Moving into an apartment with pets? Here's how to keep them safe and happy

Love this article?
Republish this article on your website for free
Republish this article

Republish This Article

Feel free to publish this article on your website. We just ask that you do not edit the article and ensure that the author is correctly attributed! Just copy the code below into your CMS.

By copying the code below you are adhering to all our guidelines

Moving into an apartment with pets? Here's how to keep them safe and happy
Moving into an apartment with pets? Here's how to keep them safe and happy

If you are one of the 5.7 million Australian households who own a pet, you may have discovered that many strata properties are less likely to accommodate your furry friends than if you were to purchase or rent a traditional detached dwelling. However, as businesses begin to introduce “bring your dog to work” days, and many cafes now accommodate diners with dogs, it seems only natural that new property developments are beginning to follow suit, especially given the fact that Australia maintains one of the highest household rates of pet ownership in the world.

Following the launch of Doncaster’s pet-friendly Gardenhill development in 2015, Beulah International Director Adelene Teh commented that the introduction of an off-lead dog park within the new precinct would rouse attention to the broader issue of pet ownership and the urbanisation of Melbourne.

“A big reason behind why dogs are surrendered is because the owner finds themselves in a situation where they are moving to an apartment or home that is not pet-friendly and pet ownership is often frowned upon in apartments.”

- Adelene Teh, Beulah International Director

Adelene also effectively predicted the future, noting that while the rest of the world had already forged ahead with a successful pet-friendly apartment development plan, Australia would soon catch onto the trend.

By offering our Gardenhill residents a designated place they can take their dogs for exercise, socialisation or even mental stimulation, we’re encouraging responsible pet ownership and hopefully paving the way for other developers to follow suit.” 

As more pet-friendly off-the-plan apartments hit the market, buyers have the opportunity to be more discerning with selecting a property that will best fit the needs of both themselves and their pets. Similar to our piece about what to look for in an off-the-plan apartment, we’ve compiled a list of what to look for in a pet-friendly apartment to help you with your search.


IS YOUR PET SUITABLE FOR APARTMENT LIVING?

Moving into an apartment with pets? Here's how to keep them safe and happy

Firstly, ensure you’ve got an apartment-friendly pet. Consult with your local vet about the type of environment your pet would thrive in. If you own a dog who has a penchant for yapping, growling at strangers or desire to run for miles on a daily basis, apartment living may not be appropriate. However, if you’ve got a sociable pet who spends a decent portion of the day sleeping or isn’t much larger than an A4 sheet of paper, then you may find apartment living is perfect.

Here is some excellent advice from Dr David Cunliffe, Head of Hospital at Lort Smith, who shares how to prepare your home for cats, dogs and rabbits.

Moving into an apartment with pets? Here's how to keep them safe and happy
Credit: Iz and Phil

CATS

  • Still need mental stimulation and interaction, even though they are generally happy in a more confined space.
  • Like to sit up high, so create climbing spaces for them to explore.
  • Can be cunning and inquisitive, so make sure the house is safe, windows closed, food inaccessible etc.
Moving into an apartment with pets? Here's how to keep them safe and happy
Credit: Jay Wennington

DOGS

  • Avoid larger or energetic dogs – particularly kelpies, border collies, huskies or other working dogs.
  • Greyhounds are a particularly good choice.
  • Training and behaviour are critical to ensure you stay in your landlord and neighbour’s good books.
  • You can get dog toilet boxes, but they are large and not practical for many homes.
  • Consider adopting an older dog – they may be less energetic/more relaxed. But consider their ability to climb stairs etc.
Moving into an apartment with pets? Here's how to keep them safe and happy
Credit: Jennifer Chen

RABBITS

  • Can be a good apartment choice - no need to exercise and they don’t need a lot of space.
  • Can be toilet trained similar to a cat.
  • Look out for power cables – they like to chew.
  • Need access to plenty of hay.
  • Still need social interaction/regular play.

‘Apartment living doesn’t mean you have to forgo the companionship of a pet. Many animals such as cats, rabbits and elderly dogs make ideal apartment pets, providing relevant approvals have been granted.’

- Dr David Cunliffe - Head of Hospital, Lort Smith


AUSTRALIA'S PET OWNERSHIP STATS AT A GLANCE 

Moving into an apartment with pets? Here's how to keep them safe and happy
Credit: Amy Humphries
Dogs4.8 million                               
Cats3.9 million
Birds4.2 million
Fish8.7 million
Reptiles and small mammals952,000
Other1.6 million

Source: Canstar 2017


WHAT TO LOOK FOR IN AN APARTMENT

Moving into an apartment with pets? Here's how to keep them safe and happy
Credit: Lydia Tan

#1 GREEN SPACES

Dogs require parks and open space for many of the reasons we do – to run around and let off steam, exercise, socialise and for a change of scene. Living in a concrete jungle with a pet can sometimes mean less access to sprawling parklands, so finding an apartment with dedicated green spaces that allow dogs, is imperative for ensuring the health and wellbeing for your pet.

#2 WASTE MANAGEMENT

It’s a bit harder to encourage your pet to “go outside” when outside involves travelling in an elevator down 12 storeys. Waste management is an important aspect to consider when determining whether apartment living is suitable for your pet. Consider opting for a lower level apartment or a townhouse with a garden.

#3 KNOW THE BODY CORPORATE RULES

As with state pet-ownership rules, body corporate rules vary between apartments. Ensure that you’re upfront about your pets before signing any contracts or making a deposit on your future home to avoid future complications if your apartment does not allow animals. 

#4 CHECK FOR HAZARDS

Consult with your real estate agent and vet to find out any potential risks both inside and outside your apartment.

#5 PET SOCIALISING FACILITIES

An off-leash dog park is the best solution for encouraging dogs to socialise in a safe and contained environment. It could also be beneficial to introduce your pet to other resident's animals within the building. 

#6 ENSURE THE APARTMENT IS PROPERLY VENTILATED

The same way humans can overheat in summer – it’s vital to have the air quality checked for the health and wellbeing of your pet. Opt for an apartment with a good cross ventilation system and opening windows (but ensure you put a guard on them).

#7 ENSURE THE APARTMENT IS BIG ENOUGH TO HOUSE A PET

As Dr David Cunliffe explained, there are many dogs which are not suited to apartment living, especially larger, more active dogs. A townhouse with a garden will certainly broaden your options of the breed of dog you’re able to keep.

#8 KEEP AN EYE OUT FOR PET WASHING FACILITIES

If the off-the-plan apartment you’ve got your eye on has a pet washing facility, this is a fantastic bonus. As developers are continuing to take into account the importance of creating more pet-friendly apartments, pet amenities are also becoming more sophisticated too.


TRENDING PET-FRIENDLY PROPERTIES

HAWKSBURN PLACE

Prahran, VIC

Moving into an apartment with pets? Here's how to keep them safe and happy
Credit: GURNER™

GURNER™ has added an extra half-level basement to the complex which includes a full car wash and dog wash. Property guru Tim Gurner explained that his company have responded to feedback from property seekers who are wanting to give up the backyard but still need a place which is accommodating of their dogs. 

"Forget the dog box, man’s best friend has just been invited into a ritzy new world of apartment living."

- News.com.au

GARDENHILL

Doncaster, VIC

Moving into an apartment with pets? Here's how to keep them safe and happy
Credit: Woods Bagot Architects

As referenced earlier in the article, Gardenhill was one of the first pet-friendly high-rise apartment projects to be launched back in 2015. The apartment complex features an off-lead dog park and encourages pet ownership among residents.  


8 BEST DOGS FOR APARTMENTS

According to Business Insider

Moving into an apartment with pets? Here's how to keep them safe and happy
Credit: Roberto Nickson
  1. Yorkshire Terrier
  2. Cavalier King Charles Spaniel
  3. Chihuahua
  4. Boston Terrier
  5. English Bulldog
  6. Bichon Frise
  7. Dachshund
  8. Italian Greyhound

THE FUTURE OF PET-FRIENDLY APARTMENTS

Moving into an apartment with pets? Here's how to keep them safe and happy
Credit: Abbie Love

While Australia catches onto the pet-friendly bandwagon, other countries are already rolling out what could be considered the animal equivalent of wellness facilities. From pet spas to pet bars, many animal owners are becoming spoilt for choice when it comes to choosing an apartment that accommodates their pets.

Some of the royal treatment offerings include:

  • Off-leash bark parks
  • ½ acre enclosed pet park with agility equipment
  • Doggie snack bars
  • Pet washroom and grooming station
  • Concierge pet walking services

Lead image credit: Paul Hanaoka

The latest industry news on your website

Republish Urban content on your website

Republish this article
Note: Every effort is made to ensure accurate information is provided. If information is out of date, or factually incorrect, please get it touch so we can rectify. Urban accepts no liability and responsibility for any direct or indirect loss or damage which may be suffered by any recipient through relying on anything contained or omitted from our publication and platform. Opinions expressed by writers are that of the writer, and may not reflect that of Urban.
Are you a frequent user? Sign in or Register.