Apartment PETiquette

An adorable gray French Bulldog puppy sitting in a dog bed on hardwood floor looks at the camera with perked up ears

Tips for Living Comfortably in Small Quarters With Your Four-Legged Family

It’s a popular misconception that animals and apartments don’t mix. While it’s true that many rental properties still do not allow pets (thankfully, Gramercy Row isn’t one of them), pet ownership among city-dwellers is actually on the rise. Of course, most animals would love the opportunity to run free in the wild open spaces of the country, but with the right training (for pets AND their people) and plenty of exercise, living in apartments with a four-legged friend or two is quite doable.

Do Your Research.

If you’re still searching for your furry family member, be sure look into which types of pets are most suitable to apartment living. This is particularly important if your heart is set on adopting a dog. Often, would-be pet owners assume small dogs are best for small spaces, but many of these breeds are VERY energetic and need lots and lots of activity to keep them from acting up or barking excessively. There are some great resources out there on this topic…take some time to study them for tips on finding a pet that’s suitable to your lifestyle and living quarters.

Keep Your Pets Updated on Vaccinations and Parasite Preventives.

This is important for all pet owners to keep in mind, but especially so for those living in apartment communities. Shared hallways, elevators, and outdoor spaces means an increased risk of spreading infections and fleas. Protecting your pet will insure you’re protecting your neighbors and their pets, too.

Pet Proof Your Pad.

Protecting your pets extends to living arrangements, as well. Bored or energetic animals are pretty good at finding ways to get into trouble—be sure your appliances’ cords are tied up and out of reach, remove plants that are toxic to animals, and consider installing safety locks on cabinets and doors if your pet is particularly crafty at finding its way into mischief. You also might want to get a few no-slip rugs to protect pets from damaging those hardwood floors…or themselves!

Keep Them Active.

A bored pet is much more likely to cause problems than one who is kept active and entertained. If you own a dog, be prepared to walk him at least 2-3 times a day, and throw in a trip to the dog park or go for a longer stroll along the Greenways a couple times a week. Make sure there are plenty of interactive toys placed around the apartment to keep your pets busy (and replace the toys every few months to keep pets interested in them). And if you work away from home full-time, consider engaging a mid-day dog walker, or take your pups to doggie daycare while you’re gone.

Keep Them Comfortable.

Create a cozy little spot in your home, reserved just for Fido or Fluffy. Cats love to be up high where they can observe their surroundings—consider purchasing a tall, multi-level kitty condo or tower (complete with scratch posts) to keep them content. When it comes to the pups, they tend to find comfort in den-like crates (so long as they are not associated with punishment). Leave a comfy dog bed inside for them to curl up on, and cover the crate with a blanket or crate cover for an extra layer of security. Just be sure the crate is the right size—it should be large enough for them to turn around, sit up without bumping their head, and stretch out a bit. But not much larger than that, or it could actually increase anxiety.

Establish a Routine.

This is particularly important if you work full time or are away from home for most of the day. Setting a schedule to walk and feed your pets will help them cope much better when you’re gone. Train your dog to relieve itself in designated spots, so it’ll associate that particular time and place with business and not play (believe us—this will make your life much easier, too).

Show Consideration to Your Neighbors.

Apartment living is great for a number of reasons, but it’s important to keep everyone’s safety and comfort in mind when you’re living in this communal situation. If you have dogs, train them to remain calm in common areas—keep in mind, as much as you love Rover, not everyone knows him the way you do, and encounters with strange dogs can be uncomfortable and even anxiety-inducing to some people. When you’re in the elevator, keep dogs on a short leash to leave room for other residents. And if you’ve got a barker, consider behavioral training or a citronella bark collar. Try to keep any noisy play time to daylight hours only—be respectful of your neighbors’ schedules. And, please…clean up after your pets! Try to keep them from doing their business right by the entrance/exit to the building, and make sure to always pick up their droppings (those little plastic bag carriers that attach to your leash are a godsend).


We love your four-legged friends as much as you do, which is why we established Gramercy Row as a pet-friendly community. With a private pet walk, two private courtyards, and our proximity to Elmwood Park and the Greenways, we know our residents—furry and otherwise—will delight in everything Gramercy and downtown Roanoke have to offer.