Apartments and Pets
Posted February 27, 2017
When living or moving into an apartment, it may be tempting to get
a playful, furry friend as a roommate. However, not all cats and
dogs are fit to live in an apartment.
Dr. Stacy Eckman, clinical assistant professor at
the Texas A&M College of Veterinary Medicine & Biomedical
Sciences, explained what pet owners should consider when keeping
their pet in a small space.
“Dog owners should consider the size and general activity of the
dog,” Eckman said. “It is difficult to house working breeds in
small apartments since they need a lot of exercise and space;
however, an older working dog may not require that level of
activity. Additionally, dog owners should ensure their pets are
getting proper exercise or they can become destructive.”
Eckman added that dog owners should consider their lifestyle and
if they will have the time and ability to walk their pet outdoors
several times a day. Some apartment complexes have several flights
of stairs, so consider your dog’s age and ability to climb stairs.
If you have an older pet, they may require assistance or have
difficulty getting up and down the stairs.
Other dogs may live in the same complex, so consider training
and socializing your dog to interact well with other dogs.
Because there is potential for your dog to come into contact
with other dogs, Eckman said to ensure your dog is up to date on
immunizations to protect them from infectious diseases.
Furthermore, if your dog is too vocal, this could upset
neighbors, causing tension between you and your landlord.
“Happy and content dogs may be best for apartment living, but
these traits are personality dependent,” Eckman said. “Some dogs
are quiet and happy, but others may get anxious from the noises
from apartments above, below, or beside them.”
If you aren’t fully set on getting a dog, consider a cat. Cats
may be lower maintenance than dogs because they generally require
less exercise and use a litter box indoors, which may make it
easier on pet owners with busy lifestyles.
“Cats may not need the outside activity that dogs require and
they take up less space in general,” Eckman said. “You can also add
vertical height spaces for cats to climb on to help provide them
with entertainment and exercise. Generally, cat owners don’t have
to worry about upsetting neighbors because cats are quieter than
Whether you are considering getting a cat or a dog to live with
you in an apartment, Eckman said, “Do your research. If you are
adopting from a shelter, the shelter will often be able to tell you
how active the pet is and about the animal’s personality.”
Additionally, make sure you are not allergic to the pet you want
to adopt, and above all, remember owning a pet is a big
“Don’t forget your lifestyle may change,” Eckman said. “You will
need to be flexible in your schedule when you adopt a new a pet,
regardless of where you are living.”
Pet Talk is a service of the College of Veterinary Medicine
& Biomedical Sciences, Texas A&M University. Stories can be
viewed on the Web at vetmed.tamu.edu/pet-talk.
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