When choosing an apartment, it’s always smart to think of your pets…whether you already have a four-legged friend or are considering adopting one, begin your search with your pet in mind. Many downtown Atlanta apartments (including the Pencil Factory Flats & Shops) will allow cats and dogs up to 45 lbs. for a small fee. Be sure to ask your prospective apartment’s manager about the pet policy, possible charges, and any relevant information for your community. Never try to sneak a pet into a non-pet-friendly apartment; this never works out well!
Moving with your pet:
Cats and dogs are used to consistency, and moving can be very stressful on them. Before the move, get your cat used to being in a pet carrier, and on the day of the move keep him in the carrier with a blanket or toy until the moving is done. Be prepared for a freak-out when you let him out and he tries to figure out the changes! Dogs can also get anxious, so reassure your dog periodically and make sure she knows she is going with you. Be sure to keep her on a leash until she is safe inside your new apartment, as in the confusion she could run off. Try to keep up with normal routines to get your pet acclimated as quickly as possible.
After the move:
Be sure to get your pet tags with your new address immediately! In the worst case scenario where you get separated from your pet, tags will help him find his way home. Also, remember to change your address with the relevant agencies, for example the database if he is microchipped. Make sure water is always available for your pet and that the litter box is accessible for cats.
Apartment living with your pet:
Always pet-proof your apartment by doing things like securing garbage, keeping windows closed, and keeping breakable, dangerous, or poisonous items out of reach. Without a backyard to stay in all day, it is crucial that you give your dog long walks to get exercise, which not only keeps her healthy but also helps rid her of excess energy that can lead to destructive behavior. When walking your dog within the city, always keep her on a leash for safety. Show common courtesy in not letting her jump on people or become aggressive with them or other dogs. Many people are afraid of or allergic to dogs, so be courteous to their need to stay away. And always clean up your dog’s mess! There is nothing less polite than leaving your animal’s waste all over your community…bag it and bin it, please.
Choosing a pet for apartment living:
Having a pet is a big responsibility, and not one that should be undertaken lightly. If you choose to adopt a pet while living in an apartment, these tips will help you to make sure he or she is comfortable and happy. Most cats are happy to live in apartments, and because their bathroom habits are less owner-intensive, they make great pets for apartment dwellers. If you’d rather have a dog, don’t choose a high-energy breed like a border collie or labrador retriever…these dogs require a lot of exercise and can become destructive if they don’t have enough space. Instead, smaller dogs like terriers or the lazy Basset hound require less outdoor exercise and can play happily in the apartment. Greyhounds and whippets are also very mellow and sleep all day, making them great apartment dogs (consider adopting a retired racing dog…they are sweet and many need homes!) A reputable breeder or adoption agency should be able to tell you if your dog is a good choice for your lifestyle.
A pet can be one of the nicest things to come home to. If the responsibilities of pet ownership are right for you, and you make sure to follow our above tips, you can look forward to giving your pet a full, happy life in your apartment.