Guest Post: Pets for Apartments

Hey guys, my name is Kayla and I'm Ally's girlfriend. I'm a junior at East Carolina University studying Outdoor Recreation and Park Management. I want to work at a State/National Park or a wildlife conservation center when I graduate. I have to be honest when Ally asked me if I wanted to write a post for her blog I had no idea what topic I would write about. So I decided to write about the one thing I know the most about; Animals. This post will be about pets that are good for college students living in small apartments.

1. Betta Fish

Betta fish are great pets for small apartments. Betta's come in a pretty much every color in the rainbow and also have a variation of fin shapes and sizes. They are among the easiest pets on this list to care for. In order for the fish to thrive they should have 2-5 gallon tank. With a water temperature between 75-82 degrees fahrenheit. A filter isn't necessary but will keep the tank clean so you don't have to clean it. These fish have a life expectancy of around 5 years. They will thrive on a strictly Betta Pellet diet which is very inexpensive making the betta fish the least expensive pet on our list. These fish make awesome pets but don't offer much of a relationship. 

2. Hamster
Hamsters are awesome pets that offer a bit more in depth relationship than the betta fish. There are a variety of hamsters available that all make good pets and are all adorable. These hamsters all share generally the same care requirements. They will need a cage (metal cages work best), a hamster wheel large enough for them to comfortably run on, a water bottle for small animals, a hide where they can feel secure, wooden chews to keep their teeth trimmed down, pet safe bedding for the cage, food and treats. Most hamsters will easily become accustom to handling and petting. The life expectancy of hamsters varies but usually falls between 2-5 years. Hamsters give you a hands on relationship that most people desire from their pets. 

3. Parakeet

Parakeets are smart and loving animals that don't take up a lot of space, making them good pets for apartment living. These birds come in a range of colors that are all beautiful making them popular pet birds. Parakeets require more care and attention than some pets but they also offer a unique relationship that you can't get from other animals. These guys will need a bird cage large enough for them to comfortably move around in. The cage will need perches and toys set up throughout it. Toys are a necessity for birds because boredom will cause them to scream and can actually affect their health. The birds will need fresh water and food daily. These birds can usually live for 5-9 years. Once your bird is comfortable with you, you should interact with it at least thirty minutes a day so the bird can get out of the cage and build it's relationship with you.

4. Leopard Gecko

Leopard geckos are very cool animals that make great pets. These geckos come in hundreds of color and pattern mutations called "morphs". Leopard geckos are among the most docile lizards out there and are generally very easy to handle. These lizards will be able to live their entire lives in a 10-20 gallon tank with a screen lid. These lizards should always have access to fresh water and calcium powder (found at Petco/Petsmart). Their diet consists of crickets and meal worms. In the aquarium there should be a substrate that the gecko can't swallow like paper towels, reptile carpet, or tile. These animals require a heat source to live. You can use a heat lamp or an under tank heater (both found a Petco/Petsmart). The hottest area in the tank should be around 90 degrees fahrenheit with an ambient temperature around 70-80. You should also provide the lizard with a hide so they have a place where they feel secure. Leopard geckos are unique pets that are great for anyone!

5. Ball Python

I know what you're thinking "ew a snake" or "snakes are scary" but hear me out. Ball pythons are awesome pets. These snakes are very very docile and easy to handle. They got the name "ball" python because when they feel threatened they curl into a ball instead of becoming aggressive. Ball pythons also come in hundreds of "morphs". These snakes can be housed in a 30 gallon tank with a screen lid and aspen shavings as bedding. Fresh water should be available at all times and their should be a hide in the cage so the animal feels safe. A heat source is required to keep ball pythons alive, you can use a heat lamp or an under the tank heater. The hottest spot in the cage should be around 90 degrees fahrenheit with ambient temperature from 75-80 degrees. These snakes thrive on a strictly rodent diet. You can purchase frozen rodents from Petco to Petsmart. Give these guys a chance! They make awesome pets and they aren't anything to be scared of! 

6. Cat

Cats are awesome! They're loving, intelligent and can live in an apartment. Cats are a lot of work and need more attention than most other animals on the list. But the relationship you develop with them is a true companionship. Cats need fresh water daily and food at least twice a day. Cats feel confident and safe when they are high up. A cat tree can provide them with this and it's really fun to watch them climb up and down it! Cats use a litter box to go to the bathroom so you don't have to take them out when they need to go. Cats will play with you all day long so make sure you have plenty of toys for them. If a cats care needs aren't being met they can become destructive and aggressive so make sure you are meeting their needs on a daily basis. Cats are cute, cuddly and a favorite pet that could surely make your apartment a much more fun atmosphere. 

7. Small Dogs

Everyone loves dogs! Dogs are smart, loyal, funny and a man or woman's best friend. Dogs are high maintenance pets that require a lot of time and attention. A big dog would not easily live in an apartment because obviously they require more space, so I would recommend a smaller breed for apartments. Dogs need fresh water at all times and food at least twice daily. Dogs have a lot of energy so toys are a must have. It can also be a good idea to provide them with a crate and comfortable bed so there is an area that belongs to them. Dogs may be harder to manage but the relationship they give you in return is like no other. No one will ever love you as much as your dog loves you. 

Pets are awesome and I encourage everyone to find the right pet for them. I hope you enjoyed my guest post and maybe even learned something. Maybe you'll hear from me again!


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