The Commonwealth at York

Being a pet owner is a fulfilling experience, and the relationship you have with your pet is important to you. Choosing to rent an apartment with your pet is an exciting time, but it does come with policies and fees – particularly if your pet causes damage to your new home.

When you bring a pet home to a new apartment, it’s important to be aware of pet policies and fees to help you know what to expect. You’ll want to take precautions with your pet to avoid causing damage to your apartment that can be costly and stressful for both of you.

Keeping ahead of behavioral or health issues that may be causing your pet discomfort can go a long way to helping you both avoid damage and maintain a healthy relationship. Here are simple tips to prevent pet damage in your apartment.

Accidents & Stains
Puppies and older cats are notorious for having accidents, but for very different reasons. If you have a new puppy in your family, it’s like you’ll need to prepare for accidents in the beginning. Keep cleaning products and pee pads handy, and try to take your new pup out for bathroom breaks frequently. When accidents do happen, clean them up quickly. Once your pup has been house trained, it may be worth renting a steam cleaner to go back over your carpeting and remove any remaining traces of stain.

Cats usually have accidents for behavioral or health reasons. If your cat suddenly starts having accidents, it’s important to take them to the vet. These can be a sign of a urinary or bladder infection, or simply feeling unwell. Cats can also leave accidents when they’re in distress, like if you bring another animal home or leave for extended periods of time. Try to maintain a consistent schedule with your cats, as routines are important to them. If you choose to bring another animal into your home, you’ll want to do this slowly to help both animals adjust.

Make sure to clean up accidents as soon as they happen, as cat urine can be especially damaging. It is definitely worth renting a steam cleaner or hiring a carpet cleaning company to clean your carpet or rugs after a period of accidents, to both reduce smell and ensure that the carpet isn’t permanently damaged.

Cat Scratching and Puppy Chewing
Kittens love to scratch and puppies feel the urge to bite or chew – it’s part of their physical development. It’s important to find ways to ensure that the scratching and biting don’t end up damaging your apartment furnishings, cabinets, blinds, carpets and drapes.

Pick up a few scratching posts and leave them around your home. Cats especially like to climb up high to help them feel at ease, so a climbing structure with a few scratching posts on it will certainly draw your kitten’s attention.

Teething pups will have a tendency to bite and chew, and this can be especially damaging (and painful). Try to redirect your pup by purchasing toys he can safely chew on. Invest in training to help you develop positive reinforcement patterns to help him shake the habit. If he does damage some part of your apartment, be sure to address it quickly by modifying their behavior or seeking support.

Doggie Destruction
Dogs who are left alone for extended periods of time, who aren’t getting enough exercise or who aren’t receiving positive feedback and training can become destructive at home. Some dogs have higher energy levels than others and may need multiple walks and jogs a day. If your dog is becoming destructive, it’s likely that he’s lonely or under-exercised.

Hire a dog walker, consider working from home one day a week or reach out to your vet for tips and ideas. You may need to seek the support of a trainer or to enroll your dog in an agility class to help him exercise his body and brain. Whatever you do, be sure to look at the destructive behavior as a symptom of his frustration or distress, and find solutions to help both of you find ease and happiness at home.