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Best Low Maintenance Pets for Apartment Living

Best Low Maintenance Pets for Apartment Living

                                                       pets perfect for small apartments

An astonishingly large number of American households have pets, according to studies from both the past and present. A 2019-2020 National Pet Owners survey revealed that 85 million families or 67% of the US population, had some type of pet, up from 56% in 1988. That includes everything from your standard dogs and cats to the rarer reptiles and fish.

It's safe to say that we humans love our furry (or scaled, or feathered) companions! Four legs, two legs, no legs, it doesn't matter. A pet is a companion.

New renters and pet owners might be wondering, what are the best low-maintenance pets? Which pets are best for smaller spaces and communities such as apartments? What are the rules, costs, and regulations concerning this topic? If you're in the process of looking for a pet-friendly apartment, view all of our apartments to find one near you.

In this guide, we answer all these questions and more so that you can be both a happy and conscientious pet owner and tenant. Let's get started by listing your top options.

Best Low Maintenance Pets

1. Dogs

puppies for small apartments

Although dogs aren't exactly the best low-maintenance pets, you can train a dog to be well-behaved, making it easy to take care of them in an apartment. 

Of course, in a smaller apartment building, it's easier to have a smaller dog as they're more manageable for renters.

Keep in mind, some renters may be frightened of a larger type of breed, which could mean it is better to have smaller dogs in your apartment complex. 

Some apartment complexes may also have breed and weight restrictions, so it's always best to check with the leasing agent before moving in or purchasing a new dog. 

Also, keep in mind that dogs can be more expensive to own when considering vet visits, surgeries, food, and accessories like leashes, bowls, and more.

2. Cats

Cats are another popular pet choice among apartment renters, and they're generally more low-maintenance than dogs are.

Cats are notoriously independent, require less work (in the way of tasks like walking), and may even eat less food and drink less water, depending on the size.

In general, cats are a great option for apartment renters who want a pet.

3. Birds

pet birds
Smaller birds, such as finches or canaries, are generally well-accepted in apartment complexes, especially if they often stay in a cage.

Larger birds, such as parrots or cockatiels, may not be allowed in certain communities, so make sure to have that discussion with your leasing manager.

Birds that are often let out of their cages may also have some restrictions, especially in buildings with brand-new or lightly-used carpet. 

4. Turtles

pet turtles
Turtles are considered low-maintenance by many, but in fact, turtles do require a special type of care that's ongoing. 

Additionally, they need room to grow in their tanksso, while you may have started with a smaller turtle, you might end up getting a bigger one than expected!

Some turtles can live for decades, getting up to a foot long when fully matured. That's something worth thinking about when shopping for turtles.

In addition to a tank, turtles need specific lighting, a water filtration system, and an appropriate temperature. 

So, with their consistent care and long lifespan, a prospective turtle owner should be prepared for a lot of dedication and commitment over time.

5. Hamsters

pet hamster
Hamsters are another good choice for low-maintenance, small pets.

They don't take a lot of time, care, or attention (they groom themselves, like cats!), yet are fun to play with and fairly silly.

They often play and exercise on their own too, which is why it's essential to have a wheel in their cage.

They're also extremely affordable, costing little more than the initial set-up fees.

Most hamsters have a short lifespan as well, usually lasting between two and four years. 

Of course, you'll still need to feed them and clean their cages. Doing so keeps them happy and your apartment smelling fresh and clean.

6. Guinea Pigs

pet guinea pig
In all honesty, some of the pets on this list do require more time and attention than others.

For example, a dog is typically more high-maintenance than a cat, but a fish might be easier than a cat.

In boiling down the list of low-maintenance pets to one winner, though, we'd have to say guinea pigs.

Guinea pigs are easy to handle and care for, which makes them one of the best pets for apartments.

Additionally, guinea pigs don't require as much space to be happy as a new puppy might. While fish are also quite easy, they're certainly not as cuddly, warm, or interactive as a guinea pig could be.

Even more, guinea pigs stay in a contained space like a crate, making them one of the cleanest options for apartment living. Finally, they're incredibly affordable. You won't have to think about costly, frequent vet bills as much as with a cat or dog.

7. Saltwater and Freshwater Fish

pet fish
Fish are another popular pet option for renters. Smaller aquariums, like those that are five gallons or less, are easy to place in your apartment, such as on top of a TV stand or end table.

Fish are arguably one of the most low-maintenance pets on this list, next to guinea pigs!

Some of the best options for new fish owners include:
Neon tetras
Betta fish
Depending on the size of your tank and the number of fish you have, they may end up being a little costlier than guinea pigs.

It all depends on what food you buy, what maintenance you do, the toys you buy, and more.

However, many apartment complexes allow their renters to have fish in the space without paying a deposit, so you may be able to get by without having to pay that pet rent.

FAQs About Low-Maintenance Pets for Apartment Renters

Part of being a great tenant means following the rules and regulations currently in place by your apartment complex.

If you don't currently have a pet and are considering getting one, it's best to talk with your apartment's leasing manager to understand their policies first.

Some communities might have restrictions on the type of pet you're allowed to bring, its size, or its breed, so you're better off having an honest discussion before bringing home that anaconda! 

With that in mind, here are some questions you should bring to your meeting with your leasing manager:

Do I Have to Pay Rent for My Pet?

In short, the answer is yes.

However, some pets do not require a pet fee at our complex. Those pets include small birds, turtles, hamsters, guinea pigs, and fish aquariums that are five (5) gallons or less.

Why Do I Have To Pay Pet Rent?

You may be wondering "Why does my pet need to pay rent when they do not have a job?" While this is a true statement (unless your pet is a Tik Tok star!), pet rent covers more than just your pet's ability to live with you.

By paying a monthly pet fee, you are also more cognisant of any damage your pet causes or may cause. 

Most apartment complexes will charge a monthly pet fee to ensure that any damage caused by your pet can be repaired when you move out. 

The pet fee also covers the cost of:
  • Carpet Cleaning
  • Air Duct Cleaning
  • Repairing any chew/scratched apartment features

How Much Is the Average Pet Rent?

Pet rent differs from property to property, so it's important to ask ahead of time. Additionally, sometimes a pet rent doesn't transfer from apartment to apartment, in case you change apartments but remain in the same complex.

That's for several reasons, one of which is that each apartment requires a special cleaning once a renter with a pet leaves it, preparing it for the next tenants.

The current policy at 21 South at Parkview is on our pet policy page.

So, if you had one small dog, you'd pay a pet fee once, plus a monthly fee until your lease ends. If you had a small dog and a small cat, you'd pay $600 once, plus $40 a month during your lease agreement.

Are There Any Restrictions on Size, Breed, or Number of Pets?

Often, an apartment complex will have certain restrictions set in place concerning pets. 

At 21 South, for example, we do not allow certain dog breeds.

We also do not allow:
Flying squirrels
Sugar gliders
Reptiles and amphibians
Other rodents
Venomous animals
Additionally, individual pets must be under 75 pounds. If you have two pets, they must weigh under 75 pounds in total. 

Meow, Woof, Hiss! Are You Ready to Embark on a Pet Owner's Journey?

Hopefully, this guide to simultaneous pet-owning and apartment-living helps you make a decision! Not only about what the best low maintenance pets for apartments are, but what pet-friendly apartment complex is right for you. As long as you're open and honest about your wants concerning pets to your leasing manager, the better your residency in a new community.

You've got plenty of choices from Fido to Spot, to Fluffy, Nemo, Binx, or Elf. There are several options when it comes to pets that can fare well in apartment settings.

We at 21 South at Parkview would love for you to consider renting with us! We have a pet policy that's transparent and reasonable. We can't wait to "interview" you and your new friend. 

Click here to contact our offices today, or give us a call at (225)-612-0381 to set up an appointment that works.