If your apartment is like most, you’re limited in square footage and yard space. You’ve also got neighbors who might not appreciate your pet as much as you do.

Finding an apartment that accepts pets can be a difficult endeavor. So if you have one, you’ve already done the hard part.

Keeping an animal clean and happy there is another thing entirely.

With a little bit of proactive maneuvering, though, it’s possible to get any pet, including an energetic dog, accustomed to the limits of an apartment lifestyle. 

Luckily, we’ve got the secrets to make your apartment pet-friendly (and your pet apartment-friendly) right here!

1. Put Their Safety First

Pets — particularly dogs and cats — are already sensitive enough to new places. When you move into a small apartment, they’ll probably be skittish and scared. Their natural instinct is to go into hiding to escape from possible dangers.

Your job is to ensure their safety by scoping out anything that they might see as a threat. You also need to unpack strategically so you don’t create danger by accident.

Avoid These Common Pet Risks

When you first move into your apartment, even before you bring your pet, look for pre-existing hazards, such as:
  • Open windows
  • Fireplaces
  • Window blinds and cords
  • Floor-level outlets
  • Exposed electrical wires
  • Doors that aren’t fully secure (and can be opened by an interested pet)
Some of the biggest dangers to our furry family members include poisonous materials and choking hazards.

As you unpack, keep anything that could be dangerous locked up high out of reach. This includes hazardous chemicals and appliances — even the toaster oven.

Don’t underestimate a bored pet with free reign of the apartment. Curious animals (not just cats) find innovative ways to get to their targets.

2. Plan for Odors

The number-one complaint that property managers have about pets is the mess they leave behind. No matter how clean you try to keep your home, pets have a natural odor that manifests in small spaces.

Fur and pet dander have a fragrance you can’t do much about. Landlords expect that and plan for it with your pet fees.

But, you can still do your best to minimize the smells your pet leaves behind.

By keeping your pet to a bathroom schedule and cleaning up immediately if they happen to go in the house, you’ll keep the stench from overtaking your apartment.

You should take precautions to prevent pet odors from seeping into the carpet and walls. For example:
  • Have your pet groomed once a month.
  • Wash pet toys frequently.
  • Vacuum, mop, and change your air filters often.
Also, be sure to open your windows every few days to let fresh air in. If your windows aren’t pet-safe, take your animal out of the house while you let the air circulate through your apartment.

Your pet can’t do anything about the smells they leave behind. It’s your job to give them, and your apartment, proper care to reduce the odor problem.

3. Choose Pet-Friendly Fabrics

Preventative measures extend into the choice of fabric that you use in your apartment. You may not get to decide whether you have carpet or tile, but you can choose how you handle your pet’s interaction with what is there.

If you have wood or tile floors, a pee pad is sufficient for dogs. Cat litter can sneak into grooves in the grout, so a sheet under the litter box is helpful.

Generally, pets and carpet aren’t the best pair. So if you have the option to go with area rugs instead, do it.

Wall-to-wall carpeting absorbs odors that are hard to get rid of. Steam cleaning helps, but it’s best to prevent messes from happening in the first place.

Couches are traps for dander and fur. Instead of just buying the cheapest couch you can find, invest in pet-friendly furniture. Microfiber and leather are better choices than the typical cloth fabrics.

4. Enlist the Help of Artificial Intelligence

Leaving your pet at home is lonely for them. But, AI technology can keep them company.

Robots and recorded voices will never replace the joy that comes with physical contact and playtime, but they can soften the blow of your absence.

For some pet owners, being away is just as hard for them as it is for their pets. Security cameras that work both ways let you know that they’re safe and secure while you’re gone. You can even communicate with them through a video monitor!

Pet-related chores like mealtime and bathroom cleanup are a breeze with automatic feeders and self-cleaning litter boxes.

When it comes to taking care of our pets, AI has made it easy. These little investments can significantly increase the pet-friendliness of your new home.

5. Let Them Be Pets

We often forget that dogs, cats, birds, and reptiles are domesticated from their wild roots. It’s in their genes to play, explore, and make messes. Larger homes and big yards satisfy most of these instincts, but small apartments inhibit them.

If your pet is acting up and causing trouble, it might not be an issue with them but with their environment. You may have been busy and absentmindedly neglectful, or you may have forgotten to give them their own space.

Routines are important for animals, especially those who live in apartments. Give yours their own space, time to play, and patience when they make mistakes.

Let them be their natural selves. They’re happy to be your pet, but they also have their own needs.

In Conclusion

No matter what kind of pet you have, you’ve got to make your apartment pet-friendly. Even pets that live in cages and tanks have needs that must be met.

By using these tips to make your apartment safer and more comfortable, you can create the perfect home for both of you!

Author Bio:

Chris DeAngelis is the founder and principal of TriArch Real Estate Group, a multi-strategy real estate investment and property management firm. In this role, Chris oversees all the company’s acquisition, management, design, and development activities. He spends much of his time working with Monarch Heights to help them with their marketing efforts.