Apartment dweller? No backyard? No worries, there’s a perfect pet just waiting for you.
The great news is that there are many dog breeds that can live happily in an apartment or property with little or no outside space, as long as they get enough exercise and mental stimulation every day. With a daily walk or vigorous outdoor play session, lots of time with their human family, and regular trips outside for toileting (or access to a place to ‘go‘ indoors) a lounge-loving Great Dane can be just as happy in a unit or townhouse as a Chihuahua.
In fact, research shows that the rate of pet ownership is often just as high in cities where apartment living is the norm as it is in places where most people live in homes with large backyards. While it’s vital to choose the right size and breed for your lifestyle, whether your dog thrives in a small space is largely dependent on how much time you’re willing to spend keeping them active and engaged. There are dogs breeds that will live happily in a city environment, such as Chihuahuas and miniature schnauzers.
Cats can be the perfect pets for a pocket-sized pad because they’re arguably the most relaxed animals on the planet. Give a cat a comfy bed, a handful of toys, a litter box and a steady supply of delicious food and they’re happy.
But, there are some cat breeds that are perfectly at home without hectares and hectares of garden space to roam around. These include the Maine Coon, which is actually the world’s second largest cat breed, but is known for its gentle and relaxed temperament. Russian Blues are famously intelligent and calm, while the Exotic Shorthair has earned the nickname ‘the lazy man’s Persian’ because it shares the Persian’s sweet face and peaceful temperament, but has a shorter, easy-care coat.
If a dog or cat isn’t for you but you’d still like an animal companion, consider a small animal like a rabbit or guinea pig. They’re cuddly, easy to look after, and with training can be just as great a house pet as a dog.
Alternatively, pet reptiles also do well in small spaces and an aquarium, full of brightly coloured tropical fish, makes a mesmerising addition to any apartment.