It’s not surprising that pets and pet owners living in a high-density environment lead different lifestyles to those living on a suburban block with a big backyard. There’s less room to move, neighbours are close by (sometimes literally on top of you) and outdoor access may be limited. But the vast majority of owners cope very well keeping their pet in a medium to high-density dwelling. Only 10% found it difficult, with dog owners more likely to experience difficulties than cat owners.
We asked pet owners to identify the three biggest problems they encountered and what coping strategies they used to overcome them.
The most common problems associated with keeping pets in a higher density environment included hair shedding (reported by 27% of owners); vet bills (26%); noise and barking (16%); difficulty providing their pet with enough exercise (13%); lack of regular access to a secure outdoor space (12%); destructive or nuisance behaviour (8%); toileting troubles (13%); and a perception that the pet was bored or lonely (5%).
The types of problems that bothered owners most varied depending on the species. Cat owners were more concerned with lack of regular access to outdoor space (16%), while dog owners had more difficulty providing exercise (16%) and with noise issues (16%); 29% of owners responded that they had no problems.