“Happiness is a warm puppy,” said Charles Schulz, and we think he was right! If you have a pet or are considering getting one, here are four tips for caring for your furry companion while living in a small space.

Give Them Their Own Area

Just like your human companions, pets need their own place to retreat to when they need to nap or take a break from socializing. It doesn’t have to be a whole room—it could be as simple as a pet bed in a cozy corner or a crate with a soft blanket. You could even raise your bed with risers to give them their own space. Many pets love the security of small, confined spaces, so get creative and make it their own.

Pet-Proof the Apartment

Pets are curious, so it’s important to help them explore the space safely. Keep potentially harmful substances like cleaners or medications out of reach and locked up. That potted plant or your prized possessions? Place them up high, out of sight, or secured behind a baby gate. Pet-proofing takes effort, but it’s worth it for the peace of mind that comes when you know you can leave them home alone safely.

Provide Exercise

Our pets need mental and physical exercise, just like we do. Give them the attention and care they need by exercising and playing with them. If your schedule won’t allow for this, consider hiring someone to help you out. Getting enough exercise keeps pets healthy and yields better behavior. A win for everyone!

Be Patient

It takes time for pets to adjust to new places, so be patient, and don’t forget to reward them for their positive behavior. If you find that your pet does make a mess, like tipping over a plant or having a potty accident, clean it up right away to maintain the positive feelings in your home—as well as to prevent staining and odor.

Having a pet companion in a small space can be a wonderful thing! As you give them their own space, pet-proof the apartment, provide them with adequate exercise, and remain patient, you and your pets will flourish in your small space!