When you decide to adopt a pet, your apartment can start feeling a lot more like home. Whether it is a dog, cat, or hamster, the humor and joy that animals bring make life feel a lot better!
Dogs and cats might have different needs than gerbils or mice, but they all require you to prepare your apartment for their arrival. It only takes a few proactive steps to keep them and you safe – and potentially save your security deposit.
What Are the Best Ways to Pet-Proof an Apartment?
Pet-proofing a home must start by reducing your pet’s risk exposures to things that could be potentially harmful. You’ll also want to protect the apartment and your belongings from damage after bringing home an animal companion.
If you have small mammals (guinea pigs, hamsters, gerbils, etc.), you can manage their needs by having a protective enclosure and all of the supplies needed to take care of them. That includes bedding, food pellets, water access, and a home enclosure.
When you bring home dogs and cats, you’ll have some extra steps to take to ensure everyone stays safe.
1. Have child locks installed on your cabinets.
Cats and dogs have a remarkable ability to learn how to open doors. That means you’ll need to put childproof locks on any cabinets or drawers with chemicals or food in them. Even if your storage area is high off of the ground, you must take this step. Your pets are creative in figuring out ways to access these spots.
2. Switch to pet-safe items whenever possible.
Many chemicals smell sweet, which translates to food for most pets. If you eliminate the toxic cleaning products to switch to pet-safe natural items, you’ll eliminate one of the most common causes of injury that happens today.
That includes toilet cleaners. Only use non-toxic items to clean your tank and bowl. If you leave scented chemical tablets within reach of a pet (especially dogs!), you have a recipe for disaster brewing.
3. Keep your cosmetics locked away.
Curious dogs and cats can smell the hydrocarbons that are found in modern cosmetics. Some products contain fragrances that can smell like a potential food source, even though you’d recognize the scent of lipstick anywhere. If you keep them in a cabinet that they cannot open, you’ll protect their health.
4. Think about how to manage your trash.
Dogs love to get into the trash to search for leftover food scraps. Even if it is only the paper from the ground beef, they’ll eat it because of its scent. When pets consume unnatural items, their digestive system could become blocked, leading to a medical emergency.
Covering a trash can with a simple lid won’t stop a nosy pet from digging through the rubbish. You’ll need to get one that can lock into place to prevent them from getting in there.
5. Give your pet a spot in the apartment.
When your pet has a place to call home in your apartment, they’ll feel safe and secure in that spot. This area is where they’ll retreat when life becomes too stimulating. It helps to have a pet bed here, a crate if appropriate, and their favorite toys.
If you have a cat as a pet companion, having a spot to create tunnels or caves to reduce stimulation naturally is helpful. You’ll want to include a favorite blanket for added comfort.
6. Have a supply of food and treats.
Pets want to have their meals. If you have cats living with you, they’ll let you know whenever they think their dishes are empty. Some dogs aren’t very subtle with their hints, while guinea pigs can squeal loud enough that the neighbors might start banging on the walls.
Stocking up on pet supplies ensures that you’ll have everything they need to start living life in your apartment. Don’t forget about the bowls for the food and water!
7. Get some potty training essentials.
Some animals need newspaper or bedding in their enclosures. Cats use a litter box, while dogs might require puppy pads while being housebroken. For dogs, adding a leash and collar into this mix is essential so that you can safely take them outside when it is time to use the bathroom.
It can be lots of fun to have a pet companion sharing your apartment each day. When you take these steps to prepare your living space for their arrival, you’ll help keep them safe and happy! For your final task, don’t forget to schedule your pet’s first visit to the veterinarian so that they can receive their immunizations on the proper schedule.