Just imagine cooing at your canary, watching your pup at play in the dog park or napping with a purring fluff ball curled up by your side. There's nothing quite like the unconditional love of a pet.
But first, it's important to be realistic about the idea. Does your apartment have enough space for a pet companion to coexist with you and perhaps even with a significant other? Consider the size of your apartment. Is it going to be adequate enough for a large breed dog or even two cats?
To help break down what it takes to share your living space with a pet, here are a few fun possibilities.
If you're visiting pet stores affiliated with rescue organizations or going to adoption events on weekends in search of a puppy or a senior dog in hopes of finding a new member of your family, then the size of your apartment is critical to the size of the dog.
A small space warrants a small breed dog. Popular choices include a French Bulldog, Chihuahua, Shih Tzu, King Charles Cavalier or Pug, or any of the teeny-tiny teacup pups or a little mixed-breed pooch.
Be sure there are thick walls in your apartment so barking isn't an issue for your neighbors, and be certain the dog you fall madly in love with is in regulation with community breed rules.
Be ready for doggy play dates, too. Check for the closest dog park or common space in your complex for easy walks and grassy romps.
Cats are territorial and can adapt to new spaces, no matter the size, once they feel safe. Your new pet will make your apartment his or her own by rubbing against door panes and furniture to mark it all with kitty scent.
Be ready for plenty of playtime with feathers on sticks and catnip-filled mice, along with your lap to curl up on, and your cat will be truly content in his or her new surroundings.
If you have a corner by a window, you can catify the room to be feline friendly by adding a cat tree for climbing and hanging out, plus a cat shelf or kitty hammock, too.
Perhaps most importantly, find a clean and accessible spot for the litter box. Place a specially designed mat under the litter box that helps trap any particles that could trail into other rooms.
Birds are sweet pets that sing or chirp and can fit beautifully into an apartment with limited square footage. Interested in canaries? Be sure you have enough room for a flight habitat that is at least 18" x 14" x 18."
While canaries are happy flying solo or in pairs, it's best not to house two male canaries together. Have a perch and foraging toys. Canaries enjoy fresh veggies, fruit and fortified seeds, plus fresh, filtered water. Specialized pellets are required to help maintain the colorful plumage of Red Factor canaries.
If your perfect pet is a reptile, advance preparation for your specific species is a must. For a bearded dragon, for example, you'll need to find a spot for a fully enclosed thermal-gradient habitat.
Add a heat lamp with an incandescent light bulb that will emit heat and light for daytime. Be sure to get a high-quality substrate for bedding, such as calcium-based sand or reptile carpet. Include habitat décor for your reptile to relax on, along with a hideaway so your pet feels secure.
Before you decide on a Betta fish or Oscar cichlids, find out if there's a size limit for aquariums in your rental agreement. It's critical to know ahead of time before investing in everything you'll need.
A gallon of water weighs nearly 9 pounds. Will the floor of your apartment be able to sustain the weight of a 10- or 20-gallon tank?
Whether your dream is to have a nonstop wagging tail, meows at dawn, fins circling the aquarium, feathers flapping or a not so furry friend basking on a rock, enjoy the life you've culled out in your apartment with your new pet.