Having a pet in the home is known to produce positive health benefits for people, and pets are now allowed in many apartment buildings. Some advantages of indoor living for pets include a reduced risk of being hit by cars, getting into fights, getting lost, and reduced exposure to diseases and parasites.
Cats, small dogs, birds, as well as other small mammals and exotic species are well suited to apartment living. However, before adding a pet to your apartment, it is important to consider whether or not this arrangement is right for you.
Things to Consider
Apartment living for dogs must be coupled with regular walks. Two walks per day should be enough for a small dog accommodated to high-rise living. Cats should be given opportunities to experience natural behaviors like stalking, pouncing, playing, scratching, and social interactions. It is also desirable to provide the cat with windowsill perches to allow them to observe the outside world.
When all family members are away from the apartment for several hours at a time, it is not uncommon to add an extra pet for increased companionship and social interaction. A quiet, calm, low activity breed is ideal for this type of setting. Large active dogs are not ideal for apartments because exercise requirements are high, and their physical size may be awkward in close quarters.
Risks of Apartment Living
The biggest single risk of apartment living is that the pet will fall from a balcony or jump through a window. It is essential to ensure that patio doors and all windows are secured against pet escape, and when taking a pet onto the deck for fresh air, be sure to secure your cat using a harness and leash, and secure your dog using a collar or preferably a harness and leash. Escaped pets, or pets left unrestrained on balconies account for many preventable falls every year. Pets should never be left unattended or unsecured on a balcony or held near the ledge.