You already know you love your Charlottesville apartment home, and you were thrilled to find out that the community is pet friendly and even provides a dog park – Fluffy loves to play with other dogs. You know your apartment community fits you, now it’s time to give back and be a good neighbor and pet parent. We have a few tips to help you and Fluffy get the most out of apartment living.
Take some time to pet proof your apartment. Hiding electrical cords and providing safe play and scratching areas for your pet prevents costly damage to your apartment that can make your landlord wish they had not allowed you to move in (and cause you to lose your security deposit). Dogs who are left alone during the day can benefit from crate training, a safe place where your dog can relax and know that you will return.
If you have a kitty, make sure that your cat is indoors at all times unless crated or leashed. Keep windows screened and doors closed so that your cat cannot get out, and prevent access to balconies. Cats that roam the community can cause damage to property and spread disease and are not welcomed by all community members, so keep your cat inside.
Maintain a regular cleaning schedule and clean up all messes promptly. Change cat litter boxes frequently and dispose of waste properly. Your neighbors may be more sensitive to a litter box that isn’t changed daily. Vacuum frequently so that cat and dog hair do not drift into common areas that could annoy allergy sufferers, and clean up after your dog so that your neighbors don’t find themselves stepping into a messy situation.
Be sure that your pet is clean and well-groomed. Apartment community members will enjoy seeing your dog more if she is pleasant smelling and appears neat and tidy. Provide reliable flea control for your pet – fleas spread disease and can be spread between dogs easily. Keep up to date with all veterinary treatments and vaccinations that are required by law to protect your neighbors and your dog from dangerous diseases.
If you have been thinking about brushing up on Fido’s obedience training, the time is now – your dog should be on a leash at all times outside of the dog park or your own apartment, and you’ll want to make sure he is under control so that you aren’t dragging a barking, snapping beast away from your neighbor’s children or other community pets. Keep the noise down and train your dog to be quiet on command, and make sure to give him toys to occupy him so that when you are away, he will not be tempted to bark and make a nuisance of himself.
Apartment pups need just as much exercise as country dogs, so make sure your dog gets lots of exercise. The apartment community dog park offers an excellent opportunity to get to know neighbors with dogs your pet likes to play with – you can even set up “puppy play dates” to keep your dog entertained. If you are gone during the day for work, consider employing a dog walker to give your pet a break and avoid bad habits.
NEVER leave any pet unsupervised on a balcony. You can set up a small patch of “doggie grass” or a litter box for a new puppy or a pet who has difficulty making it to a common area but be sure to clean this area regularly so that your neighbors do not have to tolerate any odors. If you are choosing an apartment for an older dog or a young puppy, you might want to opt for a ground-floor apartment to make frequent “potty trips” easier for you and your pet.
Try to think about your neighbors when you set your pet’s bathroom schedule. If you can, prevent trips out at odd hours when most people are sleeping. If you cannot avoid these trips, try to be quiet so that you do not disturb others.
Above all else, be honest with your landlord about your pet’s needs and size. If you have followed all the rules and requirements of your community, it is likely that the apartment community management will be happy to work with you to make you and your pet comfortable. They have experience with tenants with pets and their requirements are based on their ability to meet the needs of those pets and their owners.
Charlottesville is a wonderful place to own a pet! Follow these simple guidelines and you can get the most out of living in a pet-friendly community with your best friend.