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FOR OVER 475 DOG YEARS!

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Caring for a pet that is either going blind or is already blind requires additional care and attention. This can come in many ways – from helping your pet around the house, to feeding practices and the way you use treats. Owners of a visually impaired pet need to take steps to make sure that their pet feels comfortable and is not experiencing pain.

Knowing the Signs of Visual Impairment

If your pet is starting to act differently, you need to look at everything that is going on with them – their eating, playing and normal routines. Look for changes like the following:

  • Your pet’s eyes becoming cloudy or red.
  • Your pet now startles easily.
  • Your pet is getting clumsier.
  • Your pet is having trouble finding toys.
  • Your pet’s energy is declining.
  • You notice that your pet is having pain in the eyes.

These signs are all the things that start happening when your pet is becoming visually impaired or is already blind. If you have a pet that is showing those signs, you need to bring it in for an appointment for confirmation of the blindness.

Tips for Caring for a Blind Pet 

When you are caring for a blind pet, you need to make sure it feels comfortable and safe. Things that you will need to do to help care for your pet can range from creating a safe place to talking to your pet more.

Creating a Safe Place

The first thing you will want to do for your blind pet is to create a safe place. This means that you will want to provide a specific area for your pet to go to when it feels afraid or just needs a place to rest. This area will give your pet comfort and safety.

Talking to Your Pet More Often

The sound of your voice will help to calm your blind pet, so keep the conversation going and speak often. Your voice will also help your pet to know where it is and where you are. You will also want to talk with your pet before you start touching it. Letting your pet know where you are and what you are doing beforehand will keep them from getting startled.

The Importance of a Consistent Routine

When you have a pet that is visually impaired or blind, you want to keep a routine that is as consistent as possible. Routines will reduce the stress that your pet feels. You will want to take them on the same walking routes and visit the same parks. Another thing you will want to do for your blind pet is not move the furniture in your house or apartment. Changing your furniture will only confuse your pet and cause them stress.

Identifying Your Blind Pet

It is important to let others know that your pet is blind. When you take your pet out, make sure you put some type of clothing that says “I’m blind”. You will need to explain to the others that your pet is blind and that your pet can be startled easily. They will need to know that they need to talk to your pet before touching it. Another identifier that you need for your pet is a tag that goes on its collar stating that he or she is blind.

Location Cues

A location cue is something that tells your pet where it is in your home. For example, you place a carpet runner at the front door. You will place only that carpet at the front door. This carpet helps your pet get its bearings back if they pet get confused. You will want to place different location cues throughout the house for your pet. One thing you need to make sure of is that each of the cues is different.

Safety-proofing Your Home

Another important thing you need to consider is your pet’s safety in your home. Think through everything and every place within your home. Don’t overlook anything. You might even get down on your hands and knees and crawl around. You will need to look for things that could fall if your blind pet bumps into it, furniture that might have sharp corners, and places where your pet might trip or fall. Think of making your house safe like if you had a toddler – put cushioned protectors on sharp corners and baby gates at any stairs.

Remember, caring for a blind pet requires more attention to the environment around it. The most important thing you need to do is make your furry companion feel comfortable and loved.   If you have questions or concerns about caring for a visually impaired or blind pet, please reach out to us at Longview Animal Hospital. Our team is here to help you!

Happy Howl-O-Ween!

This program will be run entirely through our Facebook Page (https://www.facebook.com/LongviewAnimalHospital/), so make sure to follow us there!

Last Year’s Winners

2018 Winners Pictured Above – Rory, Yuki and Lily!

HOW IT WORKS

Post your photos to our page (*instructions below) starting today  (10/1) and we will add them (within 24 hrs) to our 2019 Howl-O-Ween Costume “Album”.  Once added, you can share with friends and family to build likes and comments.  Submissions must be made prior to 5pm on October 30th.  Votes will be tallied and winners will be announced on October 31, 2019.  The images with the most likes will be selected as our top three winners.  Note: Contest winners must reside with their pets within our business operating region (throughout East Texas).

Voting will take place on images in the official 2019 Contest Album  LINKED HERE  between October 1 and October 30 (5pm CST) – 1 like/per person = 1 vote.

Winners (top 3 of those with the most likes) will be announced on our Facebook Page before 5pm CST on October 31.

PRIZES

1st Prize: $50 gift card for use at Longview Animal Hospital and a Pawsitively Awesome Pet Gift Basket!

2nd Prize: $30 gift card for use at Longview Animal Hospital and a large bag of Hills Science Diet  pet food.

3rd Prize: $20 gift card for use at Longview Animal Hospital.

INSTRUCTIONS – HOW TO ENTER

Make sure you “Like”/”Follow” the Longview Animal Hospital Facebook Page  at https://www.facebook.com/LongviewAnimalHospital/

Message us through Facebook with your photo (this is different from last year).

In your message content, please include:

Happy Howl-O-Ween!  followed by: Pet’s Name, Age & Breed (if known), Costume description and any additional information you would like to share about the photo.

(We will attempt to tag your profile when we upload the image and info to our album so that you can share the link directly with friends. If you are not listed as ‘liking’ the page, or if your privacy settings don’t allow, we won’t be able to do this. You will still be able to share the post from our album.  If we are unable to tag you, we will message you a reply to let you know it is online.)
Remember, the earlier in the month you send us your photo, the more time you will have to share and accumulate likes!  

Thank you!  We look forward to seeing your pictures – good luck to all and Happy Howl-O-Ween!

View Official Contest Rules Page

Having a pet is a great responsibility. You need to make sure your pet is healthy and happy. When your pet is younger, it is full of energy. As your pet gets older you need to change how you care for it. The simplest things can become challenging for your senior pet. The things that you need to consider for your aging pet is food, exercise, health and basic needs.

As your pet gets older, you will start to see signs. These signs may include walking slower, trouble getting up, not eating bones or hard food, urinary problems or trouble getting in and out of a car. You need to look for the signs in your aging pet so you can make the necessary changes to make your pet happier.

Adjusting Diet for Senior Pets

As your pet becomes older, it may have trouble eating the harder foods. One of the problems with a senior pet is its teeth become softer and more brittle. Continuing to feed your pet hard food may cause broken teeth or pain when eating. You can help your pet by changing to a softer food. You may decide to purchase the pre-packaged soft foods or you may want to make the soft food yourself. If you chose to make the food yourself, you need to be conscious of your pet’s nutrition. You must make sure your pet is getting all the nutrients it needs.

A Different Type of Exercise

A younger pet can run, jump and play for long periods of time. The energy seems never ending. But with an older pet you need to be aware of the limitations. These limitations may not only be physical but also relate to your pet’s endurance. Your pet may only last for a few minutes before becoming exhausted. Remember not to push your pet to continue to play. If it keeps trying to sit or lie down while playing, have some down time. You might want to structure your pet’s exercise time in small increments but more often. Instead of playing for a half hour or more like when it was younger, do five minutes at a time with a ten minute break in between exercises. 

Another thing is if you and your pet ran together, you need to change that run to a walk. You need to keep an eye on how well your pet is walking. As it ages walking long distances may become an issue and your pet may start limping or just stop walking. If you notice your pet having difficulties walking, reduce the length of the walk and increase the frequency. For example, in the past you would walk around the block twice but now you just walk to the corner and back in the morning and evening. More frequent, shorter walks still allow your pet to get its exercise but also give them a needed break in between.

Health Consciousness

Just like humans, when your pet gets older, they may have health issues like loss of hearing or vision, blood sugar problems and heart conditions. Some of these conditions require medications while others require adjustments to your living arrangements.

If your senior pet is having trouble seeing, it will start bumping into furniture or tripping over things while walking. You can help protect your pet by making sure area rugs or runners are secure, steps have gates, sharp corners have covers and there are no slippery walkways. If hearing is the problem, make sure you are constantly talking to your pet. This gives your pet an idea where you are and help to assure that you do not startle him or her.

Another health concern may include your pet’s hygiene. As your pet becomes older, they may develop bad breath or other odors. To keep your pet healthy, you need to begin brushing its teeth more frequently and adding more baths to keep him or her clean. If you increase the number of baths, you will want to pay attention to your pet’s skin condition as well so you do not dry it out. You want to use a very mild soap or shampoo.

Changes in Basic Needs

A senior pet has different basic need requirements. These basic needs change from the ability to go up and down stairs to needing a ramp. Your pet may require urination pads in the house because he or she can no longer wait as long to go outside. 

Other Articles from our Blog that you may find helpful:

For more information about senior pets and their care, contact our team at Longview Animal Hospital. We are here to help you with the best care possible for your aging pet.

Catnip is something that can be seen as somewhat of a mystery in the world of having a cat. We know that our cats love it, but there are a lot of questions that you may or may not have thought about when it comes to this plant and what your cat thinks of it. 

So what is this plant exactly and why do cats seem to love it so much?  Is it totally safe for your cat to be around? Is this more than just a pleasant plant to keep around your home and does it have any other functions or uses?

Let’s take a look at some of the most commonly asked questions about this household feline favorite, and what catnip actually is

What is Catnip? 

So what is catnip exactly and where does it come from? You may be surprised to hear that catnip is actually a perennial herb, that is a member of the mint family Labiatae. This plant was originally native to parts of Asia, Africa, and Europe, but now can be found growing all over the world. What may surprise you about this mint plant that your cat loves to eat is that it is actually a weed, making it easier for it to grow in unwelcoming or uninhabitable environments, in terms of landscape and climate. 

Does the plant have other uses?

This wildly durable weed it resistant to droughts, inclement weather, and can actually be used to repel deer and a variety of insects. This is why you will commonly find this specific weed as an ornamental component in gardens, to keep deer and pests away from plants. You can even extract an essential oil from this plant that will attract butterflies. 

Why do cats love it? 

All of the uses of this versatile plant may come as a shock to you, especially since it may be one of your cat’s favorite plants to be around. What’s even more interesting is that your cat doesn’t just love this minty plant because of the taste. It has a profound effect on your cat at the chemical level, which keeps it coming back for more. 

This minty herb contains a naturally occurring chemical called nepetalactone which can be found in the leaves and the stems of the plant. As your cat consumes it, this chemical binds to sensory neurons in your cat’s nasal cavity. As soon as this chemical binds to those sensory neurons, it, in turn, sends signals to your cat’s brain and activates various areas of the brain that affect different parts of their behavior and emotion. It generates a wave of positive emotion that can trigger your cat to roll in it, smell it, lick it, and even eat the plant. 

You may notice that the reaction your cat has compared to others can vary. Some cats will become excited with these sensations, running around and becoming playful, whereas others become relaxed, wanting to bask and lay down in the presence of the plant. There are a few factors that affect your cat’s reaction to this chemical cascade, and this can vary based on how much the cat has either inhaled or eaten along with the breed of your cat. It isn’t uncommon for cats that overindulge in this experience to become skittish and even a bit aggressive. 

As varied as these responses to this plant may be, research has shown us that a third of cats are totally unaffected by the neurological effects of catnip. 

Is catnip safe to use? 

This all bears the question, is this safe to use in your garden and around your home? Though this plant can have an effect on the behavior and demeanor of your cat, it is in no way harmful. In fact, it can be nice for your cat to have around while helping you keep deer and pests away from your garden. 

Can I buy it or grow my own?

You can buy catnip and almost every home improvement store, and it is totally safe to grow in your garden and around your home.

Can catnip be used for training?

You absolutely can use catnip for help with training your cat. Pet stores will often sell toys that are filled with catnip. You can even buy catnip sprays that you can use to spray treats or your cat’s scratching post. 

If you have additional questions or concerns, please feel free to contact our team at Longview Animal Hospital. We are happy to help you.

Just like humans, canines can have problems with their hips. These problems can also become worse over the years. With any hip problems, you may notice that your dog may begin to move slower and have trouble getting up. No matter what hip problems your canine has, you need to understand that your dog is in pain and needs relief. The relief from the hip pain can either come from surgery or other alternative methods. These alternative methods may include supplements and other medications to help control the pain.

What is Hip Replacement Surgery?

When the ball joint and socket of the hip become worn, the bones can start rubbing together and cause pain. The ball joint and socket get replaced with prosthetics parts. The hip replacement surgery provides pain relief and allows your pet to get back to normal activities. A total hip replacement will give your dog the complete range of motion back.

What is Canine Hip Dysplasia?

In the simplest terms, canine hip dysplasia is where the ball of the femur does not fit properly into the socket of the hip. The problem may not just be with the ball and socket but damage can occur to the cartilage and ligaments that support the hip too. 
Read: Hip Dysplasia in Dogs for more information.

How Does a Dog Develop Hip Dysplasia?

Canine hip dysplasia can occur because of genetics. Genetics is all in the breeding. If the breeder does not pay close attention to the health of the dog’s mother and father, those traits can be easily passed down to the offspring. This said some breeds are known for problems with their hips. To ensure your dog’s risk to hip problems is minimal, you need to research the breeder. A reputable breeder will not only have information on the parent’s health but will have all the puppies checked for potential health problems before adoption.

A dog is more susceptible to hip dysplasia because the size and weight. The larger and heavier the dog, the more stress the joints and ligaments need to withstand. That stress can cause the hip joint to not work properly and eventually damage the joint.

Why a Canine Needs a Hip Replacement 

Your dog will need hip replacement surgery when it has lost its mobility. Your dog may still have some mobility but not like when it was younger. As your dog ages, you need to watch for signs like:

  • Trouble getting up.
  • Having a hard time walking.
  • Whimpering in pain.
  • Does not want touched.
  • Stays in one spot.

If you notice any of these signs, consult your vet for treatment options.

When is it Time for Surgery

The decision when it is time to your dog to have hip surgery is dependent on you. You need to consider the well-being of your pet. Surgery can provide your dog with a better quality of life and remove the pain. The hip surgery gives your canine the mobility back and allows them to return to a more normal lifestyle.

You should consider surgery for your pet when:

  • You notice your dog’s pain getting worse.
  • Your dog can no longer get up or walk on its own.
  • Your dog develops a bunny hop while walking.
  • Your dog tries to pull away when someone goes to touch him or her.
  • The dog’s temperament changes for the worse. For example, the dog becomes snappy.
  • Your dog no longer wants to go for walks or play.

Alternatives to Hip Surgery

If canine hip surgery is not an option for you, you do have other alternatives. These alternatives include supplements for joints and hips, pain medication and anti-inflammatory medication. The alternative may not give your dog full mobility back but they will help make him or her more comfortable.

When it comes to the health of your dog, you will want to consult your vet before making any medical decisions. Our team at Longview Animal Hospital can work with you to create a treatment plan for your dog’s hip problems. You can discuss the financial impact that the surgery and alternative treatments will have on you. 

The most important thing for your dog is to eliminate or minimize any pain and get him or her moving again. Contact us with any questions about Hip Dysplasia and ways we can help your pet.

Not all human food is bad for your pet. Actually, some human food is good for them and helps them get fit. Some of the commercial dog food is high in fillers. These fillers can cause your pet to gain weight and have other medical issues like blood sugar and heart problems. Offsetting the commercial pet food with some leaner more nutritional food can help your pet’s health.

There are several foods in each of the food groups that are good for your dog. You have several options that you can choose to add to your dog’s diet. Before you begin substituting human food for the commercial dog food, you need to make sure the food is on the safe list for your pet.

Food from the Ocean

When it comes to protein, fish is a great source for your dog. Fish provides amino acids and the good fats. The most beneficial fish for your dog is salmon and sardines. Salmon is full of vitamins and proteins, while sardines offer your pet extra calcium. 

As you start feeding your dog fish you cook at home, there are some things that you need to know. First, you never want to feed your dog raw or undercooked fish. Next, when you feed your pet fish, other than sardines, make sure you remove all the bones. Another point, you should start feeding your dog small portions of fish so you can monitor his or her tolerance. Some dogs may have allergies to fish and any time you introduce him or her to a new variety you will want to take it slow.

Fish does have many benefits for your dog, but do not overdo it. Limit the number of times per week you feed your pet fish. Veterinarians do not recommend fish more than two times per week for your dog.

Dairy is not a Problem

Some dairy is high in fat, but if you go for the lower fat varieties your pet can see the benefits. Your dog can eat milk, cheese, yogurt and eggs. Dairy products are a good source of protein and calcium for your pet. Just be aware of the precautions you need to take when feeding your pet dairy. 

When it comes to feeding your dog cheese, some are very high in fat. The high fat cheeses can cause your pet to gain weight. So, if you want to use cheese as a treat for your pet, make sure you go for the low fat cheeses like mozzarella or cottage cheese. You will want to make sure the cheeses are plain and do not have any added flavors like garlic.

Yogurt is another great human food that benefits your dog. Plain yogurt provides your pet with the probiotics it needs to digest his or her food easier and also strengthens the digestive system. 

Nuts and Grains are a Go

Another human food source for your furry friend is grains. Grains like bread and rice are good for your pet but in moderation. Grains and bread help curve your pet’s appetite and make them feel full. If you are feeding your pet bread make sure you read the label. Some bread can contain high amounts of sugar or other preservatives so you will want to limit the intake by your pet. Too much may cause your dog to have a weight problem. 

If your dog does not have an allergy to nuts, you can add cashews, peanuts and peanut butter to its diet. But be sure to check with your vet before feeding any type of nut to your pet because some varieties are dangerous. The nuts will give your pet protein, magnesium, calcium and antioxidants that are all good for your dog.

Adding Lean Meats

In addition to feeding your dog fish, you can add lean meats like chicken, turkey and pork. The lean meats are lower in fat but still have the protein and other nutrients your pet needs. When feeding your dog meat, you need to make sure that it is without seasonings and sauce. You must also make sure that all meat is properly cooked all the way.

Veggies are a Plus

Not all vegetables are good for your dog. The veggies that your dog can eat include:

  • Carrots
  • Cucumbers
  • Celery
  • Broccoli
  • Brussel sprouts
  • Green Beans
  • Peas

These vegetables are good for your pet because they are high in fiber, vitamins and minerals. Some veggies help your dog’s eyes and heart while others help keep your pet slim and trim.

Fruits are the Sweet Treat

Not only are vegetables good for your dog, but so are some fruits. With the natural sweetness, fruits can make a great treat for your pet. Some of the fruits that your dog can eat include:

  • Apples
  • Bananas
  • Pears
  • Blueberries
  • Mangos
  • Oranges
  • Peaches

These fruits offer your friend a refreshing change from regular dog treats. The fruits are high in vitamins, minerals and antioxidants. 

Before you begin feeding your pet human food, consult your veterinarian for both nutritional and dietary needs. As you start feeding your dog human food, begin slowly to make sure he or she can handle and does not have any reaction to the new foods. Remember to also keep everything in moderation. Please let us know if you have any questions about what human foods your dog can eat.

For information about foods that are not good for pets, read:

Chocolate Toxicity in Dogs

Items in your Household that are Poisionous


For many dog owners, leaving the house can be the start of real problems. A dog might all of a sudden begin to whine, bark, run around the house or even become destructive when its owner leaves it alone. This is all the result of something called separation anxiety. Separation anxiety can be a real problem in some dogs, leading to damage at home, loss of money and emotional problems for both the dog and its owners as they try to cope.

If your dog exhibits symptoms like these whenever you leave it alone, then you need to learn a little bit more about this condition and what you can do to overcome it.

How to Help a Dog with Separation Anxiety

Symptoms of Separation Anxiety

Depending on your dog and its temperament, separation anxiety can be displayed in different ways. These ways include:

  • Barking, Howling and Whining
    One of the most frequent ways a dog will act out is to make a variety of noises. These can be barks, howls or whines. These noises often begin the moment you leave the house and will continue for hours and hours. Depending on where you live, this can be a nuisance for your neighbors who have to put up with it.
  • Excretion
    Another sign of separation anxiety is excretion — urinating or defecating whenever you leave the house. Obviously, this can lead to all sorts of problems as well as being incredibly inconvenient when it comes to cleaning up.
  • Destruction
    Some dogs express their anxiety by destroying whatever they come into contact with. Chewing, digging, scratching and clawing on the floors, door frames and furniture can be expensive to fix. These are signs that your dog is really suffering when you leave. Obviously, this is not healthy for the dog, but it’s also not healthy for your relationship with your dog.
  • Escaping
    For some owners, coming home to an empty house is a sure sign of separation anxiety. Not only is this frustrating, it can also be very unsafe for the dog as it runs around the neighborhood and into the streets.

How to Treat Separation Anxiety

Thankfully, there are things you can do to help get your dog to overcome its anxiety problems.

For Mild to Moderate Anxiety

If your dog only suffers from a mild case of separation anxiety, it can often be treated by simple behavior modification techniques. These include:

  • Giving your dog a treat every time you leave. This can help your dog associate your leaving with a happy occasion, and can also help it fear your leaving less.
  • Exercise your dog before you leave. This can help your dog expend some energy and help them to be more relaxed when you depart.
  • Stop treating your comings and goings like a big deal. Many owners spend a lot of time saying goodbye and hello to their dogs, turning it into a huge event. This event can be a cause of stress. Instead, act like coming and going is no big deal.
  • Leave items of clothing out that smell like you, giving your dog the feeling that you are still in the house and nearby.
  • Consider using mild, natural calming supplements. Natural remedies can help your dog handle the stress without having any adverse side effects.

For Severe Anxiety

If your dog is dealing with a severe case of separation anxiety, a more involved and long-term solution needs to be put in place. While there are medications that can help, these should be considered a last resort. Instead, most dog experts recommend a step-by-step process that helps your dog get used to the idea of your leaving.

This process works by first getting your dog used to the idea of your leaving. Pick up your keys, grab your wallet, etc. — but don’t leave the house. Hold them for a while, and then put them back. Doing this frequently will give your dog the chance to get used to the visual cues that it associates with your leaving, which will help keep the stress down.

Once you get your dog used to the pre-leaving cues, the next phase is to leave for very short trips out. Just a minute or two at first, but then gradually begin to expand the time you’re gone. Five minutes, ten minutes — just enough for your dog to start feeling anxious, but not enough to bring on a full-blown episode. As you increase the time, your dog will slowly become accustomed to the idea of you being gone.

Keep in mind, this is a long-term process that will take a while. But, in the end, it’s worth it for the peace of mind it brings your dog and your entire household.

If your pet has separation anxiety and these steps don’t help, please let us know. We can provide guidance for you as well as connect you with additional local resources and recommended trainers in our area.

If you are a pet owner, your main concern is that your pets are healthy and happy. You care about the quality of the food that you give them, that their fur is shiny and well groomed, their teeth are cleaned and that they are up to date on all necessary shots. If your pet becomes ill, it can be as scary as if a family member were sick. Let’s face it, pets are family, and you want to treat them as such. This means that you need to get them proper treatment. Home remedies or human medications can be dangerous for your pets.

Human Medications are Bad for Pets

Pain Relief

If a pet is obviously experiencing pain, it is common for people to think that the medications that work for us will work for them as well. Please don’t administer human pain relief medications to your pet.

  • Ibuprofen: You most likely have a bottle or more of this over the counter drug in your medicine cabinet. Pets like to lick the coating off of these pills because they enjoy the taste. If ingested, these can cause stomach ulcers and kidney failure.
  • Tramadol: This pain reliever may be prescribed for your pet, but you must be careful about how much you give them. If your pet overdoses, it may cause disorientation, shakiness.
  • Acetaminophen: This is another commonly-used over the counter drug that can have devastating effects. If ingested in any dosage, it can cause liver damage. Be sure to keep away from cats especially, as they are extremely sensitive to this medication.  

Other Medications

Pet’s can also get into other human medications (prescription and over the counter) that are sometimes left in easy to access places within your home.

  • Alprazolam: This medication is prescribed for those who suffer from anxiety and sleep disorders, and if ingested by your pet, can cause vomiting and possibly seizures. Pets will often find them on your nightstand. A large dose can cause a decrease in blood pressure as well as fatigue.

  • Adderall: This medication is used for treatment for Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD). However, any dosage ingested by your pet can result in hyperactivity, an increase in body temperature and heart rate and can cause seizures. 

In general, keep all prescription medications and over the counter drugs out of reach from your pet. If you ever have questions on what in-home treatments would be safe to give your pet for pain or another condition, please contact our team at Longview Animal Hospital – we will be happy to assist you!

pets and apartment living

There are many things that you need to take into consideration when choosing an apartment. If you already have a pet or plan on getting one, you need to carefully review the specifics of the apartments that you are considering. You don’t want to fall in love with an apartment only to find out that your furry friend isn’t welcome. Not only do you need to find an apartment that is accepting of your pet, you also need to consider the additional challenges that you may face as you and your pet transition into apartment living.

There are many things that you need to take into consideration when you’re looking to have either a cat or dog in an apartment setting. From issues such as breed, insurance and space, you want to be sure you’re prepared.

Before you bring a pet into an apartment:

Decide on the best pet for the environment

If you’re in the market for a new pet, you need to carefully choose the one that you are going to bring into an apartment setting. Cats are usually a pretty safe bet, but if you have your heart set on a dog, but many dog breeds aren’t cut out for apartment living. Many of them simply do not do well in confined spaces.

Research the breed you’re considering. Smaller dogs are more likely to adjust easier than some larger dogs, but there are always exceptions. Great Danes and Irish Wolfhounds are lazier breeds and may be just fine in a smaller environment, but many large breeds won’t be.

Look into the rules of the apartment

Many apartment complexes have rules in regards to what types of pets can be kept there. There may be restrictions in regards to size or breed. Some places will not allow pets over a certain height and you may need to measure your dog to make sure that you fit within those guidelines. Make sure to keep this in mind when investigating both pets and different apartment buildings.

Consider the fees

Moving is expensive. Along with the security deposit and moving expenses, you will probably also have to pay a monthly fee for your pet. It’s important to keep this in mind as you search for apartments and adjust your budget. This could affect which apartments you look at and which ones you may be able to afford.

Do not lie to the landlord

If the apartment you’re looking at doesn’t accept pets, don’t think you can sneak one in. It is a bad idea and has the potential to get you evicted. Instead, talk to the landlord and you may be able to get an exception. If not, you’ll want to know right away before you fall in love with the apartment and so you can make different plans.

Consider Renters’ Pet Insurance

Your pet has the potential to damage things in your new apartment. Because of this, you should look into additional insurance. You don’t want to be stuck losing your security deposit or having additional expenses when you move out in the future.

Get an apartment on the first floor

If it’s at all possible, try to get a first floor apartment. This will make it much easier for you when taking your pet outside. It will also minimize the number of people you may run into as well as confrontations with other pets.

When you bring a pet into an apartment:

Get your pet outside

One of the most important things you need to do when you live in an apartment with a pet, especially if you have a dog, is make sure to get him or her a good amount of exercise. Dogs tend to have a lot of energy and they may start to destroy things if they don’t get enough exercise and stimulation. Make sure your dog gets outside as much as possible because they will go stir crazy too. Ideally, they need at least two walks per day to release some energy and an additional two high-intensity exercise sessions during the week as well.

Protect the floors

It’s important to be sure to protect your floors. Your pet should have a designated area in which to play in order to minimize the damage that they may cause. Using a mat under food and water dishes will also go a long way when protecting and keeping the floor clean and free of stains.

As long as you take some consideration and planning into it, you can enjoy living in an apartment with a pet. Just make sure to read the rules and give your pet plenty of attention.