Pets and Apartments

Wouldn’t it be nice to have a dog that wagged its tail and licked your face every time you came home? Or a cat that curled up in your lap whenever you sat down to watch television? Of course it would – it’d be really quite wonderful!

But – and of course there’s always a “but” – there’s another side to it, especially if you live in an apartment. If you run out and pick up a puppy or kitten, what are you sacrificing? Several things … let’s count them. Note: for the purposes of this article, I’m sticking to cats and dogs – there may be an article in future about other types of pets.

Photo of Weed courtesy of J Paxon Reyes

Photo of Weed courtesy of J Paxon Reyes

1.) Where You Can Live

As most of you know, many apartment buildings don’t allow pets. Or they have weight restrictions on pets allowed. So before you buy that Bassett Hound, remember that by having a dog, you’re shrinking your apartment options – by a lot. Particularly if you want to live in a charming small building, with a landlord who lives upstairs – most small-time landlords, who only rent out a few units, will want no part of a pet, especially if it’s a dog. With cats, you have a little more leeway – but you’ll still be slightly more limited in where you can live.Generally speaking, the places that allow pets are large buildings – places that have fairly uniform units, cheap overhead, and the ability to deal with occasional pet damage.  This usually means a huge management company. If you want to live in a larger apartment complex, that’s fine – but if not, you may be stuck there anyway.

And, also, keep in mind that since there are fewer apartment buildings that allow dogs (especially big dogs), when you do find a place that allows dogs, most of your neighbors will also have dogs – which, again, may not be the experience you’re looking for.

2.) With Whom You Can Live

If you want to live with a roommate, and you have a pet, particularly a dog … good luck. I don’t know many people that would want to share a two-bedroom apartment with their roommate and their roommate’s dog. I know I wouldn’t, no matter how nice the dog might be.

Cats, again, you have more leeway – far more people like having cats around, and don’t mind if someone keeps one. That said, there are also a lot of people who are seriously allergic to cats … and this can limit the pool of potential roommates considerably.

3.) Money

Oh, yes, that. Money, indeed. Even the things I mentioned above will cost you money: if you end up living alone because you can’t find a roommate interested in living with your Bulldog, you’ll be paying more money a month in rent.

Continued on page two…

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Author My First Apartment

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Alex has rented in Minneapolis, Queens, Brooklyn, and now Chicago. He can kill rodents and roaches when required, and loves picture-hanging projects. If you're ever in town, give him a shout.

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