Pets enhance and improve our lives in a variety of ways. They provide companionship and comfort, and in fact, there have been a variety of medical studies done that prove that the simple act of petting a dog or a cat for a few minutes a day can help lower stress levels, lower your blood pressure, and provide a variety of other medical benefits. (Cardiovascular effects of human-pet dog interactions) So what are the best pets for people who live in apartments?
The challenge though, for people who live in an apartment, is in finding the best pets that’s a good “fit” for your life and lifestyle.
It’s actually trickier than you might think! Sure, there are some obvious choices to steer clear of. For instance, if you live in an apartment then you probably don’t want a Great Dane or St. Bernard. These breeds are gigantic, and no matter how spacious your apartment is, it’s just not going to be big enough to give them the space they’ll need to live happy, healthy lives.
Beyond that though, once you set the obvious examples of what not to get out of the way, it gets much harder. This short guide will help you cut through the clutter of possibilities and zero in on the best pets for you, given the space you have available.
- Let’s start with the obvious choice. Cats are great for apartment dwellers, because they don’t mind the limited space, and are fairly self-sufficient, so if you’re always on the go, they can pretty much look after themselves.
If you decide to get a cat, short-hairs are probably better for apartment dwellers, because the long-haired breeds will basically turn your entire apartment into one giant dust bunny, with cat hair covering pretty much everything. Unless you really enjoy vacuuming, stick with a short hair. Whatever breed you opt for, just be sure you give them lots of play opportunities and exercise, because with little space, their exercise options will be limited
- Small breed dogs – It’s not impossible to have a dog in an apartment, but you’re going to want to stick with smaller breeds that don’t require lots of room to run. A terrier or chihuahua will be able to run through even a small apartment and get a good workout. For a Labrador, that’s simply out of the question.
One thing to keep in mind here though, are your neighbors. Beagles are small dogs, but they’re hounds and as such, they bay. A lot. At everything. This can quickly create bad blood, so ideally, you’ll get a small breed that’s NOT a hound. Again, short to medium haired dogs are better than long haired breeds unless you just enjoy vacuuming and brushing on a daily basis.
- Fish – Although these will easily fit into an apartment, fish don’t make very good pets. You can’t cuddle, hold, or play with them, so all they really do is add to your routine maintenance without providing the health benefits we talked about earlier. Of course, a well-designed aquarium can be soothing to sit and look at, so for some people, fish might be a good option, but this is highly situational.
- Rodents – This includes a broad cross-section of small, furry creatures like Guinea Pigs, small-breed rabbits, gerbils, and the like. This can be a good choice, if you can get past the “rodent factor,” which is a deal breaker for a lot of people. Still, if that’s not an issue for you, they are the best pets for people with limited space, and provide many of the benefits you get by holding/cuddling a small, furry creature.
Apartment dwellers don’t have the full range of pet options that home owners do, but that doesn’t mean you have to live a life devoid of the kind of companionship that pets can offer. It comes down to knowing yourself and keeping your expectations realistic. Your perfect pet is out there though!
Do you have young children? Check out 6 of the best dog breeds for young children!