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How to Pet-Proof Your Pet-Friendly Apartment

You’ve got your first apartment, and now you’re taking the big step of welcoming a furry addition to your family. Some people have compared getting a new pet to having a baby, and they’re not entirely wrong with that assessment. Though the workload is (usually) not as heavy, there are some distinct similarities. For example, while you might not have to change your new puppy’s diaper every few hours as you would with a baby, your puppy still needs to be housetrained to stay in your pet-friendly apartment.

Regardless of your pet’s age, if you are planning on going out of town and not taking them with you, you will need to make arrangements for someone else to take care of them.

Ultimately, one of the most important steps in preparing to welcome a new fur child is pet-proofing your home. Just like small children, pets can (and will) get into things they’re not supposed to. It’s your job to make sure your pet-friendly apartment is safe for your pet. Fortunately for you, we’re here to help with a few tips.

Cats

Those furry ninjas are notorious for sticking their cute little noses into things they shouldn’t. After all, the phrase “curiosity killed the cat” exists for a reason. 

  1. Plants. We get it, you love your trendy little succulent, but Mr. Fluffykins could get quite sick if he chose to gnaw on your Kalanchoe. The same goes for lilies, aloe, poinsettias, spinach, and some other plants. Make sure to check before you welcome a plant or cat into your home.
  2. Human food. It should go without saying that humans and cats eat different types of food. Regardless of how cute they look, some things should stay on your plate and not find their way to theirs. These include chocolate, coffee, dairy products, grapes, onions, fat trimmings, and alcohol.
  3. Electrical cords. Some cats are really quite intelligent for their species, but logical reasoning is not one of their strong points. Yes, Princess Kitty will probably chew on electrical cords. No, it is not safe for her to do so. Make sure that your cat has plenty of other toys, and cover the cables with cord covers or PVC pipes.
  4. Hair ties. Puppies might have a reputation for chewing shoes, but cats also love to gnaw on things, and hair ties seem to be a perennial favorite of the feline species. Unfortunately, they can sometimes end up inside of the cat, and that’s when serious medical issues (including surgery) result.
  5. Household products. At this point, you might ask yourself if nothing is sacred. When it comes to your cat… well, no. If your cat gets a hold of lotion, sunscreen, essential oils, or cleaning products, they could do themselves a lot of harm.

Dogs

Your dog might be man’s best friend, but sometimes he or she isn’t necessarily your couch’s (or your shoe’s, or your pillow’s, or your trash can’s) best friend.

  1. Plants. Yes, just like cats, some plants are also dangerous for dogs. Make sure Rover doesn’t gnaw on your beloved calla lily, mmkay?
  2. Human food. Dogs have a reputation for being canine vacuum cleaners for a reason—they love to eat people food. Unfortunately, regardless of how much Sir Barkley loves your leftovers, there are some things he just can’t have. These include Xylitol (an artificial sweetener often found in candy), avocado, onions, garlic, caffeine, chocolate, macadamia nuts, peaches… You know, maybe just check the link. There are a LOT.
  3. Cleaning products. No one should participate in the Tide Pod Challenge, and that includes Lassie. Detergent, dryer sheets, household chemicals, and insecticides should all be avoided like the plague.
  4. Rawhide bones. Yes, it’s a classic doggie chew toy, and many pet owners hope that a good ol‘ rawhide bone will replace its distant cousin, the leather shoe. However, the process used to remove hair from the bone leaves behind a nasty substance (sodium sulfide liming, for those keeping track at home), which can be very harmful to your beloved pet. Furthermore, some have even been found to contain arsenic.

This might seem daunting, but don’t worry. You’ve got this! Your cat or dog (or bird or ferret or fish or tarantula) will quickly become a well-loved member of the family. Just keep them away from the houseplants.

Any questions? Let us know! We’d love to help you and your four-legged family member nestle into your pet-friendly apartment here in Houston.

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