A Comprehensive Guide to Apartment Life with a Pet

Ready to Pets Home?

Pets quickly become part of the family, and that doesn’t stop because you live in an apartment. It’s important to consider your pets when setting up your home and schedule, thereby ensuring they get the exercise they need and have the space they require to spread out and feel like it’s their home, too. After all, no one wants to come back after a long day of work to find their couches torn to shreds by a cat’s claws or that their shoes have become a dog’s new favorite chew toys.

Knowing Your Pet: Simple Steps to Pet-friendly Apartment Life

Each pet has its own personality. Knowing your pet is essential when planning out how to make your apartment work best for everyone involved, and keeping him or her comfortable concerning temperature, energy levels, and more can go a long way toward a happy, healthy apartment mate.

The Dog Factor

Many dogs have a lot of energy, and they need to go for a couple of walks each day to do their doggie business and blow off some of that steam. Those that do not get to expend this energy are more likely to act out, and that can be bad news for household items made from paper, wood, plastic, and rubber. Energy-filled dogs with no outlet are more likely to chew on things to expend some of it, and sometimes their toys just don’t seem to compare to your favorite shoes, magazines and chair legs.

To help your pooch feel at home in your apartment, try:

  • Purchasing dog toys in a variety of textures, then encouraging him to play with those items only. If you see your pup going for an object that isn’t his, stop the scenario and replace the item with something dog-specific.
  • Walking her regularly to exercise and minimize potty-related accidents. A well-walked pooch is a tired pooch — one who will likely nap while you’re away.
  • Feeding him before you leave for extended periods. Dogs get anxious when they see you preparing to head out and know they haven’t eaten yet. Feeding before you leave will also encourage him to take a nap to pass the time once you walk out the door.
  • Creating space just for her. Some dogs like to be in their kennels when they’re home alone, others prefer a spot by the window so they can watch the world, and still others like a particular couch cushion, the middle of the rug or a doggie bed in the corner. Paying attention to where your pup likes to relax helps you create the perfect spot for her.
  • Giving him regular treats. Dogs love to be rewarded for good behavior, and giving out treats when they’re behaving will keep them doing good things. Treat after playing with a favorite toy, when he chooses his toy over your shoe, after walks, after bathroom breaks, just before you leave for the day and when you come home.
  • Bonus tip: Dogs don’t care about the size of the treat, so buying small dog treats for a large pooch or trail mix-style treats for a smaller pup won’t disappoint. These smaller options allow you to dole out more rewards without having to worry about overfeeding.
  • Spending quality time with her at nearby parks, taking walks before or after work, playing when you’re home, and showing overall affection when you can. This will help your dog know how much you care and reduce his or her need to act out when you’re away.

Keep your dog safe in your apartment by:

  • Removing choking hazards. Dogs explore with their mouths, meaning small objects, exposed power cords, and even rawhide bones — which can be broken into large, difficult-to-swallow pieces — can cause potential problems. Tuck cords or tape away, keep floors and easy-to-reach surfaces free from clutter or debris and put dog bones away when you can’t monitor your pup.
  • Ensuring there’s plenty of water in the dish, especially in the summer and winter. The heat in the summer and dry air in the winter makes dogs thirsty, posing potential dehydration risks.
  • Securing doors and window locks to avoid jailbreak situations. Dogs are smart, and they like to test the limits sometimes.
pet, A Comprehensive Guide to Apartment Life with a Pet
  • Coming home during a lunch break or signing up for dog walking services to help high-energy pooches stretch their legs during the day.
  • Keeping the apartment temperature suitable for a fur-covered animal. Summer gets hot, and your dog is essentially wearing an eternal sweater. Use air conditioning or fans to avoid heat-related issues.

If you are in the DC metro area, we highly recommend you visit Your Dog’s Friend. They’re a non-profit organization that offers free workshops and training classes to help pet owners develop closer relationships with their animals. As they put it, they aim to keep dogs out of shelters by supporting and educating their humans. Whether you’re a long-time pet owner, just getting started, or are even just considering bringing one into your family, you have a lot to gain from these free classes.

Living with Cats

Cats have their own needs. They require a litter box, plenty of food and water, toys to entertain them, and their private little nooks and crannies. Most will be perfectly happy if you give them the following:

pet, A Comprehensive Guide to Apartment Life with a Pet
  • A clean litter box in which to do their daily business
  • A scratching post or carpeted cat palace on which to scratch their claws and knead their paws
  • A full water dish in between feedings
  • Toys, like items dangling from strings, that can entertain them
  • Cushions or boxes with blankets in them that can serve as naptime or hiding spots
  • Access to sunlight on window sills or in the middle of the floor — optimal napping spaces
  • Love and affection when you’re home and have time to spend with them

Cat litter has come a long way, too, and you can now purchase varieties that reduce odors, are easier to clean, and come in lighter weight varieties. It’s safe to say that minimizing odors will help make the home more inviting for any cat lover.

A Pet-friendly Apartment that’s Landlord-friendly too

Even pet-friendly apartment complexes cringe come move-out time. Pet deposits are often built into the application process in case spaces are trashed by the pets that also call them home.

Help keep your landlord happy by regularly vacuuming carpets, cleaning windows or other surfaces, giving your pets plenty of things to do that don’t include chewing or scratching on carpets or baseboards. Keep nails trimmed to minimize floor scraping, clean up when he or she makes a mess, and keep them happy and safe to reduce potential noise issues. Know your pet’s needs and quirks, and you’ll be well on your way to a great time living in your apartment.

A Perfect Home for You and Your Pets

At DARO Apartments, we’re providing a unique and comfortable lifestyle — and that includes amenities for your four-legged friends. Our renters are allowed two pets per apartment (max weight of 75 pounds per pet).

For more information about our complexes or our pet policy, please contact our office at (855) 847-0361 or start your home search today. Don’t forget to check the “Looking for pet-friendly?” box when you do!

pet, A Comprehensive Guide to Apartment Life with a Pet
pet, A Comprehensive Guide to Apartment Life with a Pet

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