How to Pet Proof Your Apartment

tired dog

Planning on bringing home a new four-legged friend this holiday season? Whether you have your heart set on a cute, little puppy or kitten, it’s important to remember that preparing for a new pet is similar to bringing home a new baby. Exciting, yes, but it also comes with great responsibility.

First things first, make sure your apartment community accepts pets. Review your community’s pet policies with your community manager. Most communities allow pets, but there may be breed or size restrictions, as well as additional deposits, pet rent or lease adjustments required.

Now that you’re cleared to add a new friend to your household, make sure you’re ready for the challenge by pet proofing your apartment before your furry friend makes his or her big debut.  The last thing you want to do after a long day of work is reprimand your new companion for making a mess, chewing up one of your favorite pairs of shoes, or worse, getting sick after ingesting a potentially harmful item. Follow this helpful guide on how to make every room in your apartment pet friendly.  


  • Ensure all food is put away in your pantry, refrigerator or other pet-proof storage containers.
  • Install childproof latches on drawers and cabinets so little paws can’t pry them open and access food or dangerous cleaning products.
  • Keep countertops clear of any sharp objects or small choking hazards that your cat might come across while roaming the area.
  • Your trash is their treasure, so put a cover over the waste bin so there’s no temptation.


  • Keep the toilet lid closed to avoid your pet potentially drowning or ingesting dangerous cleaning chemicals.
  • Make sure the area around your sink is clear of any razors, medicine and hair products.  
  • Tuck your shower curtain in the tub to avoid a game of tug of war.

Living Room

  • Place any dangling chords or wires out of reach.
  • Want to keep your pets off the furniture? Invest in a special spray or training mat designed to keep animals away.
  • Anything on your coffee and end tables is fair game, so keep all surfaces clear whenever possible.
  • Move any house plants out of reach to keep your pet from digesting poisonous leafs or digging in the soil.


  • Store all clothing and shoes behind closed doors.
  • Clear your bedside table of any lotions or medications.
  • Check under the bed and dresser to make sure there’s nothing your curious animal might chew or choke on.

Like any pet owner learns, dogs and cats don’t limit their dirty work to when you’re away. So even when you’re at home, it’s important to take the necessary precautions when it comes to closing doors and keeping harmful food and items out of reach. 

Looking for more great tips? Check out our how to video on pet safety and pet-proofing tips.