Why Dog Crates Are a Must-Have for the Apartment

Living in an apartment with a man’s best friend can be challenging. Oftentimes, there isn’t enough room to properly confine your pet while training important lessons such as toileting and relaxing while you are away. Using a crate is essential for those with dogs, especially when it comes to apartment dwellers. But first, what exactly is a crate? 

Comfortable Crate or Cramped Cage?

Those who picture crates often think of dog whimpering in a cold steel cage. This has been a common misconception when it comes to crates. By definition, a dog crate is an enclosure that will keep a dog securely contained until let out. These come in a variety of designs, most of which are made with the dog’s comfort in mind. When properly introduced, a dog crate can be a safe haven for you and your dog. 

How to Introduce Your Pup to a Crate

When purchasing a crate for your dog, make sure that it is the appropriate size. Your dog should be able to easily turn around in it and lie down. Make this place cozy by placing blankets and water inside. When having your dog interact with the crate, make sure that it is a positive experience with lots of praise and a calm voice. This should represent their place of peaceful rest after all. 

Now that we are aware of basics when it comes to crates, why are they so important for dogs living in apartments? Read on to find out why this might benefit your pup. 

1. A Peace of Mind For You

When you have to leave your dog alone in the apartment, it is easy to worry about what might happen in your absence. Your dog might chew on furniture or go through the trash. Crates allow you to safely and comfortably confine your dog while you cannot supervise them. The Pampered Pup has a great article on some of the best crates you can find, especially for dogs that love to chew and for those escape artists.

2. Give Your Dog a Den of Their Own

Now we know that dogs were domesticated long ago, but this does not mean that they lack those instincts. One wild trait that we find in Fido is that they like to have a place of their own or a den. A crate is just that if introduced in the right way. This structure becomes a place that they want to hang out in when needing some space. 

3. Potty Training

Training your dog or puppy how to relieve themselves is a nightmare, especially when it comes to those living in apartments. Remember how we mentioned that a crate often resembles a den? Well, it turns out that most animals, including dogs and ourselves, do not like to urinate their den. By choosing to potty train in a crate, you are already setting your dog up for success. 

4. Confining Your Dog When Stressful Situations Arise

An apartment is usually associated with a cramped living area. Let’s say that you invite your friends over and they have a child, but your dog is afraid of the added commotion. Instead of locking your dog in a room where they will become more stressed, a crate is a great alternative. The crate offers a place to retreat to when there are stressors in your apartment. Without this confined area, your dog might have to reside in a cramped room where they can become anxious and destroy the house. 

As shown above, confining your dog in a crate that is comfortable can be a loving option for apartment life. As with any living situation, it is important to take your dog out of the crate when you are able to supervise them. Simply leave the door open so that they can retreat to their den if need be. A dog crate offers a sense of peace for both you and your dog, making it essential for apartment living.

Get The Lead Out: Does Your New York City Apartment Need A Water Filter?

New York City is known for exceptionally clean drinking water. Over a billion gallons, most of it unfiltered, reaches over 8 million city inhabitant daily. Yet, despite one of the most comprehensive water treatment and testing regimens in the county, some remain concerned about their water quality after cities like Flint, Michigan made headlines with a series of water treatment errors that led to high levels of lead in the municipal drinking supply.

At present, New York City has a waiver from the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) that allows most of its public drinking supply to go unfiltered as long it meets stringent safety criteria. Although the water isn’t filtered, it is disinfected and treated with orthophosphate, a lead inhibitor that coats pipes, and sodium hydroxide, a substance that decreases the natural acidity of water, discouraging corrosion in lead-containing plumbing fixtures.

In 1974, the Safe Drinking Water Act was passed to protect the public by regulating public drinking water supplies, but while this legislation addresses potential contamination at the source, it doesn’t guarantee that holding tanks, pipes and fixture won’t introduce harmful contaminants. In fact, although New York City has an excellent reputation for protecting its public waters, enforcement of regulations for the cleaning of holding tanks has been questioned by water safety advocates, while it remains highly cost-prohibitive to retrofit old pipes and remove lead from existing plumbing fixtures.

Regulations are in place to reduce lead, but older buildings may still have pipes with lead solder and fixtures that contain lead if they were installed before 2014 when plumbing fixtures were allowed to have up to 8% lead. Today, even so-called lead-free models can still have up to 0.25% lead in the surfaces that come into contact with water.

Water quality monitoring that exceeds safety requirements is done daily in New York City and citizens can be comfortable with the overall integrity of their public water. But, once the water leaves the reservoir, what can residents do to ensure that their water is lead-free?

According to the EPA, several steps will reduce the amount of lead in drinking water. Since lead has no color, taste, or odor, testing is the only way to detect it. A certified lab can test water for as little as $20 and if lead is found, taking the following steps will improve water safety.

– Before drinking, flush pipes by running tap water it is noticeably colder.

– Clean the faucet aerator regularly.

– Install a whole home or faucet water filter. Check reviews of home water filtration systems to find a model that is as effective as possible at reducing lead and other concerning contaminants. Pitcher filters improve the taste of water, but won’t remove lead.

Lead is a powerful neurotoxin that can have severe and irreversible health effects. The best advice for residents of New York City is to enjoy their clean water, but take sensible precautions to protect themselves from harm by getting the lead out.

A Comfortable Bed Essential for Apartment Life in New York City

Whether you are about to go off to college, visiting friends and family, or moving, you will want it to be as hassle free as possible. Believe it or not, getting good sleep and being comfortable are a huge part of making the most important things to be less stressful. Below, you will read more on mattress toppers/pads, and why they are absolutely essential to apartment life in New York City.

What is the definition of a mattress topper/pad?

(First, let’s clarify that there is a different between a mattress topper, a mattress pad, and a mattress protector. Think of toppers and pads as twins, whereas the protector is their cousin. They all belong to the same family, and all of them extend the duration of your mattress.)

A mattress pad is simply that extra layer of comfort for your bed. It fits similar to that of a fitted sheet, except it’s pure elastic wrapping around the bed rather than cotton and elastic. Mattress pads are great for comfort, but they are even better for older mattresses. If you have an old bed that’s not in the greatest shape, a mattress pad is definitely cheaper than buying a brand new mattress. Maybe the mattress you have is just too firm for your taste, and you just need it to be a little softer. It’s also an alternative for a mattress protector.

Mattress toppers are similar to a mattress pad, except they are much thicker. It is also for the purpose of comfort on your mattress. Some toppers have straps to ensure it stays on your mattress, but others usually just lay there and are held down by the fitted sheet. Toppers can have various types of filler for maximum comfort. Some include latex, gel memory foam, and cotton just to name a few.

Mattress protectors are an entirely different story, but still similar. Not necessarily used for the purpose of comfort, a protector is what helps keep your mattress from aging quickly. Most mattresses come with protectors, because a bed is where we lay every night. It wards off bacteria, allergens and irritants, like dandruff, mold, and bedbugs. (Many use protectors solely for the fact of keeping ugly stains off the bed.) You can clean mattresses yourself but without a protector at the very least, your mattress is susceptible to any kind of bodily fluids. It puts your mattress at immediate risk.

All of these are highly recommended when moving to and/or visiting New York City, or any large city. Comfort is a huge factor, if not the only factor, that most consider purchasing a mattress pad/topper/protector. When you live in a large city like New York, chances are you’re in an apartment complex. By not properly caring for your mattress, you’re not only putting your entire apartment at risk for bacteria and fungi, but you’re putting anyone else in your complex at risk for same said bacteria and fungi. Think of how many people live in big cities, especially New York City. Remind yourself that when it comes to personal hygiene and cleanliness, there are more people who don’t care for themselves very well than anyone would like to admit. Somebody on the bus next you could have bedbugs and you’d never guess it. Problems like bedbugs spread very quickly. While comfort and support are great things to have, preventing health hazards and basic hygiene safety is just as important.