If you have pets, your home is also their home. They deserve to be as comfortable in it as you! Here’s how to make your apartment cozy for them.
You’ve finally found that perfect apartment. The bedroom window faces the right direction, the security is top-notch, and it’s super close to your favorite coffee shop.
But, how does your pet feel about your apartment? Are they having a hard time sharing your enthusiasm?
Animals enjoy the safety of familiarity, and a new environment can throw them off. Luckily, you can take some steps to help your pet settle into your new place.
Here are five pro tips to ensure your pet enjoys your apartment as much as you do:
1. Give Them a Space
Every human loves to have a place that they can call their own — why not pets?
You can make your pet feel more comfortable in your new home by giving them a designated spot in the apartment.
Just like you would personalize a space by adding some of your favorite things, you can make your pet feel like they have their own little spot by adding some of their favorite things.
This pet space should have some good toys so that they can have fun and not be bored.
This pet space should also have a comfy sleeping spot, perhaps even their bed from the last apartment. Pets take a while to get used to anything new, so bringing something familiar from their old home can really help.
You want to make sure that they have easy access to their water and food bowl, as well.
If your schedule requires that your pet spend some time in a crate, make sure it’s luxurious, not similar to a prison. This can help them feel less deprived during those hours when they need to stay cooped up.
Find some ways to add special touches to their area that they can really enjoy. This might include a scratching post, a chewing stick, or whatever your pet likes. You know them best!
2. Take Them Out
One little “pet and me” date goes a long way. Being stuck in a small apartment with no yard makes for anxious pets.
It’s important to take them out for walks often. If your apartment complex offers little in the way of a walking area, you can always take your pet to the park or another open area, preferably where they can go off-leash and roam free.
Just like humans need exercise to stay healthy and burn off stress, your pet needs to get enough regular exercise to be happy with their new life.
3. Follow a Schedule
Like kids, pets thrive on routine. Following a schedule gives them a sense of peace and purpose.
To keep your pet knowing what is coming next, feed at the same time each day. Pee time can come right after feed time, for example. Every morning they will know that they will wake up, get fed, then go outside for potty time.
You should also establish a welcome home routine. What this entails is up to you and your pet, but it might include some extra petting or some playtime.
You can also give them a special treat when you come home. When they know that something good is coming, they will be less anxious while you are gone.
4. Help Them Make Friends
Unsocialized pets can be aggressive to other animals. If you don’t want to be liable for your pet hurting another person’s furry one, you need to make time to get them around other animals.
This might mean that you need to find other pets in the neighborhood and set a doggy date or kitty commitment. If you can’t find someone willing to allow your pet to be friends with theirs, you can join a group dedicated to socializing pets.
If all else fails, just find a dog park nearby and strike up a conversation with other dog owners to see who needs a friend for their pet.
5. Train Them Well
If your pet is always getting in trouble because they aren’t behaving, the fault is unfortunately yours.
Having a pet comes with many benefits, but it also comes with many responsibilities. You have to set aside regular time for training your pet.
Teach them not to bark at all hours of the night so that your neighbors aren’t upset with you for keeping them awake.
Teach them that delivery men are not dangerous so that your neighborhood mailman and FedEx guys don’t dread walking to your door.
Teach them to chew only on their toys so that they don’t ruin your favorite pair of shoes or your new couch.
Any pet living in an apartment must be potty trained, or your security deposit will go toward new flooring or carpets when you move out.
If you don’t quite know how to go about training your pet, you have two options:
Either pay for behavioral classes for your pet or watch free pet-training videos on YouTube.
Zac George is a dog trainer with an entire YouTube channel dedicated to teaching others how to train their dogs. He has videos on how to stop leash pulling, teaching a variety of tricks, and training your dog to fetch.
He also has a big library of videos that will help you during the first few months of puppyhood when training needs to happen. The videos address everything from play biting to potty training.
Remember, a well-mannered pet is a happy pet!
There you have it!
Put these five tips into effect, and you can rest easy knowing that your four-legged friend feels right at home in your apartment.
Adam Marshall is a freelance writer specializing in all things apartment organization, real estate, and college advice. He currently works with Palmia to help them with their online marketing.