When you’re an animal person, you’re an animal person. Frankly, for most of the pet lovers out there, a pet is infinitely more than that. They’re part of the family, a best friend, trusty companion and someone to talk to when no one else will listen — completely judgment-free.
Whether you’ve already found your furry BFF or are still on the hunt, it’s important to consider your living situation and how it will impact your life and your pet’s life. Today, finding a pet-friendly apartment is, luckily, easier than ever. But there are still quite a few things to consider when sharing your new pad with your pet, the most important being what type of pet will work with the apartment you’re looking to rent.
Based upon a few different factors, including size, activity level, independence, and amount of care required, here are some of the best pet options for apartment renters.
1. French Bulldogs
These adorable little guys typically range from about 16-28 pounds and are super-affectionate, making for a more than ideal roommate. They usually won’t require more than one extended walk per day as they are not a very high energy breed. Another characteristic of French bulldogs that makes them such great apartment dogs is their low noise level. Frenchies tend not to bark very often, so they are very well-suited for living around other people.
2. Great Danes
Bear with me here, because I know what you’re thinking: There’s no way that one of the biggest dog breeds out there makes a good apartment pet! But you’d be surprised. Great Danes might be large, but they thrive in small spaces. Dogs of this breed love to be lazy and veg out on the couch (not unlike me) and are very friendly and quiet.
Pugs were originally bred as lap dogs and, because of this, they love to cuddle. They are extremely happy dogs as long as they get ample amounts of snuggles and attention — which, let’s be honest, how could you not give them that?! Pugs are not known for being loud or barking a lot which, if you hadn’t picked up on it by now, is a big plus for renters. They will be super-lazy and lay around all day if you let them, which makes them perfect for an apartment.
Ahh, cats. Some of the most polarizing pets out there. Either you love ‘em, or you can’t stand ‘em. If you’re part of the former category and a renter, you’re in luck. Cats make some of the best apartment pets because of their extremely low maintenance lifestyles (they don’t even need to be walked!), their typical contentment with being left alone for extended periods of time, and their unique skill of making use of vertical space.
And don’t just take it from me; the proof is in the numbers. There are just short of 95 million pet cats in the U.S., compared with approximately 90 million pet dogs, per the American Pet Products Association (APPA).
Not only are fish some of the easiest pets to take care of, but scientific studies have shown that simply watching fish swim around in an aquarium can have a positive impact on mental well-being, as well as actually lowering heart rates and blood pressure. Further, fish are among the least expensive pets to feed and care for, making them a great option for younger renters entering the pet ownership world for the first time.
6. Pocket pets
If you haven’t heard this term before, consider today your lucky day. How adorable do “pocket pets” sound?! This genre of miniature roomies encompasses all of the smaller mammals that can be kept as house pets. Think hamsters, gerbils, mice (the kind you want to keep as pets, not the unexpected visitors) or even hedgehogs. While taking up a small amount of space is a big plus, a small downside to owning the unique pets in this category comes with some of their nocturnal tendencies, as well as a few states that have specific laws in place for their owners.
Of course, when making a decision on an apartment pet, make sure you check with your landlord to verify that you’re in compliance with all lease terms, and that you’ve done your research on the specific breed you’ve decided to go with.
Ally Greer is an expert in — and perpetual student of — renters’ rights, city living and other things young professionals should know, thanks to her day job at Zumper. Outside of that, she's trying to figure out adulthood in the tech capital of the world while still finding time for comedy, baseball and calling her mom.