Reduced stress, less loneliness–these are just some of the things you can expect when you own a pet. A companionship with animals is perfect for those who live alone and want to bring out their nurturing sides.
But if you live in an apartment or a small space, your pet options may be limited.
While you can’t own a horse or a pig, you still have other animals to choose from as your companion.
At Westmount at Forest Oaks, we want to help you make the right choice when it comes to owning a pet. So we listed some of the easiest pets to care for in small apartments.
Let’s start with the most commonly owned pet: dogs. They’re “man’s best friend” for a reason: they’re loyal, affectionate, and just plain awesome.
When it comes to owning dogs in small apartments, it’s better to choose smaller breeds. After all, they only have limited space to play around and get in some of their daily exercises. You’ll also want to avoid breeds that tend to bark a lot and require a highly active lifestyle.
No matter what kind of dog you choose, you have to walk it or let it out at least three times a day for potty breaks and exercise. Dogs also need to eat twice a day, have their drinking water replaced daily, and be groomed regularly.
Another pet that’s as popular as dogs? Cats, of course! Sure, they can be aloof and self-willed, but they make for sweet and loving companions in small indoor spaces.
Unlike dogs, cats don’t need to go on walks every day. And while they still require lots of love and attention, they’re incredibly low-maintenance, making them perfect for busy apartment dwellers.
When you do decide to get a feline friend, you’ll need to have a scratching post, a litter box, and toys ready. And like dogs, cats need to be fed at least two meals a day and have all-day access to fresh, clean water. It’s also worth noting that some cat breeds are long-haired, so you might want to factor in their grooming requirements.
Fish and Turtles
Freshwater fish and turtles are some of the most low-maintenance pets for apartment dwellers. Depending on their sizes, they can be content living in small bowls or aquariums, which don’t take up too much room.
As with all other pets on the list, doing research goes a long way when it comes to choosing the kind of fish or turtle you plan to keep, as well as learning how to care for it.
While fish and turtles don’t exactly reward you with unconditional love (or at least, show it), they serve as the perfect pets for those living in small apartments. They require little maintenance and don’t produce any noise at all.
Apart from feeding them regularly, you’ll just have to clean their tanks at least once a week, install special lighting, add a water filtration system, and maintain an appropriate water temperature.
Still looking for an easy-to-care-for pet? Birds are your best bet.
As long as the type of bird you get doesn’t mind staying in its cage often, it’s perfect for a small apartment. Also, you might want to steer clear of macaws, cockatoos, and other loud birds as their noise may disturb your neighbors.
Finches, canaries, and other small birds are great choices for small spaces. You can also choose to get a parrot, a budgerigar, or a cockatiel, but keep in mind that these birds have more complex needs.
In general, though, pet birds’ needs are simple: fresh food and water, a clean cage with plenty of room for play and exercise, and lots of attention.
Hamsters and Guinea Pigs
If you’re having a hard time choosing which pet to get, hamsters and guinea pigs are the perfect choices.
Besides being some of the easiest pets to care for, these rodents are super affordable.
If you want a more active pet, hamsters are your best option. If you prefer a cuddlier and more sociable pet, you’ll want to get a guinea pig.
Hamsters live for only two to three years and are nocturnal. That’s why you might have to place yours away from your bedroom as its wheel could get noisy during the night.
Guinea pigs live longer (about eight years) and love company. So if you choose to get one, get another as its companion to prevent it from getting lonely.
Whether hamster or guinea pig, whichever you choose, you’ll have to clean its cage daily, provide it with fresh food and clean water every day, and give it space (or a wheel for hamsters) to roam and play in.
Westmount at Forest Oaks in Arlington, TX