Apartment pets: 11 do's and don'ts | Living with apartment pets | Roost
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Apartment pets: 11 Do’s and don’ts for your pets

How to keep your apartment pets and your landlord happy

Increasingly, apartment buildings are becoming pet friendly, but not without some rules. Figuring out what the do’s and don’ts for living with pets in apartments can be a litte tricky to navigate.

Adopting a few good habits can help your pet be happy in your apartment, whether you are home or not. While most of these “do’s and don’ts” are for cats or dogs, you can adapt them to whatever type of pet you have.

Following a few simple rules may also help you get more of your security deposit returned when you move.

11 Do’s and don’ts for apartment pets

DO get your landlord’s approval before getting a new pet

This is a biggie, the biggest in fact, on the list. If you don’t live in a pet friendly apartment complex you cannot have pets.

Pet friendly apartment complex

If you are looking for an apartment and either have a pet, are thinking about getting a pet, or are a person who loves animals and doesn’t want a pet yet but may down the line, it is a must that you move into an apartment that allows pets.

The consequences of having a pet when your lease clearly states they are not allowed can include:

  • Being evicted
  • Being charged massive fines for breaking your lease
  • Having to rehome your pet (boo!)

When should I talk to my landlord about a pet?

  • New application to move into an apartment – You currently own a pet
  • New application to move into an apartment – You are considering getting a pet
  • Living at an apartment already have one pet – Want to get another
  • Living at an apartment and don’t have a pet but want to get one
  • Living at an apartment with a pet and you no longer have the pet, for example, if the pet died
Roost Tip! Shelters and rescues 99% of the time check with landlords before allowing someone to adopt if you live in an apartment, with good reason. If a landlord finds out you have an unauthorized pet you could be forced to give it up and that’s no good for your fur baby.

DO provide your apartment pets with self-guided activities for alone time

Restless or anxious animals that are left alone for long periods of time due to your work schedule for instance, can cause a lot of damage. Damage to your own stuff can be a bummer but damage to your apartment can start to get costly as you may be charged on move-out from your security deposit.

Lewondr Dog Chew Toys for Aggressive Chewers,Durable Natural Rubber Indestructible Dog Toys Treat Dispenser for Power Chewers, Chew Toy for Medium and Large...
Lewondr treat dispenser for aggressive chewers

Consider a chew toy like a treat dispenser that will help keep teeth busy and bored dogs focused on something besides the carpet or the kitchen cabinets.

DON’T let messes sit around too long

Leaving pet messes too long will allow stains to set in and odors to grow. And although we become ‘nose blind’ to the litter box, our guests, and landlord aren’t. Removing stains from the carpet is especially important.

Things you can do to prevent stains and messes from even happening?

For dogs:

  • Piddle pads for your puppy or dog
  • Taking your dog out frequently to avoid accidents
  • Hiring a dog walker if you have to be away from home too long

For cats:

  • Keep the litter box clean (some cats will start peeing somewhere else if the litterbox isn’t kept up)
  • Constant brushing and hairball medicine to avoid late night yacking
Roost Tip! For both dogs and cats, if you notice stress behavior deal with it fast! If your pooch or kitty is stressed this can lead to bad potty behavior that can be hard to break them of.
Rocco & Roxie Professional strength stain and odor eliminator for pet odors
Rocco & Roxie Professional strength stain and odor eliminator for pet odors

Definitely keep carpet cleaner around to deal with messes fast!

DO supply them with fresh water

Even if your dog slobbers water all over the floor or your cat knocks over their water bowl every day, you still need to make sure they have fresh water while you are away. For your dog, place a mat under their water bowl to limit some of the mess. For your cat, purchase a pet water fountain or a bowl they cannot easily knock over.

DON’T lag on apartment pets’ immunizations and healthcare

For your pet’s health and because your lease may require it, keep your pets up-to-date on their immunizations and check-ups. If they have a health issue, try to address it right away. Your vet may also be able to help you with behavioral issues as well.  

DO get renter’s insurance to cover your pet’s liability

Most lease agreements require you to purchase renters insurance. Avoid just picking up a standard policy. Make sure your policy covers your pet’s actions. An insurance policy may be able to cover damage or injuries caused by your pet. Imagine the problems you’d have if your dog bit a child. Ouch. This insurance can help you with liability if something should ever happen.

Roost Tip! Your lease may limit how large of a fish tank you are allowed to have in your apartment. If you fancy fish as companions, make sure to understand the fine details of your lease regarding tank size.

DO address apartment pet’s anxiety issues

Anxiety issues, especially in dogs, can result in your dog barking incessantly, your cat peeing on the carpet, or your dog chewing up furniture. These behaviors not only cause problems with your apartment, but they can also upset neighbors. Whatever issues your pet has needs to be addressed. You should also ensure they do not have underlying health issues that are exacerbating the problem.

DON’T let your pet disturb other tenants

Not everyone loves your buddy as much as you do. Your pet should not disturb other tenants. First, you need to clean up after it. Second, you need to control your pet. Your dog should not be sniffing bums in the elevator and your cat should not be making unwanted deposits in your neighbor’s plants. While it is difficult to impossible to “train” a cat, you can train your dog and keep the cat indoors.

DON’T slack in training your dog

As mentioned above, your dog should be trained by you or by a professional trainer. A behaved dog is not just better for apartment living. It is better for you too. Your dog should be leash trained, crate trained if applicable, and taught to defecate in inappropriate places. It should be taught not to be aggressive towards other dogs and humans, and it has to learn not to jump on others. If your dog is unruly, other tenants may submit complaints to your landlord and cause problems with your living situation.

DO protect window coverings

Ambitious felines easily conquer standard horizontal blinds striving for a window view. If you are renting your home, your options are limited, and again, usually cats cannot be trained. But you have options. You may be able to get the landlord’s permission to put up your own window coverings and safely store their blinds until you move. Or, you can completely raise the blinds out of reach and hang a washable curtain over your windows. Whatever solution you decide on, know that if your cat can get to the window, it will.

DO provide apartment pets with plenty of exercise

Most dog lovers know they need to walk their dog every day, if not multiple times per day. But did you know you can walk your cat too? Apartment cats, especially young cats, can act a little crazy if they don’t get exercise just like puppies. Many cat owners train their cats to use a leash and harness to help their cats get the exercise they need.

Pets help make your life enjoyable and make good apartment companions if they are healthy and trained well. Taking care of your pets helps you, your landlord and your neighbors get along while also keeping your apartment clean and damage-free.

A quick note! Our goal is to gather and share info that’s up-to-date and helps you make great decisions as a renter. That said, the information you get directly from a provider could be a little different. Make sure to review their terms and conditions directly; and, if you see anything here that needs to be updated, please let us know! Advertising disclosure
Last Updated: April 9th, 2024