pets in apartments

Pet ownership is not for every person or every apartment, but all house cats and most dog breeds can get by just fine living the apartment life. Sharing your apartment with a pet can be immensely rewarding. But it also requires time, effort, and money. In this post, we explore the benefits and drawbacks of living with pets in apartments.

Pros

Exercise

Pet ownership, particularly where dogs are concerned, promotes living an active lifestyle. To stay happy and healthy, dogs require exercise. After bringing home a canine companion, you’ll find yourself walking thousands more steps each day. You’ll also get more exercise in your apartment. Playing tug of war and throwing a soft toy for your dog to fetch are two ways to satisfy your pet and get more exercise without going outside. Playing with your pet can even help you burn extra calories while watching TV or doing household chores.

Other health benefits

Research shows that owning a pet can decrease the severity of depression and anxiety, and relieve stress. Caring for a pet, and being loved by the pet in return, can lower your blood pressure and cholesterol levels. Recent studies have also demonstrated that pets can help relieve pain. Pet owners have better immune systems, on average, than people who don’t own pets. They’re also less likely to suffer from allergies.

Companionship and social life

As long as you take good care of the pet you bring home to your apartment, you are almost certain to acquire a new best friend soon. Additionally, owning a dog is likely to lead you to chat up residents in your apartment and people around the block you might not otherwise talk to. You’ll grow familiar with who other dog owners are, and may be approached by passersby admiring your puppy.

Cons

Expenses

While certainly less of a financial burden than children, pet ownership can be expensive. As long as you make sure you’ve budgeted for a pet before bringing one home to your apartment, however, you should be fine. Essential expenses include vaccinations and other veterinary bills, pet food and treats, and kitty litter (if you have a cat). You’ll probably also want to buy pet toys and furniture (dog beds, cat trees). If you work long hours or frequently travel out of town, you’ll also need to pay someone to walk your dog while you’re at work or away. When away overnight, you’ll need to either pay for your pet to travel with you or pay someone to watch your pet while you’re out of town.

Responsibility

From training in early life to ensuring your pet is active and engaged enough to stay happy and healthy in adulthood, pet ownership is work. Caring for a pet requires time, energy, and money. Depending on how busy you are and where you’re at in your life, taking on the responsibilities of pet ownership may be good for you. If you hardly have the time or money to care and provide for yourself and any dependents under your wing, it’s probably smart to hold off on getting a dog or cat.

Space can be an issue

The size of an apartment does not typically affect a cat’s health or happiness. Most smaller dog breeds also do fine in small spaces, provided they get the attention and exercise they require. Apartments designed specifically with pets in mind often come equipped with dog parks, pet runs, and pet spas on their premise, which makes meeting those requirements easier. Many large dog breeds can also stay happy in fairly small apartments. But if your apartment feels too cramped for the humans living in it, you should think twice before bringing home a mastiff or Great Dane.