From fiercely loyal guard dogs to everyday companions, the benefits of keeping pets in your condo are countless. However, are you minding your pet’s needs? Though they’re domesticated, pets weren’t meant to be contained inside a condo unit. In fact, an outdoor cat has double the lifespan of one that predominantly stays indoors. Still, studies show that 70% of apartment owners also have pets. Smaller spaces call for special care for our furry friends. Here are 15 easy-to-follow steps to keep your condo pets in good physical and emotional condition.
Pet-Proofing Your Place
Making sure that your apartment is pet-proof should be the highest on your priority list. Even before bringing in any animals, you’ve got to check every room for any possible perils your pets could suffer from. Keep the condo as clean as a hound’s tooth. Replace open trash bins with closed ones and tuck away those “chewy” cords in a cabinet. Not only does these steps keep your pet safe from harm, it could also save you a lot of money from ruined rugs.
Establishing Pet-Free Zones
Don’t let those puppy dog eyes talk you out of this one. Even if you’ve pet-proofed your place, there are some areas that should simply be off-limits. For example, the kitchen can be a pretty dangerous area. Your furry friends may be tempted by tasty treats left on the counter, so set up baby gates to also keep them away from other dangerous kitchen items like knives and hot pans.
Make It Feel Familiar
This is an important step in saving your condo pet from emotional stress, especially when you’re introducing them to the new place. From your kitty’s litter box to your puppy’s chew toys, have all their favorite items out laid out before they arrive to keep them from freaking out.
Give Them Their Space – Literally!
Just as necessary it is for us humans to have our own personal space, our furry best friends need to have their own territory too. Some pets, such as cats, can get overwhelmed from all the attention, especially when condo living puts them in such close proximity to their owners. Give them their special spot, where they can get away any time they need to.
Acclimate Your Apartment Pet
Living in a condo in the Philippines comes with the comfort of air conditioning, but your pets might be more used to the humid tropical weather outside. Keeping your pets indoor might confuse them. You can address this problem, however, by walking them outside your unit around 2 to 3 times a day. In addition, we also get to do outdoor activities.
Take Them Along On Your Errands
While some of your cute companions love to lie around, others are thrilled by fresh air and new friends. Beyond their daily walks, bring them along on your errands. Not only is this great for their health, they’ll highly appreciate that you took them along for some quality time instead of leaving them home. However, note that this might be easier to do in certain cities. For instance, if you’re residing in one of the DMCI Homes in the Fort, stores and restaurants are more likely to be receptive to four-legged friends than in other parts of the town.
Even Pets Need ID
Provide your condo pets with collars containing your contact information. While it’s safer to let your pet run free in an apartment than it is on busy streets, it’s still a necessary measure to keep your pet safe. ID collars are helpful to those who find your lost pets, and it also establish your accountability. If your pet is wreaking havoc while you’re away, this is also a way to help you be a responsible condo resident.
Introduce Your Pet To the Condominium Community
Get your dog acquainted with all the different people who they’ll be seeing everyday in their new home — neighbors, cleaning ladies and security guards. Not only will this help your dog feel more at home, it will also help people receive both you and your dog better. Before you know it, they’ll all be as attached to your little loved one just as much as you are!
Find Other Pet Owners in the Building
By making friends with other animal lovers in your DMCI community, you’re not only finding a playmate for your pet, you’re also gaining a go-to pet sitter. While most domesticated doggies love interacting with humans, it’s only healthy that they hang out with someone their own size. At the same time, fellow pet owners understand that a dog or cat hotel can be expensive and will be willing to take your condo pet in when you’re out.
Use Toys and Treats as Tools
Pets don’t need much to be happy. Missing out on playing in parks and peeing on plants can be a depressing thing for a pet, but a new and shiny toy will easily brighten their day. Don’t underestimate the power of toys and treats to elevate an animal’s mood. This will also distract them from any anxiety they might be feeling from being cooped up in a condo.
Bring the Outdoors Indoors!
If your pet has a serious case of cabin fever, then maybe it’s time to bring in some plants. You might contest that they’ll only end up chewing on it or scratching it to pieces, but bringing in plants gives them an impression of the outside life. Plus, a little foliage is sure to make your space more stylish. Just make sure that your plants are pet-safe and not poisonous.
Letting Them Snuggle Up Once in Awhile
Owning a pet in your condo can make things cozier for the both of you. Some pet owners argue that letting their furry friends into their beds results in sleep loss and dirty bed sheets. However, as long as you keep your cats and dogs clean, let them cuddle up to you once in awhile. If it’s something that you can’t really tolerate, keep them away from the bed. It gives you and your pet a healthier and stronger emotional bond.
Scheduling Potty Times You Can Actually Manage
Similar to humans, it’s unhealthy for our pets to keep their pee in. The difference is that, given their animal instincts, they probably won’t. Cats are more low-maintenance as long as you provide them a litter box. On the other hand though, you’ve probably trained your dog to wait for a walk before they take a leak or poop. But if you don’t set up realistic times to do this, they’ll just end up going indoors. If your schedule can’t manage a regular tinkle time, you might want to consider a portable “pet-loo” for the condo. If you have baby pets, you might want to consider introducing them to good potty habits as early as 12 weeks old.
Keeping Bath Time A Regular Event
Condo living can make maintaining your pet’s hygiene a hassle. Limited space can make bath time a chaotic chore. However, don’t let this tedious task keep you from grooming your pets consistently. To minimize the mess, brush your pets and remove ticks outside of the apartment before bringing them to the tub.
Give Them Their Daily Dose of TLC
Nothing makes your pets happier than spending time with you. In fact, it’s their life’s greatest purpose. Once they hear you come through that door, they’ll forget whatever they were feeling earlier and focus on you. All our cherished animals do is love us, and the least we could do is return the favor with a little tender loving care. Keep them healthy by giving them all the attention and affection they deserve!
It’s important to note that while these tips for keeping your pet healthy should be followed, it also depends on your pet’s breed. Each dog or cat has different personality types and energy levels. Maybe they can only handle shorter walks, or prefer to sleep alone. Either way, owning a pet in your condo requires awareness of your pet’s needs. Just listen to what your best bud is trying to tell you, and you’ll be in for a harmonious, healthy stay in your little home.