Creating A Pet-Friendly Living Space

Sharing your living space with a pet can bring you many hours of companionship and joy. Especially if you live in an apartment, a dog or cat can help you feel less alone. Although they won’t chip in for the rent or utilities, pets are some of the best roommates you can have.

However, part of owning a domestic animal in any environment is taking responsibility for its health and safety. That means it’s important to make your house, condo or apartment as pet-friendly as possible. For all the love and friendship they provide, you owe it to them to protect them and make them as comfortable as you can.

Although your home may be perfectly safe and livable from your perspective, it may not be the same for your four-legged friends. For example, the medications, cosmetics and household cleansers you use every day may pose a serious risk to your pets. Your pets could become curious and try to eat these items, which is why you should always keep these products in a cabinet or another secure place when you’re not using them. Likewise, loose cables and cords that dangle from your desk or entertainment center should be wrapped and kept out of paws’ reach. Your cat or dog could be tempted to bat at the cables or cords, potentially pulling something heavy on top of themselves. They may also want to chew on the cords, which could hurt your pets or your devices.

Keeping your living space friendly for your pets is a crucial part of your responsibilities. For these and many other helpful tips for creating a safe space for animals in your home, take a look at the accompanying infographic. It contains some good advice all pet owners should keep in mind.

Creating A Pet-Friendly Living Space

Here are some tips for making your home or apartment safe for your favorite animals

Stay Organized

Loose cables, cords or shoelaces can be too inviting for cats to ignore, so bundle them or tuck them where they can’t be tugged. Also try to keep loose papers or other chewable items out of harm’s way. They could be a choking hazard.

Avoid Too Many Knick-Knacks

Small decorative items such as vases and picture frames can get knocked over and fall onto pets’ heads. If you have a rambunctious or curious pet, limit the number of items you keep on shelves and tables.

Cover Vents and Radiators

Central heating registers and vents can be dangerous for smaller animals, so make sure to cover them. If your apartment has a radiator, put a cover over it to keep your four-legged friends from burning themselves.

Lock Up Hazardous Materials

Leaving medications, cosmetics or household cleaning products out is a bad idea when you have pets. Always keep these items safely stored in cabinets or closets when not in use.

Cover Your Furniture

Replacing furniture is a hassle, especially when you have a smaller space. Pet-proof your couches and chairs with deterrent sprays or cover them to prevent scratching and chewing.

Give Them Space

Creating a little area especially for your pets may help discourage them from getting into your belongings or hogging your furniture. Set up a bed, scratching post or climber in one corner and your dog or cat should be more content.

Be the Gatekeeper

If you just can’t keep your furry friends out of your bedroom, office or other important areas, don’t be afraid to put up gates. Putting a barrier across the door may be enough to discourage your pet from invading your personal space.

Pay Attention to Plants

Potted plants are great for adding life to your house or apartment, but do your research first. Some houseplants can be toxic to pets, who may not be able to resist nibbling on them.

Author: Business leader Ben Creamer received his B.A. from Saint Norbert College and graduated from the University of Wisconsin Law School. After law school, he worked as an attorney and counseled sophisticated real estate clients with law firm Mayer Brown LLP. Creamer’s passion is real estate business, as his father was a real estate developer and broker for more than 50 years. In 2009, this family tradition sparked Creamer to co-found Downtown Apartment Company (DAC) — a provider of Chicago rental apartments. DAC’s mission is to help clients find downtown Chicago apartments in the Loop and surrounding neighborhoods.

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