Would you like to add a loving animal to your life? It is possible—and quite rewarding—to live in an apartment with one of many kinds of pets. If you don’t yet have a pet, but you’re thinking of getting one, here’s a short guide to choosing the pet that’s right for you and your Houston apartment:
The most important factor to having apartment pets with joy and peace of mind is making sure that your landlord is okay with your pet being there. Yes, many people have sneaked pets in against their landlords’ rules, but this is not worth living in fear, and certainly not worth the heartbreak of getting caught. If you’re shopping for a new apartment, Houston Apartment Insiders can help you find one of the many pet-friendly apartments in our great city. If you already have your Houston apartment, read your lease carefully and ask your landlord or manager before you get any new pet. This rule isn’t just for cats and dogs. Many apartments allow smaller pets (such as birds, rabbits, rodents, and reptiles), but some don’t. If your apartment’s official policy doesn’t allow the pet you want, there’s still a chance you can get them to make an exception. Apartment Therapy’s tips on negotiating pet policies may help.
Love dogs? Look for apartment-friendly breeds.
Dogs can make great pets for apartment living. Choose a breed (or mix of breeds) that does well in apartments. The Dog Guide blog lists 10 breeds and PetVR.com lists 20 whose space requirements and mellow, quiet temperaments make them great choices for apartment life. Many small breeds made the list, but there are also some surprisingly large breeds—including mastiffs, great Danes, and standard poodles—whose personalities make them great apartment pets. To keep your dog in top shape, check out our post about the many great dog parks in the Houston area.
Think beyond cats and dogs.
Many small and exotic animals make great pets, and are more likely to get the okay from your landlord. Consider birds, fish, snakes or other reptiles, and small rodents (like guinea pigs and hamsters). Some surprising ideas may turn out to be the best ones for you: Pet rats are actually very clean, intelligent, and playful companions. Adorable exotic animals, including ferrets, hedgehogs, and chinchillas can also make great apartment pets. These and more possibilities are discussed in PetsDo’s “Ten Apartment Pets That Can Be Better Than Cats and Dogs.” Keep in mind that some of these pets (We’re looking at you, sugar gliders!) require even more time and attention than dogs do. Do some research and choose the pet that fits your lifestyle.
Rabbits are great pets, but not great Easter basket filler.
As of this writing, Easter is coming soon, so we must say a word about rabbits: They are playful, adorable, loving pets, and great pets for apartment dwellers. Know, though, that the average lifespan of a well-cared-for rabbit is 10 years, and they require as much time and effort as dogs and cats do. If you’re up for the commitment, visit the web sites for the North Texas Rabbit Sanctuary or Bunny Buddies of Houston to learn all about rabbits, including how you can adopt a rescued rabbit who really needs you. If you’re looking for a cute, low-maintenance Easter gift, please choose a plush, stuffed bunny, instead.
Save a life: Adopt a rescue pet!
Besides rabbits, many types of rescued pets are available for adoption in Houston. There are cats and dogs, of course (including puppies, kittens, and even some purebreds), but many animal rescue organizations also have rabbits, rodents, birds, reptiles, and exotic pets. This web page from Citizens for Animal Protection gives contact information for 29 organizations that offer many kinds of pets for adoption in the Houston area. Once you decide what kind of pet is right for you and your Houston apartment, find out if there’s one waiting to be adopted. You will probably save money, and you will definitely save a life.
Posted by Melanie Belasco Levy on 03/22/12