An increasing number of landlords are permitting pets to reside in their properties. If you live in the greater Seattle area or are a looking for a new apartment, these 7 tips should help you pet-proof your place maybe even save you some money instead of losing you’re 4 legged friends.
By following these 7 steps, it will help insure the safety of your pet and protect your wallet from any damage that your pet could cause. This post was spawned from last weekend’s successful Family Pet Expo in Puyallup.
- Secure and Hide Power Cords – Power cords and cables pose a couple of different threats to your pets. First of all, many pets see them as potential "chew toys." Secondly, if your pet is playing with a cord, there is a risk of strangulation if the animal were to get tangled up in it. To pet-proof your apartment, hide power cords and try to keep them out of reach, if possible. You may even want to invest in cord covers if you are unable to hide or secure some of your cords and cables.
- Toxic Flowers and Plants – Many pets love potted plants and fresh flowers. Unfortunately, there are several varieties of plants and flowers that are toxic to animals. In order to pet-proof your apartment, check with your veterinarian to find out if the plants you currently keep are dangerous to pets. Also, don’t bring any new plants into your apartment without doing some research first. If you are unsure about a plant or flower, keep it somewhere where your pets can’t get to it– it’s better to be safe than sorry.
- Eliminate Clutter – Another way to pet-proof your apartment is to try and keep it as clean and clutter-free as possible. Since many pets love to chew, a messy apartment can be very hazardous, indeed. Small items can pose a choking threat, so make sure to keep anything that could be swallowed off the floor and out of reach. Even items like shoelaces, rubber-bands, and hair bands are extremely unsafe. If your pet swallowed one of these items, it could easily get lodged in their intestines causing a block or worse. If your apartment is clean, it will be easier to spot items that you need to keep away from your pets.
- Put Food Away – Never leave food or snacks out that your pet could get into. In order to thoroughly pet-proof your apartment, always put food away. Some human food is not safe for your pets to eat, and leaving something harmful out where your pet could get into it could result in a costly visit to your veterinarian. Some pets can climb or are tall enough to reach things on a table or counter, so keep that in mind when deciding where to store your snacks.
- Properly Store Medications – Like food, medications need to be stored in a place your pets can’t access. This is very important if you want to pet-proof your apartment. Medications, whether they are for humans or pets, can be ingested by an animal very quickly leaving you very little time to get them the emergency medical attention they would need. If you keep medications in your purse or handbag, be sure to never leave it unattended on the floor– hang it up or put it away as soon as you walk in the door so that you don’t forget about it.
- Chemical Safety – You can find a variety of chemicals in every household, and an apartment is no exception. From cleaning supplies to insect and pest killers, you probably have more than you realize. To properly pet-proof your apartment, always be sure that the cleaning supplies you use are not toxic to your pet. Keep your pet out of areas that have just been cleaned with something that might be potentially hazardous, and always lock chemicals away after using them. Likewise, keep your pet out of areas in your apartment that are being treated for an insect or pest infestation. Take your pet outdoors or to another safe location if necessary. Chemicals such as these are very dangerous if they were to come into contact with a pet’s skin or if they were to be ingested.
- Inform Sitters and Guests – Whether you are having guests over for dinner or you’re hiring a sitter, be sure to inform anyone coming into your apartment that you have a pet and of any rules regarding the safety and care of your beloved companion. Let company know that it isn’t okay to feed your pet anything other than pet food without your consent, and tell them of any other rules you may have about opening and closing doors and which toys are safe for your pet to chew on or play with.
Always provide your pet with food, clean water, toys, exercise, and a clean, designated place (or places) for them to go to the bathroom. It’s important to find proper veterinary care as well. Your pet’s veterinarian can answer any questions you may have about your pet’s health and safety and keep your pet up-to-date on vaccines that may be required by many apartments. By taking the time to pet-proof your apartment, you can share your living space safely and happily with your special pet, as well as prevent any damage or destruction to the property you are renting.
This guest post was written and provided by Martha Keagan who is a full time mother, blogger and part time real estate agent. She specializes in finding apartments in Seattle for lower income households to assist them to live better lives.