An Apartment Even A Dog Could Love
Just because you live in an apartment doesn’t mean you can’t provide a happy, healthy home for a dog. In fact, a majority of apartment dwellers own dogs, so clearly is a situation that has worked for many. To make sure your pad provides the best pet home possible, we offer a few important tips for you and your new best friend:
If you don’t yet have a dog, giving some thought to the breed of dog is a great place to start.
Size Doesn’t (always) Matter
Energy level is what is important here, both for the consideration of your neighbors and the stress-level of both you and your dog. Perhaps counterintuitively, smaller dogs are often higher-energy while larger dogs are fairly chill. A Great Dane, for example, is a really low-key dog, preferring to offer loving looks from a comfy spot on the couch instead of jumping up and down looking for attention. Other low-energy breeds to look into are Greyhounds, Spaniels, Bulldogs, Bichon Frises, Lhasa Apsos, St. Bernards and Chow Chows. The only time size may matter is if your rental has size restrictions. Because bigger dogs mean bigger messes, some properties put restrictions on sizes and breeds of dogs that they allow.
While proper training and regular exercise are important responsibilities for every dog owner, there are breeds that are simply more prone to barking – when guests arrive, at the TV or, worse, when you’re away and no one is around to supervise. Breeds that tend to express their feelings loudly include Terriers, Schnauzers, Pekingese, Chihuahuas, Poodles, Doberman Pinschers, Lhasa Apsos, Maltese and Pomeranians.
If you’ve got the dog, but not picked out an apartment yet, confirm the landlord is dog-friendly and then think about the best space for your new roomie.
Aim for The First Floor
Pups are heroes every day by keeping it in while you are gone at work, but in the excitement of your return home, a three-story walkup or long wait for an elevator might prove to be too much. Consider a low floor and give your dog’s bladder a break. Also, though not ideal, if you have a balcony, a small strip of turf might do in a pinch for an emergency situation.
After you’ve got both dog and apartment, there are a few elements to setting up your new life together that will help you both to thoroughly enjoy this next chapter in your lives.
Long Walks on The Beach, err, Sidewalk
Key to keeping energy levels in check is plenty of exercise. Two walks a day (or jogs or runs at the dog park) will do wonders. A couple of extra long activity sessions a week will really keep their need to race, bark and chew in check indoors. In this way, dogs and owners might end up getting even more exercise and socialization training than those with an easy-access backyard. A regular routine also offers the structure that dogs crave. Also, train your dog to view your apartment as a place for rest to help keep the activity down to a minimum.
Protect the Property
If your dog still has a playful streak, designate an area for play where the furniture and floors are protected or not as high-quality and train your dog to use it. Also, have a mat under their food bowl and towels at the ready for a rub down after walking in the rain.
Also consider if the property requires a pet deposit and or pet rent. This is becoming pretty standard amongst properties to cover potential damage.
Introduce your dog to your neighbors so that your dog is familiar with them and you can let any parents know whether your dog is good with children. (And then, stay in your neighbors’ good graces by using only soft toys inside and putting down rugs if your dog likes to jump and run.)
Teamwork Makes the Dream Work
If you know you will not make it back in time to give your dog a walk and a much-needed bathroom break, a dog walker, such as Wag or Rover, might be a necessity that will be a smart investment for your relationships with your pet and with your landlord. You could also give a set of keys to a trusted neighbor who can help out in case you are not around during a building evacuation or other emergency.
In the end, space isn’t a limiting factor when considering having a dog in your apartment. With a solid commitment to exercise and consideration for your neighbors, your puppy love and your apartment will be a match made in heaven.