Features to Look for in a Pet-Friendly Apartment

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When it comes time to look for a new apartment, you probably have a list of wants. Perhaps your heart’s desire is to have a guest bathroom or you really prefer tile in the kitchen. You might like a first-floor apartment due to its proximity to the outdoors, or you might rather have an upstairs apartment so you don’t hear the pitter-patter of little feet above your head. If you have a pet, however, you need to be sure to include pet-friendly features on your must-have list. Here are some factors to look for as you search for a home for you and your four-legged pal from PetLifeToday.com.

Pet-Friendly Flooring

Even if your pet is fully house-trained and doesn’t shed much, a dog will occasionally track mud into the house and a cat can kick kitty litter out of his or her litter box. Cats will swipe things (such as lightweight juice cups that still contain a half-inch of juice) off of flat surfaces, and they might bite at carpet edges. Dogs often carry a mouthful of their food into another room or slobber on their toys, which end up on the floor. This is why it’s important to consider what type of flooring you want in your apartment.

While carpeting can work for both cats and dogs, understand that it will take some extra maintenance on your part. Vacuuming regularly is a must, and you’ll need to store the kitty litter box in a room without carpet (such as the bathroom). You might also need to spring for steam cleaning once per year; check with your landlord before arranging this service, though.

Hardwood, linoleum, and tile flooring are easier to clean. Hardwood does show pet fur, so it will need to be swept or vacuumed often. Wood laminate floors can be scratched by a large dog, so if yours tends to run around, be sure to keep his or her nails trimmed.

Enough Room to Accommodate the Zoomies

If you own a pet, you know what the zoomies are: It’s when Fido or Fluffy starts zooming around the house for no reason at all, commonly in the middle of the night. A tiny apartment won’t accommodate this very well. Be sure that you’re getting an apartment with enough square footage that will allow for some running-off of energy, particularly when you’re not home to distract your pet or take your dog out for a walk.

Outdoor Space (for Dogs)

While most apartment complexes require that you keep cats indoors or on a balcony, dogs need to go out for a walk on a daily basis if possible. Try to find an apartment that has a dog park or walking trails that allow pets. If you choose a place that requires driving to get to an appropriate place to exercise your dog, think long and hard about whether you can make that commitment. Also keep in mind that if you hire a dog-walker, they will probably charge extra if they have to transport your dog by car to a green area. Be sure to check out the surroundings carefully to find a place where you can take your dog for a walk.

An Entertaining View

If you have a cat, it’s best if there is a sunny window that he or she can sit in to watch squirrels, birds, falling leaves, and the other interesting things that are going on outdoors. While this doesn’t need to be your first priority, having a window with an entertaining view is a nice plus if you have a cat.

If you have a dog, however, you might need to think about whether seeing neighborhood creatures or people out the window will cause barking. For a barker, having a boring view that won’t instigate extra noise is preferable; it will keep you on the good side of your landlord and your neighbors.

A Pet-Friendly Landlord and Neighbors

Speaking of your landlord and neighbors, it’s important that you are open about your pets and that you don’t try to skirt the rules. Anyone living in a pet-friendly apartment complex should, in theory, be open to the idea of living near cats and dogs, even if they don’t have furry family members themselves.

Breaking the rules by sneaking in an extra animal or by disregarding the weight limit of the apartment could result in a lot of dirty looks, fines, or, worse, being kicked out of the complex. So make sure that your apartment is pet-friendly to the point that the stipulations are in the contract and that you’re following the rules.

Looking for a few pet-friendly features in your new apartment will make life happier and less stressful for you, your pet, and your neighbors, so be sure to take the time to evaluate all of your options carefully.