Dog and owner in an apartment

Even pet-friendly apartment complexes can present challenges for raising your dog or cat, and first-time pet owners are always looking for helpful advice. Following, then, are six things that you must do to help ensure that your pet will be able to live comfortably and interact well in his or her new apartment environment. Whether you live in an affordable 1-bedroom unit in Milwaukee or a penthouse in New York City, you still need to make sure your new pet is comfortable!

Their Own Room

If at all possible, try to give your pet some much-needed private space. If you have a spare room, that would be great, but we understand that you may be domiciled in a 400-foot efficiency. If that’s the case, do your best to carve out a space somewhere that is specifically designed and maintained for your dog or your cat. And remember, some animals like an enclosure that they feel protects them from guests, repair techs, and even you, and you can purchase a cage or carrier at your local pet supply store for a reasonable amount of money.

Warn the Neighbors

Before you decide to get a pet, speak to your neighbors and make sure that they don’t have any problems with your choice. If any co-residents have serious issues—even if you are in a designated pet-friendly complex—you should work these out first. These are much less likely if you live in a very dog (or pet) friendly city.

Child Proof

If you have a young child in your home, you know the importance of child-proofing everything the baby or toddler could get into. And just as children like to open cabinet doors and sample those blue and purple cleaning liquids, so will your pet. And while a child might give up easily if a door doesn’t readily open, a pet may prove to be more persistent, so diligently check your apartment for areas where a pet can get into trouble and buy the proper locks and closures to keep your pets safe.

Call the Dog Walker

If you are very busy at work, stressed, work long hours, or are just away on business a lot of the time, you need to get help so that your pet is exercised adequately. Ok, maybe if you’re overloaded at work, a pet wasn’t the best idea anyway, but if you have made a move, you are responsible for the health of another living thing, and you may have to pay to get someone to take care of your animal when you can’t.


Before you get a pet, you better accumulate some cash and understand costs. There are inevitable vet bills, food costs, cleaning expenses and mandatory equipment purchases like leashes, pet beds and blankets. If you have a big problem and need to visit the pet emergency room, be prepared for a big expense.

Use Your Time Off

One great strategy for acclimating a pet to its new surroundings is staying home. If you have accumulated vacation days, now would be a great time to use them. If you are with your new pet 24 hours a day for even a few days, you can really help them quickly get used to you and the apartment complex.

Caring for another living thing is a big responsibility, so please consider the six important points above before you take the plunge.