Are you looking for the best apartment pet for your living space? With a little research, you can make sure that the companion you choose will be a great fit for both you and your apartment. But don’t make up your mind too quickly! There are more pet options out there than you might have imagined.
The usual suspects
Dogs are the first pets that many people consider, no matter where they live. But not just any dog can handle the apartment life. Though there are plenty of large-breed dogs that can be happy indoors — who might even prefer the indoor life — and small-breed dogs who go crazy for the outdoors, a mellow pet is the best kind for apartment living. Dogs who suffer separation anxiety or who are very active are more likely to be unhappy inside your home when you’re away and may cause damage to the apartment by scratching on doors and floors. Anxious and active dogs are also more likely to be pets who may bother nearby residents with barking or whining.
Cats have long been considered ideal apartment pets because it can be easy for them to forego the outdoor life entirely, thanks to their litter box and the loving attention of their human hosts. Aside from the mischief they like to get into, cats are also quiet pets.
But there are many other kinds of animals that perfectly suited for apartment life that you might not have considered yet.
Cute and cuddly rodents
Though most of us would run in terror at a mouse or rat that arrived unexpectedly in our home, either of these pets make excellent caged companions. Rats, especially, are bright, trainable and love interaction with humans. Look for a fancy rat breeder who can tell you everything about your new pet and help with cages and supplies.
Other rodents, such as Guinea pigs, hamsters and gerbils, enjoy human interaction and are happy in their cages, with time out for exercise and socializing.
A sugar glider is in the marsupial family and can live for up to 16 years. They are fairly high-maintenance creatures, especially in regard to diet, but can make great companions.
As with all exotic pets, choose carefully before you decide to bring one home. Exotic pet rescuers have their hands full of creatures whose owners decided they weren’t up to the maintenance and challenge of the care required by these less-common animals.
There are many reptiles that make great apartment pets. Frogs and toads are fun to watch and can be colorful, too. They’ll need an aquarium with a water source in it. Salamanders and newts, lizards (chameleons, iguanas, geckos, skinks and more), tortoises, turtles and snakes can all make interesting and educational roommates.
Nearly all reptiles, however, do require temperature regulation and a careful diet. You might even need to feed them live meals. Before you decide to invest your money and time in a reptile for a pet, do the research and decide if it’s really right for you.
A tankful of color
If you don’t need an animal to hold and pet, a fish aquarium can be a great way to keep creatures in your apartment. Building the population in your aquarium and creating the environment in your tank can be an ongoing hobby. Keeping fish and learning about the ecosystem of a tank is a great educational project for kids, too.
Polly want a…?
Birds can be a very vocal and long-living addition to apartment life. Be sure to select the variety of bird that matches your lifestyle; you will be caring for a creature that may have more demanding needs than many other pets. Some birds, like cockatoos and parrots can be trained to talk (African Greys are considered great talkers), but can also turn out to be loud roommates who make unsolicited comments often! Parakeets can also pick up words and sounds. Because they are on the small side, parakeets can make great starter pets for bird-lovers-to-be.
Think outside the dog/cat box when you’re looking for apartment pets, and you’ll soon see that there are plenty of creatures out there who would love to share your home. To ensure a good fit, understand your own time and care limitations, as well as the special needs of your prospective pet, before you make it a part of your family.
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