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Pets in Apartments!

September 23rd, 2006, 10:17 PM
I was hoping to get feedback about having pets in apartments? Good idea or not?

I'm skeptical about Dodger and Minnow's suitability for apartment life. Both of them have been raised in a 2000 sq ft bungalow, with a decent amount of property, not to mention the greenbelts we can access in under a minute of walking. So the idea of moving to a small apartment in the city was never really an option for them (but like it or not, it could become reality since my finances can't afford what the animals would prefer!!)
I know that Dodger could be trained to behave in almost any situation and I have been lucky enough to test it out by staying at a friends 200sq ft apartment while she's gone. Dodger's been great. Minnow not really (go figure:cat:!) she's not impressed because she can't access the outdoors but hasn't been as vocal as I was expecting!

I still have 3 major concerns and would be grateful to know how people
deal (or would deal) with them!

1. Dodger hasn't been reacting to the noise in the hallways but I have no idea if that would change when he's left alone. How do you build a dog up to being left alone and not barking/whining when he hears noise? It seems like its out of my control, I can do all the foundation training but in extreme circumstances, Dodger could still get vocal!
2. The balcony - I just don't think I could ever trust Minnow out there and I'd be terrified she'd slip out one day. I could easily screen it and hopefully make it extra secure but this is that cat who can unzip her crate and slip out of any harness. AND if she doesn't get outside (or at least the illusion of the outdoors), she would be more noisy than Dodger ever would (Siamese).
3. Adding another pet - whether its a dog or cat there will always be issues when you integrate another animal. Do you think its better to wait or do you think its okay?

Thanks! Any other tips or concerns that you would have?

September 23rd, 2006, 11:55 PM
That's a really good question. I don't understand how people can make sure their dog doesn't bark, either. I mean, yes, you do the training, but training doesn't happen overnight, and what happens when you're at work? You can't shush the dog then. Plus, I don't know if all apartments are like this, but the previous apartment I'm in had paper thin walls (I could hear the neighbors doing EVERYTHING :yuck: ) and the one I'm in now has a floor so poorly insulated that my neighbors complain when I walk around after they've gone to bed. No loud music, no stomping, just normal walking! :eek:

My kitty boys have always lived in an apartment, so they're used to it. :cat: They tend to work off their exercise by running back and forth down the hall that leads from the living room to my bedroom. *snort*

I put them in their harnesses and take them out on the balcony for air, one at a time. But since you've got a cat who's good at slipping out of her harness, I definitely wouldn't risk it.

Personally, I find apartment life rather crappy due to the fact that you always have to worry about your neighbors either being loud or complaining about you being loud. I wish I could find a house to rent, but they all tend to be more expensive for what you get.

September 24th, 2006, 12:03 AM
Ground floor apartments might be better with pets... :shrug:

I can say that I got Jemma and Boo when I was in a paper thin-walled apartment on a very busy street and they were quiet all day. We had neighbors move in after a couple of years of nobody next door and my doggies started barking more at the noises in the hall. About two weeks later, they somehow found a pattern in the noise, and in me saying "It's just the neighbors" and stopped barking again.

After moving here, they've gradually gotten used to the different noises too, and know which ones are usual and which ones aren't. There's an old lady who walks up the street twice a day, and they never even notice her, but if a 5 year old bikes by, they're both alert and grumbling. :shrug:

Finding an apartment with two dogs is much harder than finding an apartment with one, but even one makes it hard in some cities- so get extra pets when you're settled, and don't intend to move for a long time...

For Minnow, maybe slippery plexiglass around the balcony would be better (and less climbable than screen), or like I said, a ground floor apartment.

September 24th, 2006, 09:50 AM
(Q) Does it have to be an apt building? Not sure if this is an option but could you not find a pet friendly duplex/triplex? Around here, the rent is almost the same with more privacy, I've lived in 3 dupex's with my old man Hoover and two cats(1 siamese at that time) and then to another duplex with the same three pets plus I added another Coonhound and two cats, the neighbours were all great except one, they would let the dog(s) out while I was at work. Good luck I know it's hard to move and find something that fits all that is needed:fingerscr

September 24th, 2006, 10:08 AM
I live in an apt with Peaches and Simon, 4th floor walkup (great for my quads!), and my 2 are blissfully good about everything. They will bark at ppl knocking on the door (or the neighbors) and will also growl from the balcony (Princess Peaches holds court out there) if they see an unfamiliar dog walking about. With that said, we've had one complaint regarding them barking, but that was my fault for leaving the windows open on a really busy day in the courtyard and they freaked out since I wasn't home :) I've discovered that more exercise helps tremendously, keeping a pretty solid routine and ensuring they have my guidance when I am home on what's acceptable noise has kept us from being evicted :)

September 24th, 2006, 12:32 PM
Its been my experience that you need at least 800 sq ft for a cat to happy indoors. My place is a little over 900 sq ft and we have two cats (indoors only) who like it. Instead of going outside, they sit on window sills and watch the world go by, so that's a must, windowsills suitable for a cat to sit on (there are cat resistant screens you can buy to stop her from getting out).
I'm in the lower level of a duplex and my dog, who likes everyone to knows he's here, will only bark if my doorbell is rang or my door opens, he ignores traffic through the place upstairs as well as people walking by.
If he's well exercised, the dog will probably be ok and will learn who is coming to his place and who is going walking by, so you should be ok there too.
You'll want to call the Ontario Housing rental Tribunal to see what rights you may or may not have in regards to pets, and unless asked, don't mention to a prospective landlord than you have any.

September 24th, 2006, 12:42 PM
Duplexes or triplexes might be your best bet. You might be able to get one with a yard, shared or not. Then at least your guys will have some outdoor space.

And there's fewer direct neighbours so less traffic that might cause barking.

September 24th, 2006, 02:50 PM
Interesting - thank-you all for your suggestions. I will most certainly be looking into duplex's/townhomes as well but I wanted to research the worst possibles scenario and figure out how I'd deal with it. Minnow is going to be the most difficult part of the equation; although Dodger's size might be a factor. I don't think they are allowed to refuse you just because you have a dog but you know it happens!

Thank-you all for sharing your opinions, it will definately help me decide what to do!:)

September 24th, 2006, 02:52 PM
They can definitely refuse you for having a dog, and they will, for the most part.

September 24th, 2006, 02:59 PM
good point prin

but if it does not mention pets in the lease,and you don't mention it then you should be lont as there are no noise complaints..........we had our george for 6yrs in an apt with no probs.

September 24th, 2006, 03:00 PM
From what I have read they cannot.
I have no doubt that it happens but apparently its illegal for them to refuse based solely on the fact that you have a dog.
Hopefully this won't be an issue for Dodger regardless since the goal is to get his service (alert) dog certification. But either way, if the landowner/board/maintenance is not fully accepting that I have a dog, I wouldn't risk moving their anyway since I'm sure they'd find ways to kick you out or force you to leave.

September 24th, 2006, 03:03 PM
I should also say that I wouldn't be renting! I forgot that rather important detail LOL

September 24th, 2006, 03:35 PM
If you're planning on buying, then I would look at something larger, townhouse or semi-detached home with a bedroom or two you could rent to bring in extra money.

Be carefull with some condos, some don't allow dogs, or if they do, they limit them to smaller ones. You'll know though when you see the offer to purchase (or what ever that document is called).

Let me know via PM if there are any properties you're looking into seriously and I can help you out... With building permit and complaint info... On the QT of course but it'll help you. And my BF is a building inspector so if you're buying new, we can suggest where to avoid.

September 24th, 2006, 04:08 PM
I should also say that I wouldn't be renting! I forgot that rather important detail LOL

Okay well that changes alot of things, go with something alittle bigger like a duplex or a semi. We live in a semi and no its not our dream house but for now it does us just fine, we cannot hear anything from the neighbours except on Fri pm when they vaccum:offtopic: Our yard is a good size and the house has 3 levels and the neighbours on both sides are really nice except for her yappy dog.

September 24th, 2006, 04:09 PM
In ON, The landlord tentant agreement of Ontario states that any part of your lease that states no pets is void. So if you have a dog/cat they cannot evict you. They can however choose to not to rent to you if you tell them that you have animals, and most will refuse a pet owner. However if you move in and the next day you recieve a "housewarming present" of a new puppy/ kitten there's nothing they can do. you will have to abide by the city bylaws of the #of dogs or cats per household b/c many landlords will call and report you if you exceed the limit

September 24th, 2006, 06:01 PM
I live in a basement apartment.... with an Australian Shepherd! We have use of the yard though, and a park nearby. It's fine, I just don't like that there's no window for her to look out of. :(

When my boyfriend and I first broke up and I moved out on my own it was very difficult to find a place, I almost gave up and left her with him. :( I found a few places, one I loved and was near the lake, but it was $800/month. I finally found one that stated in the ad "one dog welcome" and was $650/mnth, I nabbed it, unfortunately it was with an elderly lady who was a little needy and a little senile, I only lived there for three months when a friend of mine bought a house with a basement apartment and offered it to me, a month later I moved in and we have been here for 10 months. I know if anything were to go wrong here I'd either have to move back in with my mom or buy a mobile home and live in a trailer park (which I am seriously thinking of doing).

September 26th, 2006, 11:05 PM
Having a dog(s) in a highrise is certainly more challenging and requires a greater errrr... commitment to exercise (:D) than does having a dog while living in a house with a backyard. When it's 3 a.m. and somebody's gotta go NOW, you can't just throw on a robe and fling open the back door! Nope and it's the full-meal deal in the middle of winter. And although there may be days when you are just plain tired or look a fright but, you STILL have to walk that baby in plain view of enquiring minds ~ no tossing the ball in the backyard while Mum sips a martooni!

With regard to your kitty, you may not be permitted to erect ANY kind of a barrier on a condo balcony as many have particular rules about maintaining a common exterior appearance.

I vote for the duplex with a backyard.

September 27th, 2006, 01:03 AM
when we lived on the 4th floor apartment with Dallas and she had to go out in the middle of the night, I just put my house coat on ( summer) and a coat ( winter) and went out like that. tough nuggies to anyone who looked. Any way who was going to mess with a 120 pound husky wolf, sheppard. And a crabby blonde.:evil:

September 27th, 2006, 01:11 AM
Uh-huh ..and how deep are the snow drifts in Dallas in February ?:eek:

September 27th, 2006, 08:21 AM
when we lived on the 4th floor apartment with Dallas and she had to go out in the middle of the night, I just put my house coat on ( summer) and a coat ( winter) and went out like that. tough nuggies to anyone who looked.

Too funny. I do this now with Harley, as I'm on the second story of an apartment building. When I first got her, I used to make sure I brushed my hair or at least put it up in a ponytail before going out. Now I stumble outside, bedhead and all, in nothing but pj's (but it's Florida, so a bit easier to get away with!!) and flipflops.

I think I've frightened small children on occasion. :D

September 27th, 2006, 08:45 AM
guess who had to get up at 4am this morning to take the farting dog out? in 6C weather? :frustrated: it rarely happens but when it does, it's not much fun. i've learned the art of dressing in the dark in under 45 seconds and nevermind the cold, it's a walk around the block and that's it! if anyone crosses my path with me looking like a witch, it's their problem :D

September 27th, 2006, 02:42 PM
:sorry: :offtopic: When we have a bout of "The Emergencies" in my house during the winter I usually end up a pile of clothes at the toilet: boots with socks in them pants ready to jump into, sweater with sleeves already in the fleece coat... heavy coat hanging on the door knob with hat, mitts and scarf stuffed in the pockets....kind of like what I imagine a fire station must look like (sadly missing the hunky firefighters...:sad: ) but - hey I can get out the door in two minutes or less!

Hats's all in the hats. Camouflage the fright-wig looking bedhead with a good baseball cap.