Finding a new place to live is challenging. And, when you have a four-legged roommate it can get even trickier. To avoid potential problems keep these tips in mind when searching for your next apartment.
1) Confirm That Dogs Are Allowed
Simple, right? Yes and no. Some apartment buildings have weight/size limits. If you have multiple pets, check to make sure this is not forbidden in your lease agreement. Your lease should also state whether or not there is a pet deposit required.
2) Find The Right Size Apartment For Your Dog (& You)
Have a big galoot of a Labrador? He'll need some space, and if possible, close proximity to a yard or dog park. Smaller dogs are better for studio apartments or one bedrooms, as their dog beds won't take up as much space. This is basic - if you have a big dog with a huge crate and gi-normous Dog Bed
, a studio might not be the best choice. You and your pet will feel cramped. Make sure that you and your pet have room to grow.
3) Be Your Dog's Trainer and Advocate
It's important to teach your pet good manners, especially if you're living in an apartment or condo and sharing common spaces. It is your responsibility to ensure your pet knows proper etiquette. Whether it's walking calmly on a Dog Leash
or keeping the barking to a minimum, you and your pet need to be considerate neighbors. If your pet needs special consideration (for instance, she's frightened by strangers, thunderstorms or other dogs) let your neighbors know. They'll appreciate your honesty.
4) Check Your Apartment For Dog Safety
Make sure your new apartment is safe for your pet. Is there a loose carpet edge he or she could chew up or any exposed wires? Do you have room to set up your pet's Dog Crate
? Can your pet easily escape through the front door? Is there a balcony that needs to be secured? Get on your hands and knees and get a pet's eye view. Your pet's safety and security is paramount.
5) Have An Emergency Escape Route
In case of fire or other disaster, know how to get out of your building safely. If your building has elevators you'll need to familiarize yourself with the stairwells. It's a good idea to run through a practice fire drill with your pet once or twice a year. If possible, make a connection with a neighbor or form a tenants with pets group to check on each other in case of an emergency.