Gone are the days when people living in condominiums or townhomes couldn’t have a furry family member. Nowadays, condo and townhome communities court animal lovers by offering amazing amenities for pets, but with great amenities come great responsibility.
Nobody likes a badly behaved animal. NewHomeSource’s guide to living in a condo or townhome with pets can show you how to respect your neighbors, your neighbors’ pets and the shared spaces in your community.
Keep Pets Safe
Keeping your beloved pets — and your neighbors’ beloved pets — safe is the best way to live respectfully in a condo or townhome community. Here are some simple safety measures for all types of animals to help ensure that you and your neighbors don’t wind up hating the various animals that share your spaces.
Dogs Should Stay on Leash
Nobody, even if they love dogs, wants to get tackled by a living, super excited wiggle. Nobody likes wet, stinky dog kisses either. And some people are legitimately afraid of dogs — or allergic. To prevent negative interactions between Fido and your neighbors, including other community canines, always keep dogs on a leash, unless they’re in the neighborhood dog park.
Don’t Let Cats Roam the Community Grounds
Letting Fluffles roam the community grounds can annoy neighbors and can be dangerous for your cat, too. Even the most devoted cat owners hate “getting taught how to hunt,” so imagine how unpleasant a small, dead doorstep trophy is to people who don’t know about Fluffles’ wonderful personality. Protect the next internet famous kitty by keeping them indoors.
Small Animals (Birds, Reptiles, Rodents) Need to Stay in Unit
Small animals live in condos, too, but they don’t ever need to run loose in community spaces. Coco the cockatoo, Twinkles the guinea pig and Mr. Ed the horny toad should stay in their units because they can freak out neighbors, make messes in hard to reach spaces and cause trouble in HVAC ducts or electrical systems when they escape.
Clean Up After Pets
People that need to be told to clean up their pet’s messes in shared spaces shouldn’t be allowed in polite society. Only the world’s biggest jerks leave dog poop on the neighborhood lawn. Many modern townhome and condo communities have pet pick up stations, so even the most disorganized dog walkers can’t use the no bag, no cleanup excuse.
Don’t Stretch the Truth About Service Animal Status
Service animals are hard workers that do valuable work. Do not claim that a pet is a service animal to get it into animal free zones, unless the animal is a certified service animal. Neighbors will resent fake service animals and the owners that lie about them.
Respectful Pet Ownership in Unit
Being a respectful pet owner in a condo or townhome doesn’t stop at the unit door. We have a couple of small, in-unit steps that can make a pet much more loveable to neighbors.
Stinky Pete the pet can cause all sorts of trouble for his owners. If you have a Stinky Pete, keeping him clean and routinely cleaning any pet areas like a feeding station, litter box, dog bed, crates, etc. can help eliminate any stench from your condo or townhome unit, which makes your life more pleasant, keeps Pete healthy and lowers the chance that neighbors complain to community managers about the funky stench oozing out from your unit.
Stinky Pete’s brother Noisy Nibbler causes consternation in condo and townhome communities. Nobody likes loud barking, squawking, honking or the dreaded stomping. Nobody. Limit the barking/squawking/honking by teaching animals to keep quiet in the house. Condo owners with pets should have carpet installed, or have plenty of rugs so the downstairs neighbors don’t have to hear cats jumping down from their towers or dogs running around.
Understand That Some People Just Don’t Like Animals
Not everyone shares the opinion that FooFoo is practically a person; nobody owes a pet owner an explanation for why they want to keep their distance from an animal. Fear, allergies and not having a soul are totally valid reasons for avoiding even the cutest doggo or kitty.
Give neighbors as much personal space as possible when out with a pet until they mention that they want hello kisses from dear little Shnookums.
Don’t take it personally if they never warm up to Mr. Whiskers.
Don’t get passive aggressive about shared spaces in the community.
Don’t try to convert them into a dog/cat/giant hamster person out of the goodness of your heart. It never works.
Do you have any tips for living respectfully with a pet in a condo or townhome? Have any of your furry friends created mayhem in your community? (Because our perfect animals have 100 percent never misbehaved.) Let us know in the comments below.
After graduating in 2016 from The University of Texas with a degree in English, Sanda Brown became a content writer for the BDX with a focus on website copy and content marketing.
At the BDX, Sanda helps write and edit articles on NewHomeSource.com, writes website copy for builders, and manages a team of freelancers that work on additional content needs.