A Comprehensive Guide to Apartment Life with a Pet

Ready to Bring a Furry Friend Home?

Anyone who’s ever had a pet can tell you how quickly you will fall in love with your animal. Pets just have a knack for working their way into our hearts. Within days (or more likely, hours), they become an integral part of the family. But that doesn’t mean they don’t still cause trouble.  Especially in apartments.

That’s why it’s important to consider your pets when setting up your home and schedule.  It’s your job to ensure they get the exercise they need and have the space they desire, or they might cause chaos.

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 toy. Sometimes, that may seem unavoidable, but the key is to make it feel like it’s their home too.

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

Each pet has its own personality. Some are curious. Some are cautious. Some will get into as much trouble as they can, while others prefer to sleep all day long.

Knowing your pet is essential when it comes to planning. And the happier your furry roommate is, the happier you’ll be. So, keep an eye on their energy levels, favorite foods, and temperature preferences. And take note of where they like to rest the most and tailor a pet area to their needs.

The Dog Factor

pets guide for apartments

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 steam. When dogs aren’t allowed to expend their energy, they are more likely to act out. That can be bad news for household items made from paper, wood, plastic, and rubber.

Energetic dogs with no outlet are more likely to chew on things, and sometimes their toys just don’t seem to compare to your favorite shoes, magazines, and chair legs.

If you want a happy pup, you’ll have to get into the habit of making them comfortable. Luckily, it’s easy to make a dog happy.And if you give them a routine that meets all of their needs, they tend to stick to it.

Toys

Try purchasing dog toys in a variety of textures, and encourage your dog to only play with those items. If you see your pup going for another object, replace it with a toy or treat.

Exercise

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. You must walk your dog regularly. Not only do they get the chance to exercise, but it also minimizes potty-related accidents. Plus, a well-walked pooch is a tired pooch — one who will likely nap while you’re away.

Food

Make sure to feed your pup 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 them to take a nap to pass the time once you walk out the door.

And, pay attention to how your dog reacts to their food. If they’re getting sick or not eating, you may want to talk to your vet about what’s causing it.

Sometimes, food can irritate an animal’s digestion and make them sick. A vet can tell you if you’re using the right food, or make a suggestion for a better brand if you’re not.

Safe Space

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.

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 some 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 stretch out helps you create the perfect spot for them to relax. Make this their area. It will help your dog to stay calm if they’re anxious. It might even prevent them from tearing up your apartment.

Treats

Dogs love to be rewarded for good behavior, and giving out treats when they’re behaving will help them learn right from wrong. Hand out treats whenever you want to train your dog. If you give your pup a treat after they play with a favorite toy, they will want to use it more.

You should give treats when your dog chooses his/her 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.

Affection

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.

Spend quality time with your four-legged friend at nearby parks, take a walk with them before or after work, play with them when you’re home, and show overall affection whenever 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.

Safety

Your dog is probably curious and likes to explore.

Unfortunately, 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.

If you are worried about your pup while you’re at work, you’re not the only one. Here are some ways to keep them safe while you’re away:

pet guide for apartment life
  • 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.
  • 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

guide for pets living in apartment

Cats have their own needs. They require a litter box, plenty of food and water, toys to entertain them, and their own private little nooks and crannies. Cats may be more stubborn and more independent than dogs, but they still need you to care for them.

Toys

When cats get restless, they tend to claw and scratch at things. This includes your carpets, doors, and furniture, which is definitely not good for your safety deposit.

Provide them with scratch posts. Cats scratch when they need to shed the outer layer of their claws, so if they seem to be scratching more than usual, consider trimming their nails.

Every cat has a different preference, and they can be incredibly picky, so be patient. It may take some trial and error, but you’ll eventually get it.

Exercise

You may notice that outdoor cats run around and hunt a lot, which helps keep them fit. Indoor cats have this same predisposition.

Since cats don’t need to be walked, you can ensure they get exercise by buying the right toys. Try hanging feather and string toys just high enough to be out of reach and watch them jump for it.

And a laser pointer works wonders for a bored cat. They will chase that tiny dot all over the apartment if you let them. By choosing the right toys, you can contain the destruction that might result from a cat left to its own imagination.

Food

Cats need to be watched closely when it comes to food. You may have heard that it’s normal for cats to throw up, but that’s not really the case. Cats can throw up due to overeating or eating too fast, it’s true. But some cat foods are too rich and can cause issues with a cat’s stomach. If your cat starts throwing up, call the vet, and ask for their advice.

Safe Space

Cats have a knack for making any space their own, but they definitely have preferences.

They love to stretch out in the sun, so set up space for them on the window sill. They also love their privacy, so covered cat beds and hidden nooks are like a secret oasis.

Affection

The media will have you believe that cats are independent creatures who don’t want to be bothered most of the time. But if you’ve adopted a cat, you might notice that they seem to follow you around the house and always show up in the room that you’re spending time in. Cats aren’t as obvious about it as dogs are, but they love affection and attention. So be sure to give them plenty, or they may start knocking things over.

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.

live with your pets in apartments

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.

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, and giving your pets plenty of things to do that don’t include chewing or scratching on carpets.

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!

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