You love everything about your Charlottesville apartment home, and the fact that the community is pet friendly and includes a dog park is perfect – Fluffy loves meeting new dogs. Your apartment community is perfect for you, so it’s important to give back and be a good pet parent and neighbor. The following tips will help you and Fluffy be solid apartment community citizens.
Keep your pet safe by pet proofing your apartment. Hide electrical cords and provide safe play and scratching areas for your pet to prevent expensive damage that will make your landlord cringe (and result in the loss of your security deposit). Dogs who spend most of the day alone often benefit from crate training, safe in their own space and confident of your return.
If you have a cat, keep kitty indoors at all times unless she is crated or leashed. Windows should be screened and doors closed so that your cat cannot escape, and do not give your cat access to balconies. Roaming cats can damage property and spread disease and may be a nuisance to community members, so keep your cat inside.
Establish a regular schedule for cleaning and clean up all messes quickly. Keep cat litter boxes clean and dispose of waste conscientiously. Your neighbors may be sensitive to litter boxes that aren’t changed daily. Vacuum often so that cat and dog hair can’t drift into common areas and irritate allergy sufferers, and prevent your neighbors from stepping into a messy situation by cleaning up after your dog.
Keep your pet clean and well groomed. Apartment community members will enjoy visiting with your dog more if she smells nice and looks neat and tidy. Use reliable flea control for your pet – fleas can spread disease and are spread easily. Make sure that your pet gets the vaccinations that are required by law to protect your neighbors and your dog from dangerous diseases.
Take some time to brush up on Fido’s obedience training. Your dog should leashed when he is not in the dog park or inside your own apartment, and you’ll want to make sure he has good manners so that you aren’t tugging on a barking, snapping beast when encountering children or other community pets. Minimize noise and train your dog to be quiet on command, and give him plenty of toys to keep him busy when you are away so he won’t be tempted to bark and annoy your neighbors.
Apartment dogs need plenty of exercise, so take advantage of your community’s trails and get your pup out regularly. Your apartment community dog park is a great place to get to know neighbors with dogs your pet can play with – set up a “puppy play date” to keep your dog happy. If you work during the day and leave your pet alone for long periods, consider hiring a dog walker to break up the monotony and prevent bad habits.
NEVER give any pet unsupervised access to a balcony. You can provide a small patch of “doggie grass” or a litter box on a balcony for a new puppy or a pet who has difficulty getting to a common area, but be sure to keep this area clean so that your neighbors are not offended by odors. If you own an older dog or a young puppy, you might want to choose a ground floor apartment so that frequent “potty trips” are easier for you and your pet.
Be considerate of your neighbors when you set your pet’s bathroom routine. When possible, prevent trips in and out at odd hours when most people are asleep. If must go out very late or very early, try to be quiet so that you do not disturb others.
Most importantly, talk with your landlord honestly about your pet’s needs and size. Following all the rules and requirements of your community makes it more likely that your apartment community management will work with you to ensure that you and your pet are comfortable. Their experience with tenants and their pets has led them to create requirements that are based on their ability to meet the needs of those pets and their owners.
Charlottesville is an extremely pet-friendly community! Follow these simple guidelines and you can get enjoy all the best of living in an apartment home with your best friend.