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Small apartments can be challenging enough just trying to fit your belongings in their miniature spaces. But when you want to have a pet come with you? That becomes a whole different matter. So how can you choose a perfect furry companion to join you? Read on for a few tips – some might surprise you.

Closeness is a factor

Two things to consider are how close are you to your neighbors and how thick are the walls. If you have an apartment in a corner and you don’t border on anyone, even in a studio apartment, you can have a slightly noisier pet than you might in a dense building with thin walls. Dogs are often territorially protective, and they will bark to ward off potential intruders. Keeping curtains drawn on outside windows is one way to keep them from feeling the need to be defensive.

Small dogs are not always perfect

Some dog breeds like terriers are highly intelligent and active dogs that need a lot of space and stimulation on a regular basis. Parson Russell Terriers, Pomeranians, and Chihuahuas are just some of them. Others are ideal for apartments, breeds like Boston Terriers, Pugs, French Bulldogs, and Malteses. They are called brachycephalic, meaning they have snubbed noses and a harder time breathing in hot conditions or after heavy exercise. They make for great small space buddies.

Older is often better

A puppy has a lot of energy that it needs to expand. A small apartment is not always ideal for a puppy even though its size is perfect since it may turn destructive without an outlet for its energy. It needs to have a lot of room to exercise. Retired service dogs or racing dogs like Whippets and Greyhounds are just looking for a good home with a loving pet parent, and they don’t need a lot of walking.

Don’t rule out the big guys

A big dog might be a great companion. As long as you can take him for a long walk or run him in a nearby park, you can have a big dog like a Greyhound, since they are just big couch potatoes.

Pets other than dogs

Cats are often just fine with a small space, but this is not true of every breed. Some breeds like Siamese and Abyssinians are extraordinarily energetic and require a lot of space and vertical climbing structures on which to exercise. Most breeds, though, are sleepers and will spend as much as 18 hours a day at rest. Ragdolls and Persians are well known for their gentle natures. If you choose to get a pet from a shelter, you can ask the workers for a quiet fur baby and explain that you will be in an apartment. They will have behavior charts and can help you find just the right one.

Birds might be good choices as long as they are not loud and prone to chattering during hours that might upset your neighbors. Their size, however, is perfect.

Pets in tanks are often great choices for small apartments and don’t require a lot of attention to thrive. Fish, lizards, and turtles are ideal but just check with the apartment manager, so you don’t violate any rental policies.

The most important thing is to check with the building owner or apartment manager on what the guidelines are for pets. Will there be a pet deposit to have to pay? Is there a restriction on noise or weight? By asking for permission first instead of begging for forgiveness later, you can keep on good terms with the manager, and not have to give up your newly found family member.