Couple with cat in condo

PET-IQUETTE 101 – APARTMENT AND CONDO LIVING

01/28/14

You and your four-legged buddy are living the high life in a cozy apartment. What could be better? As long as you make sure your neighbours and landlord are as happy as you are with the arrangement, it’s nothing but blue skies as far as the eye can see! Here are a few tips to help those nearby keep their sunny dispositions.

Ask First

When looking for a new apartment, seek out pet-friendly rentals. Your local humane society may have a list of buildings in your area that allow pets. It’s also important to review your lease agreement and let your landlord know that you will have a pet living with you.

The Best Insurance

Responsible tenants cover their belongings with renter’s insurance. When you get yours, make sure it has a clause that protects you not only from the damage your pet might do to your home, but covers you if your pet forgets her manners and bites someone in the elevator.

Walk the Walk

Big or small, pets need exercise! If they don’t find a positive way to burn off excess energy, you may find that kitty gets the zooms when others are trying to sleep, or your poodle starts bouncing off the walls when you’re away at work. By making sure your pet gets enough active time, you’ll avoid behavioural problems and upset neighbours.

Shh!

We all know that dogs bark—and there are a million different things that can set them off. It’s only natural that they’ll speak up from time to time, but the trick is knowing how to get them to stop.

Start by asking your dog to “speak” and rewarding the behaviour when he barks. Once that command is solid, it’s time for the command “quiet.” First, give the command to speak, then allow two or three barks. Next, say “quiet” and show your pet a treat. When he stops, give praise and let him have the snack. With repetition, your dog will learn the command and you’ll have an off switch that works!

Safety First

Claims show that the same balcony you fell in love with when you rented the place is the single biggest risk for apartment-dwelling pets. It’s a great way for both of you to get fresh air, but your cat or dog should never be left unattended on a balcony. If you do choose to take your pet outside, make sure to use a harness and a short leash.  

Smell of the Wild

In an apartment building or condo, you share more than walls with your neighbours—you may be sharing the ventilation system, too.  Our noses get desensitized to the different smells in our own homes, so keep making the effort to ensure your place stays fresh, even if it seems fine to you.  Remember to take care of the litterbox daily and clean up any accidents as soon as they happen. If your pets mark, specially formulated enzyme sprays will remove any lingering odour. And, if your pet resists the idea of being housebroken, consider crate training for times when you can’t be on the lookout.  

Pick Up After Your Pet

It’s important to scoop ‘n poop wherever you are, especially when you share outdoor space with others. 

Hello, Hi, How Ya Doin’?

By nature, most dogs want to say “hello” when they see someone. But just because you live in the same building, you shouldn’t assume that others are just as friendly. They may be afraid of dogs, have allergies, or just don’t like them. Keep your dog on a leash in public areas. Ask her to stay close when passing in the halls, preferably on the side away from the other person. And once you’ve learned your neighbour is allergic, consider waiting for the next elevator if you’re travelling at the same time. It’s a small gesture, but it can go a long way to maintaining good relationships.