For many of us, our pets are more than just pets — they’re a part of the family! Taking care of them is never a chore; it’s something we love to do.
And for all the love they share with us, the least we can do is create a healthy, happy, and loving home for them to share with us.
If you’re looking for ways to make your pet happier in your home, keep reading.
Here are the seven secrets to making your apartment more pet-friendly.
1. Give Your Pet Their Own Space
Every member of the family deserves their own space — even your pet!
Create a nook that’s just for your furry friend, a space that they know is all for them. It can be a corner in your living room, a certain nook in your bedroom, or an entire spare bedroom (if you have the extra space).
If you have a small cat, his special space could be a certain chair or a ledge by a window where he’s allowed to sit. Cats love to sit in the window and watch the world outside!
2. Childproof Your Apartment
Pets are like children in the sense that they can’t recognize danger until it’s too late.
To create a safe environment for your pet, childproof your apartment.
Get rid of all types of dangerous objects. That includes anything sharp or anything decorated with glitter or beads that a pet could swallow and choke on.
Put child locks on cabinets that hold cleaning products and chemicals. Store chocolates (which can be poisonous) in high cabinets so your pet can’t reach them.
And make sure you don’t decorate with any toxic plants. If you’re a plant lover and a pet owner, this ASPCA list of poisonous plants for cats and dogs includes a complete rundown of all safe and unsafe plants.
3. Let Your Pet Explore
Would you feel comfortable in a home you weren’t familiar with? Probably not.
Make sure your pet knows that your home is their home, too, by letting them explore your place. This is especially important if you have a new pet or if you just moved into a new apartment.
Cats and dogs will feel more at ease if they are familiar and comfortable with the layout of your place.
4. Keep Them Entertained
Everyone needs some form of entertainment from time to time, and our pets are no exception. Make sure your pets have safe ways to occupy themselves, especially when you’re not home.
Dogs love playing with balls, bones, ropes, and chew toys. Make sure they have an assortment of toys that they can have fun with when they’re home alone.
Just be sure that the toys you have are safe for your dog’s size and breed. Not all toys are appropriate for all dogs.
Cats love scratching. They’ll scratch anything and everything if you let them.
So if you don’t want your furniture destroyed, get scratching pads, scratching posts, or put up a kitty condo for your cat to scratch, climb, and play in. Cats love peering out the window, so put their toys and scratch posts near a window if you can.
Put your pet toys in their designated area, and they’ll definitely know that certain part of the home is all about them.
5. Create a Special Place for Your Pet to Sleep
While it may be fun to stay in a hotel or spend the night with friends, there’s nothing quite like the feeling of sleeping in your own bed.
Your pet deserves to have one of their own!
Get a pet bed that fits your furry friend comfortably. They may prefer to sleep in bed with you or curl up on the couch when you’re not there, but at least they’ll know they have their own special spot. Whether or not they choose to use it is entirely up to them.
Enjoy having your pet close by at night?
You can always put their pet bed at the foot of your bed or in a corner of your bedroom.
6. Feed Them in Sturdy Bowls
Creating a pet-friendly apartment includes making sure that your pet has fresh water and food when they need it. And that’s why sturdy, heavy food and water bowls are essential.
Plastic, flimsy bowls can tip over and spill with ease. A few nudges are sometimes all it takes for an entire water bowl to dump over on its side or food to be tossed all across the floor.
Invest in heavy bowls to hold your pet’s food and water. That way, when you’re away at work or school, you can rest assured that they have the essentials they need.
7. Take Your Dog for Lots of Walks
Like people, all pets need exercise. This isn’t a big concern for cat owners, as cats usually find a way to run, jump, and tear through a room, even in a small apartment. But dogs don’t always have that option.
Even if you have a small dog, take him outside on a regular basis and allow him to run around as much as you can.
If your apartment complex has a grassy area that welcomes dogs, take advantage of it! If not, try to find a dog park or an open space nearby where you can take your dog out to play.
If you happen to have a large dog in a small apartment, this is even more important. Your dog will be happier and healthier if you provide him with the amount of exercise he needs.
Pets thrive on love and attention, but keeping them safe is the most important thing of all. You can make your apartment pet-friendly by:
- Giving your pet their own space
- Childproofing your apartment and creating a safe environment
- Letting your pet explore your home and property
- Keeping them entertained
- Giving them their own pet bed to sleep in
- Serving food and water in sturdy bowls that won’t tip over
- Providing exercise and taking them on lots of walks
Your pets are your family, so think about their needs just as you think of your own. Plus, giving them lots of belly rubs and face kisses never hurts!
Adam Jernigan is the founder and lead author of The Home Blog – your guide to building the modern home that you love!