Pets are a great company to have around. They help us to get more exercise and they greet us at the door when we come home from a long day. Having a pet while renting, however, can sometimes get a bit tricky.

Many building complexes have rules, so it’s important to be sure that your pet is well taken care of and is also a respectful tenant. Check out some great tips for help in that department. But, if you want to make sure that your home is pet-proofed, then be sure to read on for some great pet-proofing advice.

8 Steps to Pet-Proof Your Apartment

1. Organize Your Space

Sure, it’s cute when your kitty finds a loose shoelace and starts pulling at it, but it’s also unsafe. The same can be said for dangling blind cords, earbud cords, electrical cords, and the like. Get yourself a shoe rack to keep laces off the floor, cord wraps for your loose window blind cords, and a place to store other stray cords.

For those things that you know your dog likes to chew, shoes, couch cushions, or even paper, be sure to keep those things out of the way. Keep in mind that when dogs are tearing things up it can be a sign of displacement behavior, or even that they are not getting their energy out enough. Also, be sure to keep your dog out of your garbage by locking the lid down tight.

2. Lock Away Your Cleaners

Animals are curious by nature, hence the expression “curiosity killed the cat,” so, think of your pets like small children and keep harmful cleaners out of reach. On that note, there are some cleaners that should be avoided due to their harsh abundance of chemicals.

Cats, in particular, lick themselves clean, including their paws that come in contact with the floor that you have just spread those chemicals all over. Think of your pets the next time you purchase a cleaning product and go for a “green” alternative (like these pet-safe carpet cleaners), or even better, mix your own cleaners with a simple vinegar and hot water solution.

3. Raise Your Plants

Not all plants are harmful to your pets, so, be sure to do your research either online or at your local garden center first. If you love to be surrounded by greenery, see if you can pick a pet-friendly plant, otherwise buy some hooks or shelves that will allow you to raise your plants up and out of the way from your furry friend.

4. Pet-Proof Your Furniture

Cats are notorious for clawing the back of a couch and making those distinctive scratch marks that we all instinctively recognize, but that doesn’t mean that you can’t cat-proof your couch. There are cat-deterrent sprays you can buy, or you can even try double-sided sticky furniture strips both which make it an unpleasant experience for your cat who tries to use your couch as their own scratching post.

Dogs aren’t any better with couches; they like to chew, shed their fur, and even leave their scent behind. Try using a furniture cover or blanket that is reserved for your pet only to sit or lie down on. If the smell bothers you or your guests, there are some furniture sprays you can buy to help eliminate the lingering scent.

Selecting furniture that isn’t an attractive chew toy for dogs is also a big help; this goes for furniture with wooden legs or fluffy cushions. Also, if your dog insists on lying on the couch or your bed, have a matching colored couch will help to prevent in seeing lots of lingering hair or a great bed cover; think white couch black dog.

5. Be Prepared to Clean

Living with a pet in your apartment means that you should be prepared for the unexpected and expected cleanups. Have a lint roller ready to quickly remove fur that seems to be stuck to all of your upholstery.

Pet-proofing your carpet can be done in a few ways. The first is to install some new carpets through a company that has used their own special stain-resistant technology. This will help to make cleaning up accidents that much easier.

The next option is to buy a pet-proof carpet pad, this works in a similar way to a couch cover in that you can cover up special areas of your carpet that you really don’t want your pet on. The last option is to buy a pet-stain carpet removal cleaner and a urine odor remover use them as needed.

In the case of puppy-proofing your carpet and hardwood floors, especially if you are still training your small furry friend, plastic covering is your best bet until they are properly trained to go outside. If you have an older pet who is prone to accidents, this method works just as well.

6. Create Their Own Space

One of the main reasons a pet wants to sit on the couch, your bed, or anywhere else that you may not want them to is because first, you make it look so comfortable, and second, they just want to be near you.

You may decide to invest in a heated bed for cats or one for dogs only to have this option snubbed by your furry friend. The key is to stick to your decision; if you don’t want your pet on the couch or bed you have to be consistent. Every. Single. Time.

7. Pamper Your Pets

A well-groomed pet is one that sheds less, picks at their nails less, and overall is a happy pet. It’s alright if you can’t afford to send your pet to be groomed professionally, just be sure that you give them some proper care regularly all on your own (tip invest in a nice pair of pet grooming scissors); think of it as a bonding experience.

8. Baby Gates

If all else fails, and your cat or dog simply won’t leave an area alone, you can try a baby or pet gate to keep them out. This can be especially useful for those times when you are away from your home and can’t monitor what they are doing.

For dogs who are too big to be deterred from a baby gate, a decorative crate is another alternative. If you choose this option you might want to consider having someone come to your home to take your dog for a walk, especially if you work long days.

There are lots of great ideas to pet-proof your apartment; to make sure that you and your furry friend are happy together, that you are keeping them safe while you are away, and that you are prepared to take care of all their needs.

This is post was written by Danielle, who thrives on researching and writing on all aspects of life. Further to writing for Zumper blog and personal finance, she is an advocate of self-improvement and living a life that is both financially responsible and knowledgeable. When she is not on her computer, she can be found spending time with her husband and two sons.