At Houston Apartment Insiders, we know you love your pets. That’s why we’re happy to help you find the best pet-friendly apartment for you and your furry (or feathered or scaly) friends. To help you keep your pets safe and comfortable, we’ve also compiled these pet safety tips:
What to Look for When Apartment Hunting
This post from Oh My Apartment! points out a few things to watch for while you’re shopping for a pet-friendly apartment:
• Look at balconies with your pets in mind. Cats love to leap up on railings and ledges, so unless the balcony is screened in, it won’t be safe to let your cat out there. For dogs (and any other animals who may enjoy the balcony), consider their size. Small dogs and other little pets may be able to fit between spaces in the rails, then fall. (You can prevent this by putting up chicken wire or plastic in the spaces.) If you have large dogs, make sure the railing will hold their weight if they jump up on it.
• Look at stairs, too, inside and outside of the apartment. Again, railings may pose hazards for cats. If the stairs have spaces between the steps, keep in mind that small pets could fall through there. Elderly pets may prefer an apartment where there are few or no stairs.
On Moving Day
When you’re moving, your pets are in more danger of getting out and getting lost in an unfamiliar place. These tips from ForRent.com can help you prevent that, while reducing stress for you and your pets:
• If possible, have your pets stay with someone both you and your pets know and trust. That way, your pets will be spared the stress of moving day, and you’ll have one less thing to worry about.
• If that’s not possible, use carriers or crates to contain your pets during the trip. When you get to your new apartment, keep your pets in a quiet room with the door closed until everything has been unloaded.
• Keep in mind that pets can get into cabinets and swallow toxic chemicals, just as small children can. Keep cleaning supplies, antifreeze and other car care items, and anything else toxic well out of your pet’s reach—and remember that “out of her reach” means something different for every pet. Some cats and dogs are very good at opening doors and drawers. If you prefer (or if your pet is large or a great climber), use child-proof cabinet and drawer locks.
• Include your pets in your emergency plans. Visit our post on disaster preparedness to learn how to pack a kit of essential items, plan a family meeting place, and make other important plans in case of fires, floods, hurricanes, and other disasters—then add your pets to the plan. Add pet food and bowls, plus any other pet essentials, to your emergency kit, and plan how you’ll get your pets out of your apartment quickly if you need to evacuate.
Posted by Melanie Belasco Levy on 05/31/12