How to Be Mindful As a Pet Owner in a Communal Living Space
As a pet owner, you’re ecstatic you’ve found a rental that allows you to keep your furry friend with you.
But it’s important to remember that, as much as you work to be a courteous neighbor by keeping the noise down, you’re now doing the work to help your pet be a courteous neighbor, too.
If you’re a pet owner living in a rental community, here are 6 things to keep in mind to keep your pet and your neighbors happy:
Always Restrain Them When They’re Not in Your Unit
You may love your pet, but not everyone wants your dog hopping up on them in the hallway as you take them out for their daily walk.
Whenever you take your pet out of your unit, whether it’s to go to a vet appointment or just out for some exercise, you must keep them properly restrained with a leash or in a carrier.
Not only is this a common courtesy you need to extend toward your neighbors, properly restraining your pet also is important for everyone’s safety. You don’t want your pet getting loose and getting injured or lost, or for them to injure one of your neighbors.
Keep Them from Being Disruptive
No one moves into a communal living environment expecting things to be dead silent all the time. However, they do expect that they won’t hear a dog barking all day long while you’re at work.
If you have a pet that makes a lot of noise - crying or barking, for example - you need to do what you can to find ways to help keep them from being overly disruptive to your neighbors.
Start with a trip to the veterinarian to see if there’s any medical reason for the excessive noise. If there’s no solution from your veterinarian, you may want to consult with a pet behavioral specialist to find ways to help your pet deal with their issues so they stay more quiet and keep the peace with your neighbors.
Clean up After Them
Pets are, at their core, animals, which means they’re just hard-wired to make messes.
Whether you’re taking your dog for a walk in the courtyard or your cat ends up peeing outside the litter box, it’s expected that pets will make messes of some sort.
No matter what the mess or where, do your best to quickly and thoroughly clean up the mess they’ve made. If the mess requires some additional help, such as damage to walls and doors that require a maintenance person, get in contact with your landlord as soon as possible to get the damage fixed.
Groom Them on Your Balcony
All pets need to be groomed occasionally, from just getting their fur brushed to having to trim matted hair.
When you do groom your pets yourself, do so on your own balcony or patio and not in common areas. Some of your neighbors could be allergic to your pet and using the common areas to groom them could aggravate their symptoms.
And, once you’ve finished grooming your pet, be sure to clean up after yourself as best you can to keep fur from blowing around.
Keep Them Healthy
Like people, healthy pets make great neighbors.
If you don’t routinely vaccinate your pet and get them checkups at the vet, you run the risk of them potentially spreading a disease to other pets living in your community. Or, if they have a health issue that causes them to cry a lot or make frequent messes, their condition could impact the quality of life for everyone in your community.
Keep your pet up-to-date on their vaccinations and visit the vet at least annually - or whenever they show signs of illness or injury - to protect your neighbors and their pets.
Put ID on Them
While you may be a conscientious pet owner, there is still a chance your pet can get out of your unit at some point.
To help your neighbors match that cat they found wandering the halls with the right owner, make sure you keep a tag on your pet at all times. Additionally, get your pet microchipped at the vet so that they can easily be identified in the event that they get out of your rental community.
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