While it may be the perfect time of year to cuddle up with your new kitten or puppy, apartment renters know too well how much extra work is involved when they bring their new pet home for the first time. To alleviate some of that stress, we’ve put together three simple steps to make your pet’s transition to your living space much easier for both of you.

Step 1 – Plan What Will Go Where

Your pet needs a place to eat, sleep and play. Planning these areas of your apartment out early can save you a lot of effort before your new four-legged friend arrives.

One option is to simply combine the spaces you use for those activities with the ones your cat or dog will also use. Put their food and water bowls in your kitchen, put their bed in your bedroom, put their toys in your living room, and cat litter box with mat in bathroom area.

Step 2 – Prep Your Apartment Living Space for When They Are Home Alone

Animals who are left alone for periods of time tend to get “curious” in ways that can either lead to them getting injured or to your belongings getting destroyed. Luckily both are easy to avoid with a few precautionary measures.

The first is to make sure all your windows are secured and decide which doors between rooms you’ll want to keep closed while you’re away. Anything that your pet could get tangled in (like blind cords) should be secured as well. It may also be worthwhile to get some pet gates to keep certain areas of your apartment “off-limits” in your absence.

It is a good idea to raise certain items higher, out of reach, that could result in a mess if left alone with your new roommate. This could include food sitting out in your kitchen or glass or other fragile decorations in your living room. Keep in mind that something up high could still possibly get knocked over if pet bumps into that piece of furniture.

Cleanliness is the next important order of business. You’ll want to have a plan and the necessary tools to clean both your living space and your pet in regular intervals once they arrive. Find out what these items are now so you can acquire them in advance… you’ll likely be using them more than you think!

Step 3 – Plan Ahead

You never know when you will have a pet health emergency and will be reassuring to immediately know where to go. Research your local veterinary 24 hour hospital. Have their contact information in plain view somewhere in your apartment. The refrigerator or wherever you keep your calendar of appointments is always a safe bet for this. A place for boarding and routine grooming is also worth looking into, especially if a last minute trip pops up into your plans. Take tour of boarding homes in your area ahead of time and be set.

Our apartment properties have outdoor pet areas. That will be a great place to socialize and meet other neighbors with pets. You can also ask your property manager to coordinate a Meet & Greet. Exchange numbers for a dog walker contact in case you get stuck in traffic or not home when you expected. It is great to have a “buddy system” in place for pet emergencies. Sit down with your property manager and provide a pet check list for them to keep on file in case they need to assist.

We hope this article has given you some simple ways to prepare your apartment for your new pet and make the transition easier and more enjoyable for you both!

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