Sharing your personal space with a pet in a condo unit is exciting and challenging. There are things you need to remember to become a responsible pet owner. If you’re a fur parent, then you can attest to the fact that living with a companion animal is not all fun and games.
If you’ve decided to try independent condo living this 2020, and you are currently looking for a non-human companion to live with, then this guide is your 101 to become a responsible pet owner. Make sure also to read the DMCI Homes homeowner’s manual to know the do’s and don'ts of owning a pet in your condo unit.
1. Research, assess, and plan
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Researching about the pet, you are planning to get or adopt the first rule to becoming a responsible pet owner. Even if you are already a fur parent, checking which feline and canine breeds go well together is a must. Pugs and Basset Hounds, for instance, generally go along with both people and dogs. At the same time, the seemingly innocuous Chihuahua and Chow Chow are among the cutest but also the most temperamental.
Once you figure out what kind and which breed of animal companion you will share your living space with, then it’s time for you to assess your lifestyle and your living space if it’s sufficient enough to accommodate you and your pet. Are you currently a student or an employee who spends a lot of your time at work or school? Do you work at home? How much time can you allocate to your pet in a day? What are the sacrifices and adjustments you could commit to once your pet starts living with you? Listing these questions down and answering them as honestly as possible would help you understand what you are getting into.
When adopting a puppy or a kitten, keeping their feeding station to where they can relieve themselves is a must so you could easily housebreak them. Housebreaking an animal means that you have successfully trained your companion animal to where it should relieve itself. A pet could only be responsible if its owner is responsible as well.
2. Check what kind of pet suits you
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People are not naturally born a cat person or a dog person. People sometimes label themselves these things until they find out that the animal they got or adopted doesn’t match their personality and lifestyle. The misleading consideration people base their assumption on is whether they are energetic or reserved.
Knowing the profile of different dog breeds or the diverse trait of cat breeds will help you understand your pet’s behavior. Knowing how your animal companion’s behavior and personality are important so you will know what actions you can do and avoid to accommodate your pet’s needs.
3. Provide sufficient living space for dogs and cats
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Dogs require a lot of living space. Know the best small home appliances and furniture you can acquire to open up more space so your dog would have plenty of places to run around. Getting small and quaint items for your condo is also great since cats and dogs might turn on them once they get bored.
Cats may scratch on your sofa to fulfill their instinct to hone their claws, while dogs will gnaw on anything once they get bored. Cats do not need much space as dogs but make sure they have plenty of places to climb on top off since this is their way of exercising. Hanging bookshelves are great for them.
Also, do not let any electric cord or extension sloppily hang around. Animals may gnaw on this and cause severe injury, which most likely leads to death. Knowing the basics of cleaning your condo properly will improve your and your pet’s quality of life.
4. Learn Housebreaking
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Cats are clean animals not only because they spend most of their time in a day licking themselves and making sure their fur is squeaky clean, but they also do not generally need any litter training. Simply get purchase a litter box for your cat and they will always immediately know how to use this.
Cats’ noses are sensitive, and they are appalled and nauseated by the pungency of their feces that is why they bury it in the litter box. This burrowing is also an instinct they learned from the wild to keep their predators from tracking them.
Dogs, on the other hand, require a lot of work. If you have a puppy or plan on getting one, getting a litter pad is important because you need to teach him or her to use it. Dogs are creatures of habit so they tend to go back to the place where they relieved themselves. A puppy does not know this, that is why you need to constantly bring it to its litter pad to teach it how to use this.
Always bring your puppy to your chosen litter pad each time it a.) finishes eating a meal, b.) wakes up from a nap, c.) and after its playtime. Give him/her a lot of praise while it’s peeing or pooping. Saying cue words such as “good boy” or “nice girl” will help the dog remember it’s doing something right when relieving itself on the litter pad. It takes a month or two for them to master this, sometimes even more.
Get someone who could do this work for you if your schedule does not permit you to. When a dog commits a mistake, never scold it since it will only cause the dog to hide from you where it will relieve itself in the future.
5. Provide them with a wide selection of toys to choose from
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Your pets need to have something they can play and entertain themselves with so they won’t look for things they could ruin just to get the boredom out of their system. Cats play using their paws, while dogs with their mouth. Provide your cat with a high-quality scratching post so they won’t turn against your furniture, such as your sofa.
Dogs may be given things they can chew on such as a plush animal or a toy made out of rope. You can also hide small mounds of kibble in different places inside your condo so your dogs will have a sort of treasure hunting game. Remember however that these toys are not enough to substitute for the attention you will give them. Play with your pets for at least 2 hours a day so you can bond with them better, and to keep them from being bored
6. Look for a trusted vet nearby
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Part of your research is knowing where the closest and reliable veterinarian is from your condo. A trip to the veterinarian is never cheap so you must have a ready pet fund not just for emergencies, but also for their monthly check-up. There are several medicines and shots that your dog and cat need while they are growing. Some of these will prevent future diseases that are fatal to pets such as distemper for dogs. Never administer medicine without the knowledge and advice of your veterinarian.
7. Avoid plastic food bowls
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There is one thing that cats and dogs love to do, and that is eating. Both are typically fed twice or thrice a day depending on their dietary needs. Making sure your pet gets their proper food is only one thing you need to consider. The material of the bowl they are feeding on is something you should also choose with care. Feeding bowls made of plastic may harbor bacteria that accumulate through constant use. Choose bowls that are made of ceramic or stainless steel. Aside from protecting your pets from potential diseases, these materials are also easier to clean.
8. Walk your dogs for at least an hour every day
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Dedicating time to spend with your dogs is one of the many sacrifices you have to make to become a responsible fur parent. Dogs need to expend their energies to help their physical and mental state healthy. Bored dogs tend to exhibit unwanted behaviors that could easily cause a nuisance to you and your neighbors. They might, for instance, bark all night to call your attention, thus keeping everyone awake and sleepless.
If you will be leaving your pet behind unattended, it’s better to walk and exercise with your dog early in the morning for an hour so your fur baby will be sleeping the whole day while you are away. This will keep him/her from making a ruckus while you are gone.
9. Spay or neuter your pets
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Spaying or neutering is a medical surgery performed on animals in which the reproductive glands are removed. This is done typically when the animals are more than eight months old. This might seem cruel, but it is recommended by veterinarians to keep pets healthier. For instance, spaying/neutering your pet reduces 50% chance of cats and dogs to develop uterine infections and cancer.
Male dogs that are neutered become tamer. It also eliminates their tendency to mark things using their urine. Spayed and neutered cats also decrease their need to look for a partner when they are in heat. It keeps them from going outside and trying to escape your condo unit.
10. Talk to your neighbors about your pet
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Letting your neighbor know about your pet is important due to several reasons. A person living next door might be asthmatic or could be allergic to your pet’s fur for instance. This will help you figure out the possible source of his/her attacks. Your dog may also accidentally wander off your unit and encounter children along the way who will try to pet it. Parents who know about your dog may warn their children to keep from petting them.
Who knows? Maybe you could even find someone who could babysit your pet while you are away. Pet hotels are expensive, and knowing someone who is just as much as an animal lover as you will help you in making sure your pet is well taken care of.
Having a pet is indeed exciting, but there are tons of considerations you need to weigh in to make sure you are being responsible not just to your pet, but also to the people around you. Good thing DMCI Homes’ properties allow small to medium-sized pets such as dogs, cats, fish, and ever birds to stay inside the condo property just as long as they stay indoors and observe proper behavior. If you want to know more, you can chat with our property management office for more details.