1. Size matters—but not the way you think. While you may assume that a smaller dog will work better in a smaller space, that's not necessarily true. Some small dogs are full of energy and actually need to to move a lot more than big dogs.
2. Work full-time? Get a dog walker. If you're not home for much of the day, chances are you'll need to hire a professional to walk your pet. Budget at least $20 a day for it.
3. Check the building's rules. Even some buildings that allow dogs have weight restrictions, typically stating “small dogs, up to 25 pounds,” and some prohibit breeds with aggressive reputations such as Rottweilers or pitbulls. Even if your current building accepts all dogs, buying a large or commonly banned breed will limit your apartment options down the line.
4. And prepare to pay for your pet. Co-ops and condos will sometimes charge you steep monthly or annual fees, ranging from $100 a year to $80 a month, for the privilege of owning a dog. In rental buildings, average (nonrefundable) fees range from $250 to $500 for the term of a lease, usually a year.
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