What are the best pets for apartments and other small homes?
Living in a small rental apartment doesn’t mean you can’t create a perfectly healthy and safe environment for a pet. Rather, it all depends on your dedication and ability to entertain them and exercise both their bodies and their minds.
That said, there are some animals and breeds that are more suitable than others for a smaller space. Below, we’ll explore your best options for pets in a small rental apartment.
Before deciding on a pet for your rental home, make sure to review your apartment and/or community’s pet policy, as well as any restrictions regarding breeds or exotic pets.
Additionally, talk to your landlord, and make sure you get their approval in writing, and discuss any fees related to bringing a pet into your rental apartment.
Best Dog Breeds for Apartment Living
Although dogs require frequent walks and socializing, there are some breeds that can tolerate smaller spaces better than others.
These include the smaller breeds, like:
Cavalier King Charles
However, perhaps counter-intuitively, some medium and larger breeds also do well in small spaces. These include Basenjis, which are known as the ‘barkless’ dogs because they’re so quiet. They are very curious, though, so they need training and constant stimuli.
According to Totally Goldens, Golden Retrievers are another breed that can do just fine in apartment living. As long as they are given adequate exercise, have enough space to move around, and are properly trained. Your pup may even enjoy going up and down the stairs, if you’re not in a ground-floor apartment!
Another large breed that actually does well in apartment living is the Greyhound. Although they’re tall and exceptionally fast, they’re also pretty low maintenance and don’t require a lot of space. Especially if you’re looking to adopt, this may be a perfect opportunity to provide shelter and love to a retired racing dog, who is typically very calm, quiet, and an absolute delight.
Again, just make sure you check your community restrictions so you don’t exceed the weight limit as greyhounds can be pretty heavy when full-grown.
There are things you can do to make living with a dog in a small space more pleasant as well. For example, feed them quality food, such as from these dog food delivery services, to keep them healthy and smelling good.
Best Cat Breeds for Apartment Living
Cats are usually considered the best pet for apartment living, especially indoor cats. However, like dogs, cats also require a lot of socializing and attention. Despite being fairly independent, some types of cats also do better in apartment environments than others.
Although these have very lush coats that require grooming and may be rather large in size, they actually do very well in smaller spaces.
Meanwhile, as for those that require slightly less grooming:
British and American shorthairs
Scottish fold cats
But, keep in mind that, despite some similarities among breeds, cats usually develop their own personalities, so it’s best to learn to recognize what they need based on their behavior. Plus, in certain communities, you’ll find restrictions for cat breeds, as well, so make sure to check before getting one of these beauties.
Aquariums For Apartments
One of the most obvious and easy-to-care-for pets for a small rental is a fish tank.
Whether you start up a reef aquarium or a freshwater tank, you always know how much space it’s going to take up. A small 3-gallon tank can happily sit on the kitchen counter, or you can pick up a stand for a larger tank.
With a larger tank, you will be able to keep more varieties of fish and really make it a showpiece in your small rental home. Unless you go really big (like a 55-gallon aquarium or larger), you are more than likely to get a fish tank approved by the owner or manager of your house.
A freshwater tank is a lot easier to start up and does not require as much expense with extra accessories and products required.
Other Small Pets to Keep in a Rental
Besides cats, dogs, and fish, other pets also fit perfectly into apartment life.
Among the most common are reptiles (turtles, lizards, etc), rabbits, and rodents. There are other exotic options, as well, but depending on where you live, some may not be allowed. For example, if you’re renting an apartment in Los Angeles, you can’t keep ferrets as pets because they’re illegal in the state of California.
Keep in mind that compared to mammals, pets like reptiles have quite different care requirements. It is essential to do your homework before bringing home any companion.
Bearded dragons can be a good place to start for first-time reptile keepers. Not only do they look like miniature dinosaurs, but they are also easier to care for than many other species. Online resources like these bearded dragon care tips can help new owners learn how to best care for their reptiles.
Ensure you always check with your apartment building policies before adopting a pet. You don’t unknowingly find yourself with an illegal animal or in contradiction with your community’s standards.
Good Apartment Pets
Any and all pets require your attention and love, but, because they also give back, you’ll receive affection and unconditional gratitude.
Plus, a home with a pet is never an empty home, and although owning a pet requires some additional costs — for which you should plan in advance if this is your first time being a pet-owner — the return is definitely worth it.
So, if you have your heart set on a certain animal or breed, make sure you research it thoroughly, understand their needs, and are able to cater to them through walks and outdoor activities, as well.
Similarly, learn to prepare your apartment for a new pet and make sure you pet proof your home. They’ll love you tenfold for it!