How to Pet-Proof Your First Apartment

Whether you’re dogsitting or catsitting, or you just got your first pet of your own, there are a few simple precautions you can take to limit the damage a pet can do in your apartment. From sectioning off areas of the apartment to spraying no-chew spray on your furniture, read on below for some of the best strategies to pet-proof your first apartment.

Get a dog gate

The most important thing to do to pet-proof your apartment is to limit which areas of your apartment your pet can travel in. It helps to keep doors closed, but what about off-limits areas that don’t have doors?

It’s worth investing in a quality dog gate to help limit where your pet can roam. This can be a great tool for keeping an animal out of your kitchen or keeping them in an area of the apartment where there are hard floors, so potential messes are easier to clean.

Spray no-chew spray

Other than accidents, one of the biggest ways pets can make a mess and damage your apartment is by chewing your belongings. If you know your pet has a tendency to chew furniture, bedding, shoes, or anything else, invest in a no-chew spray. A light dusting from one of these sprays will leave a bitter taste on whatever household items you use it on, deterring your dog or cat from chewing on them.

Don’t leave food out

It’s never fun making dinner or baking something delicious only to find that your pet has gotten up onto the table or counter and eaten it, so be extra cautious about keeping food put away or out of reach of pets. Try to remember to put food back in the refrigerator or the cabinet immediately after using it.

Some of this will depend on your pet. If you have a large dog who’ll just snatch anything it can reach on the counter, you can often slide food items to the back of the counter or the center of the table to keep them far enough out of reach. If you have a small dog or cat who can climb on the table or counter, you’ll need to be diligent about covering or putting away food before leaving the room.

Keep trash cans covered

While a cat or dog eating your food can be frustrating, there’s nothing pet-related quite as horrible to deal with as a pet that’s gotten into a trash can and left a nasty mess everywhere. To protect yourself against these kinds of messes, be super diligent about keeping the trash can lids closed. Some larger pets can open or knock off large trash can lids, so be sure to get a can with a heavy lid that’s well-secured.

Be prepared for accidents

Finally, be prepared for the fact that things will go wrong sometimes. Having a pet can be a rewarding experience, but it comes with its challenges, so don’t panic when your dog or cat makes a mess. Be sure to let your landlord know of any serious damage done to the apartment, as many leases require you to report this within a certain period of time.

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