How to Be a Considerate Pet-Owner at Your Chico Apartment

Posted by Ben Olberg

June 11, 2018

Giraffe in Apartment-603907742If you want to have a pet in your Chico apartment, there are some major considerations you need to work through. First off, not all apartments allow pets, so check with your property manager before you start looking for furry companions. There are usually size, quantity, species, and breed restrictions on what type of pets are allowed. Cats and dogs are the most common, with fish coming in a very distant third.

A survey conducted by found that over 70% of apartment renters own pets. Keeping a pet in your apartment is a liability, which is why most apartments require an additional deposit for pets and may even require "pet rent" each month. For some people the additional expense is a small price to pay for a lovable little fur-baby. If you are one of those people you will want to keep the following tips in mind.

Consider Your Pet's Needs

Choose the Right Pet for Your Lifestyle

Not all pets are going to be a good fit for everyone. Some take a lot more attention than others. Let's take a look at the two most popular pets: dogs and cats.

It is widely accepted that dogs require a higher degree of attention than cats. Some cats however, are very social and tend to act out when owners are gone for extended periods. Even though you CAN leave a cat for a couple of days as long as it has plenty of food, water and a clean litter box, it doesn't mean that you SHOULD. What's the point of getting a pet when you are just going to leave it at home all of the time?

Dogs, on the other hand require attention at least a couple times a day. They need to get let out to go to the bathroom, they require some outside time for exercise, and most dogs really thrive on attention and interaction; they are pack animals after all. Some dog breeds tend to be more relaxed while others are high-strung.  Some large breed dogs will be very hard to keep happy in a smaller apartment, especially if you don't have an easily accessible outdoor area. Be sure to do your research on breed sizes and temperaments to find the dog that is the best fit for you.

Establish a Bathroom Routine

One of the biggest hurdles for new pet owners is bathroom needs. You have to establish a routine from the very beginning and constantly reinforce it.

Cats need a litter box and believe it or not, they like their privacy just like we do! If you can put the litter box in a less busy area like a spare bathroom that is best. Also getting a covered litter box will help keep the kitty litter from spilling all over the place.

For dogs the biggest thing is consistency. Train your puppy to go outside to do their business. Take them out early and often and wait until they actually go, before letting them back inside. Male dogs will want to "mark" their territory both outside and inside if you are not careful. Here are some great tips on what to do if your dog is urine marking in the house.

Lots of Exercise

A tired dog or cat is a good dog or cat. Your pets must get adequate exercise every day. When they don't they get bored and will start acting out in the house. Aside from tearing up the your apartment, an out-of-shape pet has increased risk factors for all kinds of health problems, just like humans. Pets that are going to spend a lot of time indoors need other forms of stimulation. You can hide treats around the house for them to find, or even just get them a new toy every couple months to keep them interested. For cats, a multilevel "cat condo" is a great way to keep them stimulated and working their climbing muscles, without climbing up your curtains.


Respect Your Neighbors

If you are going to own a pet in an apartment you have to consider your neighbors. Pets increase noise and smells coming from your apartment, which your neighbors may not appreciate. Keep barking and yowling to a minimum and clean up after your pets. Get them vaccinated so you don't put other pets in your community at risk of disease. Keep them on a leash when walking because not everyone loves pets climbing all over them. However, the most important rule of all is..

Clean Up the Poop!

If you don't like to clean up poop, don't get a pet! The days of walking your pet and leaving the poop where it falls are over. In the modern age of sanitation and responsibility, your pets poop is your problem, not your neighbors. To get an idea of how heavy a task this can be, here's an infographic from that includes a graph estimating how many pounds of poop you will clean up in a year for your dog or cat based on their size. A 9 pound cat will produce about 90 pounds of poop in a year, while a 140 pound Great Dane will produce around 950 pounds of poop in that same time. Big pets, big poops, you get the idea.

So what do you do when a neighbor doesn't clean up after their pet? Luckily, the world of DNA profiling is now available to all of us. PooPrints will register animals based on DNA extracted from their poop. Communities like the Midtown Alexandria Station condos, require you to register the DNA of your pet with PooPrints via a stool sample. When poop is found on community property it is sent to the lab for testing (very CSI) to determine the culprit. Since the implementation of this system, the community has seen a drastic decrease in "scatological crime."

So think it through before you go out and buy the first cuddly critter you come across. With a great pet, comes great responsibility. Make a long term plan for the health and happiness of your pet. For more tips on what to consider for apartment living check this out.

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Topics: Living in Chico, Living in an Apartment

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