Getting a fuzzy new roommate is an exciting adventure, but there are a few steps you should take to ensure that your apartment isn’t totally thrashed, making it look worse than a college dorm room. Not only do you want to provide a hazard-free environment, but you also want to ensure that your pet feels right at home. Here are a few easy ways to prep your apartment for your newest roomie.
Paws OffPuppies and kittens are notoriously curious, leading them to open any cabinets, cupboards, or cubbies they can get their little paws on. Even mature dogs can be intrigued by their new space, sending them on a hunt through your precious belongings. Not only is it a nuisance to come home to the contents of the bathroom cabinet dispersed all over the floor, but it is also potentially dangerous for your pet. When your dog gets into your belongings, they will likely lick, chew, or attempt to play with their newest treasures. Items such as cleaning products, prescriptions, and even certain foods can be extremely harmful to your furry friend. Take preventative measures by putting childproof locks on cabinets that house these dangerous products.
Fragile FindsIn addition to chemical products, the Pinterest-inspired decor you worked so hard on could be potentially harmful. Any fragile items that could be knocked over and shattered should be put away or out of reach. Remember that cats are climbers and can jump up on very high surfaces, so it’s safest to remove dangerous materials altogether. Any pointy, sharp items should be removed from your dog’s environment so that they don’t chew on them and cut themselves. Think of this as an opportunity to de-clutter last season’s mason jars and revamp your apartment with pet-friendly décor.
Cut the CordElectrical cords can also come as a shockingly scary surprise to curious, teething pets. Eliminate this risk by unplugging any unused cords, and covering cords that you need plugged in at all times. Protective cord covers can be found at your local hardware store, or you can try coating your cords with a bad tasting spray that your dogs will be sure to avoid. In addition to electrical cords, the cords hanging from blinds can be a chocking hazard, especially for climbing kitties. Tie your cords up in a loop to keep them out of reach.
Plant ProofMany plants are poisonous to dogs and cats, and unfortunately, many pets love chewing and digging through them. Even non-poisonous plants can be harmful, causing vomiting or diarrhea. It’s important to do your homework on what houseplants are pet-safe before bringing your new best friend home. Check out the ASPCA’s list of toxic and nontoxic plants to see if your windowsill garden is in the clear. After reading through the list, replace your dying lilies with pet-friendly plants, or better yet, a treat like cat-grass. Cat-grass is a healthy mix of grasses including wheat, oat, and rye, which your kitty will love to chew on.
Who Let the Dogs Out?Another way to ensure your pet’s safety is to provide them with a secure space that will keep them from running away. It may take a little time for your apartment to feel like your pet’s true home, and you want to ensure that there isn’t a way for them to sneak out. Inside, check that your screens, windows, and doors are secure. If your dog is a scratcher, you may need to get a plastic or metal grate to cover screens so he cannot push through it. If your dog spends just as much time outdoors as they do lounging around inside, it’s important to pet-proof your yard. Make sure that there aren’t any holes in or under the gate, and that the fence is high enough to keep your dog in. If you have a pool, it is important to make sure that this is gated off as well. Another huge factor is eliminating potential poisons. Remove any toxic plants and check that poisonous pesticides aren’t being used in your area. If you do not own your apartment, you should check with your property manager to see if any harmful chemicals are being used.
Dumpster DivingAlthough we tend to avoid the trash at all costs, many pets think the trashcan is a treasure trove of new smells and things to explore. To prevent your dog from eating harmful items or decorating your kitchen floor with food scraps, make sure all of your trashcans have secure lids. The same rules apply for litter boxes if you have a cat and you are getting a dog. When it comes to your dog’s safety, a little preparation goes a long way. Keep your furry friend happy and healthy, while keeping your apartment disaster free by pet-proofing your space before bringing home your new roommate.