Tips for Living in an Apartment with a Pet
By Satinder Haer
Pets are a bundle of fun but they don’t always make for the easiest roommates. Your furry companion likely doesn’t have the same respect for space boundaries, stylish décor or cleanliness as you. Sharing a living space, especially one that you are renting, with a pet can require some upfront planning to ensure everyone’s needs are met.
If you’re a pet owner who’s looking to rent or bringing a new animal into your existing apartment, follow these tips to create a pet-friendly space.
1. Create a Dedicated Pet Area
Pets value space and security, just like humans. Help your animal feel more at home by creating a dedicated spot in your rental for them, even if it’s small. Lay out blankets or a pet bed for them, along with all their toys and supplies. To stay organized, add wall hooks or a floating shelf above your pet’s bed for leashes and treats. A dedicated area can help you contain all of your items in one spot and make sure your pet has their own little nook.
2. Opt for Pet-Friendly Furniture
Animals often love climbing on furniture; opting for items that can withstand a little damage will prevent the need for frequent replacements. Crypton, microfiber and leather fabrics will withstand stains and scratches the best. Look for these materials when sofa shopping. For color selection, dark, neutral tones and colorful patterns are the most forgiving of scuff marks and stains. If you can provide input on your apartment’s flooring, hardwood and tiled floors tend to be more hygienic and conducive to cleaning up pet hair.
3. Find Storage Solutions
Bored pets, especially if they are young, often chew through wires, shoes or anything else left within their reach. Invest in storage solutions for each room of your rental to keep your valuables safely stashed away. Storage can be cleverly disguised as décor so that it isn’t an eyesore in an otherwise stylish apartment. Look for items such as benches, ottomans and side tables that have built-in storage and match the style of your apartment.
4. Keep It Clean
Pet hair can end up everywhere if it is not continually removed, especially when you’re living in a small apartment. Plan to vacuum and mop your floors at least once a week. To quickly remove pet hair from upholstery, take a damp rubber glove (the kind used for washing dishes) and run it over the furniture to collect the hairs. If your pet likes sleeping and playing in the dedicated spot you’ve set up for them, you might be able to isolate more of their fur shedding.
Living in a rental with a pet can certainly be a challenge if you don’t prepare properly. But, with a little work upfront, you can create an accommodating environment for you and your furry friend to enjoy.
A list of pet-friendly apartments and rental properties in San Diego, California.