Apartment dwellers often assume they cannot have a pet. Dog owners also are quick to think they need to get rid of their dog because their living situation has changed and they are moving into an apartment. However, an apartment does not automatically mean no pets. There are several pet-friendly apartments throughout the city. It just sometimes takes a little more research and compromise on a location in order to find accommodations for furry family members.
Some also think that cooping an animal up in an apartment is unfair to the pet. It is a common misconception that pets need a big yard, but the fact is, dogs, even large dogs, just need to get proper exercise, and daily walks or visiting the dog park is more than sufficient to keep Fido happy. Furthermore, most rescue organizations and shelters do not require a yard because they do not want dogs to be left outside unattended. Dogs should be a part of the family and indoors with the family. Dogs left alone in a yard are prone to boredom and the behaviors that come with that such as digging, escaping and excessive barking.
Apartments that allow pets often have weight and/or breed restrictions and require a separate pet deposit. There are often limits on the number of pets allowed to reside in an apartment. If a family already has a pet, it is a good idea to have references from veterinarians, neighbors, former landlords and others that the pet is well-kept and up to date on vaccinations and that the owners are responsible. It is a good idea to arrange a meet-and-greet so a potential landlord can see what a great guy Fido really is.
Additional things to consider:
The level matters. First-floor apartments give direct access to the outdoors. This makes potty trips quick, easy and hassle-free.
Routine is essential. If the family is moving from a home with a yard that Fido is used to running and playing in, make sure to continue to give him outside time with walks, jogs or dog park visits.
Be mindful of neighbors. Now that the neighbors are just a wall away, try restricting roughhousing and playing that evokes barking to the outdoors. Keep a good variety of toys and treats on hand to keep Fido stimulated while at home and indoors.
Exercise is the key. Too many people rely on the yard for their pet’s exercise. Get out and exercise. This is a great way to establish new routines, explore the new neighborhood and meet new neighbors and fellow dog owners.
Consider a dog walker or dog day care. Dogs should not be left alone for extended periods of time — whether indoors or out — for their safety and mental and physical well-being. This applies to both people living in apartments and in single-family homes. If no one will be home for long hours, consider hiring a dog walker or joining a dog day care.
No one should have to give up their pet simply because they are moving. Do the necessary homework to find proper housing for the entire family.
ADOPTION EVENT: The Louisiana SPCA will hold an adoption event from 5 p.m. to 7 p.m. Wednesday at Wednesday in the Square at Lafayette Square on St. Charles Avenue across from Gallier Hall. For information, call (504) 368-5191 or visit la-spca.org.
ADOPTION EVENT: The Louisiana SPCA will hold an adoption event from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. Saturday at the Louisiana Capital Federal Credit Union, 4725 Veterans Memorial Blvd., Metairie. For information, call (504) 368-5191 or visit la-spca.org.
LOST OR FOUND PETS: In Orleans Parish, send a photo, description of the pet, date lost/found and contact info to firstname.lastname@example.org. In Jefferson Parish, send to email@example.com and firstname.lastname@example.org. In St. Bernard Parish, send to email@example.com.
Traci D. Howerton is social media editor of Animal Rescue New Orleans. Contact her at firstname.lastname@example.org.