Not all living spaces are created equal, but that doesn’t mean you can’t grow your family with a dog in an apartment. Just as you can find comfort in apartment living, so can your pup. Thinking about bringing home a dog? Keep in mind the following tips to ensure the newest addition to your family can live healthily and happily, even in a smaller space.
Find a Pooch-Friendly Apartment
“Choose your breed with care,” recommends Apartment Therapy. Just because a dog is small doesn’t mean he’ll be a good fit for a dog in an apartment. Some small dog breeds like Jack Russell terriers are hyperactive with tons of excitable energy and need lots of playtime. Research breeds you’re interested in to make sure you have the resources to train properly and provide for the dog’s needs. Keep in mind, certain breeds can also suffer from separation anxiety and may disturb your neighbors while you’re away.
Dogtime.com describes a great apartment dog as quiet and polite with low energy and calmness while indoors. Dogs that adapt well to apartment living include the Boston terrier, bulldog, dachshund and pug, to name a few. If you adore larger breeds, research big dog friendly apartments. You may even want to offer a pet resume, letters of recommendation from previous landlords and a meet-and-greet with your new landlord.
Provide Plenty of Exercise
More than anything, dogs want your love, but even love isn’t enough for optimal health and happiness. Dogs need plenty of regular exercise, especially in an apartment where there’s likely no yard to fun freely. Without a lot of room to let out energy and play, your pet can feel cooped up and frustrated, says Apartment Guide. Don’t be surprised if your dog ends up releasing energy by shredding furniture or tearing up your shoes.
Make sure to exercise your dog at least twice a day, in the morning and at night. Socialize your pup at the dog park or go on a run together for higher intensity activity. Taking your dog outdoors—where he can sniff new scents and get fresh air—increases his quality of life.
Follow a Routine
An established routine helps your furbaby not only adapt to apartment living, but thrive. Take walks and feed your pooch at the same time every day. This helps your pup know what to expect daily, while you can count on less accidents, providing mutual benefits for both you and your pet. Eventually your dog will know exactly when to wake up, go for walks, eat, nap, play and go to bed. This level of expectation creates comfort, no matter what the size of your apartment is.
Create a Cozy Nook
For most dogs, their favorite place is on your lap or at your side. And the next best spot is a cozy space where they feel relaxed and safe. Dogs may love to sprawl on the bed or snooze on the couch, but they typically find the most comfort in their crate. Keep in mind, the crate shouldn’t be a place associated with punishment or anxiety, recommends Pet Plus. Rather, it should be a safe space for napping or escaping a busy household. Create a den-like space in your apartment with the right-sized crate. Your pup should be able to turn around, stretch out and
sit up without bowing their head. Cushion the create with a soft bed and use a crate cover to add privacy and security.
If you’re gone at work all day, every day, your pup can become restless and lonely in your apartment. For some, hiring a dog walker, pet sitter or doggy daycare may be an option for improving your pooch’s well-being. But those services can be costly. You can still engage with your pet throughout the day by investing in iCPooch—a pet treat dispenser and video chat computer. Check in on your furbaby at any time and electronically deliver a treat to help ease doggy separation anxiety.