We all know that our pets are the ones who really rule the roost. Our daily lives work around caring for our cats, dogs, and other furry or scaly loved ones.
Moving into an apartment, though, can be a tricky transition for an animal used to having lots of room to roam.
Maybe you’re downsizing, changing homes, or excitedly welcoming a new pet. Whatever your life change reason is, adjusting to a smaller space with animals requires careful planning. These nine tips can help your pet feel more at home in your apartment.
1. Create a Safe Space
No matter how resilient your pet is, a new environment is a big, scary change. They are going to need a safe space to head to when they feel overwhelmed.
Apartment space can be tight, but make sure to set aside at least one area in a room that your pet knows is their safe zone. Keep their bed and favorite toys there.
2. Make it Fun
If you’re moving into a new place, it’s already a hectic time. Most animals can sense when their owners are stressed. When your pet is in the way as you’re unpacking and you get on to them, they become upset, too.
Try to make the move fun for them by having some brain games available or hiding little treats in the space you made for them. This will tire them out and keep them out of your way, too!
3. Set Aside Time to Play
Animals, especially dogs, tend to get in trouble when they aren’t given enough attention. As your pet gets used to being in the apartment, the more consistent you are with their playtime, the better trained they will be.
If you have a dog, take them for walks at specific times if you can or hire a dog walker. Some pet-friendly apartment complexes have dog areas on-site, or your city probably has a local dog park.
Making time in your day to play with your pet can seem to be just one more thing on your plate. But there are lots of benefits to living with pets. This article reminds you why a pet is worth the extra time out of your day.
4. Limit Outside Distractions
Many pets love to stare out the window and imagine they’re running wild and free. But if you have a dog or other animal that gets excited, your neighbors might not appreciate the loud noise.
As you’re training your pet to get used to apartment life, keep the windows covered. Use a pen or a gate to keep them away from the door if you’re expecting company. This will help you slowly train them to limit their noise-making tendencies.
5. Play Background Sounds
Sound machines are soothing for babies and pets! They pipe soothing sounds around the room or throughout your home. When your pet is used to the background noises, they become more relaxed. They’re also less likely to get excited over outside sounds.
If you don’t enjoy the relaxing sounds of nature or other background sounds, music or the TV work, too. As long as there is constant noise, your pup will be calmer.
6. Keep Your Routine Consistent
Animals, especially dogs, thrive on routine. Playtime and exercise are important, but so is the rest of the day.
Make sure you keep to a schedule as much as possible. If your own routine is inconsistent, use an automated pet feeder and water dish. This way, your pet will be fed regularly but won’t overeat as they would with an on-demand feeder.
7. Expect Behavioral Setbacks
Change is hard for animals. No matter how carefully you plan for your pet’s transition, they’re probably going to feel nervous and upset.
Until they’re used to the new environment and feel safe, they may lash out with unexpected behavior. It’s common for pets to hide for a while, go to the bathroom in random places, and destroy anything they can reach.
These regressive behaviors will go away when they feel safe. In the meantime, remember that if you’re yelling at them for misbehaving, it’s going to slow their progress.
8. Distract Them From Noises
Apartments are naturally louder than other homes because you have lots of neighbors nearby. That means there are going to be unexpected noises.
As you’re training your pet to feel at home, try distracting them from noises. Play with them or give them treats until the sound is gone. With consistency, your pet will figure out that the noises are no big deal.
9. Build Up to Long Absences
Some animals are more prone to separation anxiety than others. Dogs, in particular, as well as birds and cats, have a hard time when their owners are gone.
Build up to your full-day absences by leaving your pet alone for short periods at a time. Start with a few seconds when you step outside and close the door. Slowly disappear for ten minutes, then an hour.
Eventually, your pet will realize you’re always coming back. When you have to be gone for a whole day, it won’t be as upsetting.
Since there are so many benefits that come with living in an apartment, more people are moving into these homes. Having a pet also has a lot of advantages, even in a small space.
With these tips, you can get your pet used to living in your apartment and feeling comfortable fast!