Not every landlord will allow you to have pets but if you do have a pet you need to make sure that it does not damage your home or become a nuisance to other people. You also need to look after it properly or somone will probably report you to the Police, the RSPCA or your landlord.
Find out how to look after your pet before you buy it.
Make sure it is suitable for your home - a great big German Shepherd dog is not suitable for a one bed flat for example.
Make sure you can afford food, equipment and vets bills.
Buy the things it will need, a cage, a lead, bowls, food, depending what kind of anumal it is.
Think about how and where it is going to go to the toilet.
Feed it every day.
Don't leave sociable animals like cats, dogs, rabbits with no company for a long time.
Make sure dogs and cats can get out to go to the toilet or cats can use a litter tray.
Clean caged pets every week.
Take it to a vet if it is ill. The PDSA offers free or cheap vetinary care if you are on a low income.
Make sure it doesn't cause noise nuisance to your neighbours.
Make sure it doesn't make the place smell - you will need to do your housework more often.
Dogs should be taken out on a lead to go to the toilet and should never be allowed to go in your flat or on the balcony or the communal area.
When your dog does a poo bag it up and put it in the bin or you will be fined.
Don't leave your dog on it's own all day or all night because it will be miserable, it will bark or whine and it will poo in the flat.
Don't have a big dog in a small flat.
Don't breed your dog for puppies in your home unless you have the written permission of the landlord.
Dogs need long walk every day unless they are very old or ill.
Cats can do well in flats but they need to use a litter tray. Cats learn to use a litter tray from another older cat. So when you get your cat make sure it already knows what to do.
The litter tray needs to have the poo removed every day and completely changed at least one each week. If you don't it will stink and the cat will probably start to do it's business somewhere else in your home.
Male cats will often spray the flat with a strong offensive smell. It sometimes helps if they are neutered while they are still young (at about six months).
The smell of cat wee can only be removed from furniture and carpets with a specialist spray - you can buy this at a pet store. It is quite expensive - about £6 per bottle and you have to really soak the offending area. Sometimes you just have to throw things away to get rid of the smell.
Double bag the cat litter when you take it out and put it right in the bin - never throw it out of the window or off the balcony.
If your cat starts going to the toilet where you don't want it to then you can address this as follows:
Clean the area of all wee smell using a specialist product.
Put the litter tray on top of the place that the cat has been going to wee and poo.
Move the litter tray a small distance each day until it is where you want it to be.
If your cat is ill take it to see a vet.