You’re making some big changes in your life. You’ve got your own apartment and you’re looking for someone to share your home. If your apartment allows pets, a furry friend may be just what you need. For your sake (and your future fur baby’s), we’ve created a short list of reminders about owning a pet in an apartment.

 

Small dogs behind a kennel gate.Adoption/Rescue

If you don’t already have a pet, check out local animal shelters and rescues. Overpopulation of animals in cities can result in high numbers of stray pets in shelters. When a shelter becomes full, it could lead to animals being “put-down”. Try adopting from a rescue so that more cities can move to a “no-kill” mindset. Plus, you’ll be helping bring some life back to abandoned animals.

 

Medical ExpensesWoman sitting at a table with receipts, a pen, paper, a coffee cup, and a laptop in front of her.

Understand all medical needs and expenses up front when adopting or fostering a pet. Does your animal have a life-long illness? Has it had a serious injury in the past that could become a problem again? Are you going to be clipping their nails yourself? Can you afford all of the expenses of a pet — food, grooming, vet visits — and your rent? Set aside a budget ahead of time. Animals can get pretty pricey. But they are our friends and we should treat them with as much love and care as possible. 

Veterinarian and woman holding brown Labrador dog's paw that is laying on a table.Veterinarian

Find a primary veterinarian. This will save you the headache of needing somewhere to go last minute. It’s okay to try out different vets just as you probably tried out different doctors for yourself. Check out online search engines for best rated vets in your area. In case of emergency or just getting your pet spayed/neutered (which you definitely need to do!), you’ll already have someone to call. If you’re interested in having all of your pet needs in one place, find a vet that offers boarding and grooming as well.

 

Local LawsGreen sign about pets needing to be on a leash and cleaned up after.

There are rules for pet owners to follow that are beneficial for you, your pet, and your neighbors. Be sure to check state and city laws regarding leashes, spay/neutering, clean-ups, fences, etc. You don’t want to be that neighbor whose animal is always making trouble.  Plus, a massive fine would dampen any weekend plans. Also, familiarize yourself with your apartment’s policies on pets. First and foremost, make sure the kind of pet you wish to adopt is allowed in your apartment complex.

 

A grey striped cat laying on wooden floors with several kittens on top of her.Spay/Neuter

Help reduce local rescue intakes by being a responsible pet owner and spaying/neutering your animal. This won’t only reduce overpopulation, but it’ll also save you the trouble of your animal going into heat. The ASPCA offers a fantastic resource for finding a low-cost spay/neuter center near your apartment. While you’re on the site, check out their tips for preparing your home for a new pet!