These are the opinions of writers and not the opinions of SwampRentals.com or any of our advertising partners.
Owning a pet is a major choice for someone moving into a Gainesville apartment. You probably will have roommates and apartment managers that would rather you not own a pet. Large or small, pets are a commitment that have costs along with the (obvious) benefits. Go to Gainesville's Apartment Guide and go down to Pet Policy and check off that box to view which apartments in Gainesville allow for pets.
Instead of a choice between no pets allowed and any pet being allowed, many apartments have specific choices that differentiate cats, dogs, birds and even aquariums. No, an apartment doesn't have dogs if they allow for cats but not dogs – There are often several reasons why an apartment chooses to not allow dogs or cats and none start with “cats rule and dogs drool”.
The biggest question about taking a dog into your new apartment is that man's best friend carries baggage. That's why most apartments ask to call for details if you want to take a dog into your new apartment. Is the dog breed known bite? Is the dog breed known to be destructive? How large is the dog breed? Has the dog been checked for fleas regularly? How loud is the dog? These are all important questions that the apartment managers need to known before letting you live with the lovable animals.
While cats carry some of the same risks that dogs do (fleas, messiness), cats are generally known as cleaner and more responsible pets than a large dog. Most cat breeds are similar so be sure and ask if you want to take an exotic cat into your apartment instead – The apartment managers probably won't want you owning a tiger!
The issue with birds is the sound. Birds are known to be loud and not nearly as common of a house presence compared to a dog or a cat. My suggestion is to leave the birds at home as most apartments don't allow for these animals.
SwampRentals Gainesville Apartments guide allows you to check the option for aquariums as well here. Some apartments don't want to risk you keeping a large tank of water in your apartment for safety reasons like flooding and leaking. Don't pull a Deuce Bigalow and you'll probably be fine, owning an aquarium in an apartment that allows them.
Lizards, snakes, spiders. I get it, these are interesting animals to own. Check with your Gainesville apartment manager by calling and asking about their particular policy here. Owning a large python is a liability that many managers probably won't want to risk allowing. It's best to check personally here.
Should you own a pet in an Gainesville apartment?
Gainesville isn't the most pet friendly city but it's not bad. You won't find too many dog parks or events for animals. What Gainesville lacks in that it makes up for in animal shelters with a ton of choices in rescued animals. You need to keep in mind your budget as maintaining an animal costs money. Also consider how much harder having a roommate will be with a pet of your own. Weigh the costs and benefits before you surprise your roommate on move-in day with a big dog.
And if that suggestion wasn't enough: Be considerate of your roommates! Many people are allergic to cats/dogs and many don't like animals. Make sure everyone is okay with it before you make this commitment!
List of Gainesville pet rescue and resources:
Gainesville Pet Rescue
Alachua County Humane Society
Foster Animal Network of Gainesville