent cages can become quite smelly if you do not actively clean them, so stay on top of their daily maintenance.  The same goes for dog waste outside—remember to clean up after your dog, so as not to become the building litterbug.  Also, be sure to give your pet the care it needs.  Behaviour problems usually result from insufficient exercise and inattention, so remember to play with your pets as often as you can, and be sure to give dogs the walks and exercise they need.  Last, if you opt for a dog, ensure that it behaves properly in the building’s shared space.  Not everyone loves dogs, so keep yours well behaved, heeled, and on a leash when in the elevator and hallways.

Remember, it is crucial that you verify that pet ownership is authorized in your building, and be sure that you follow the guidelines set out by the property owners regarding pets.  With clearance from the property owner, and by taking the proper responsibility, pet-ownership in an apartment can be tremendously rewarding.

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