Who says you need a big house and a back yard to raise a dog? If you live in an apartment, many dogs are clearly more suitable and practical than others – for both the owners and the pups themselves.
You’ll agree, canines do make excellent housemates – no stealing that last bit of your absolute favorite ice cream dessert, leaving dirty clothes scattered on the floor and late night pumping music.
If you’re renting, be up front with your landlord.
When you start any tenancy, your landlord needs to be informed about existing pets. For dogs, some landlords do require your dog is a certain size/breed, so ensure you read the lease thoroughly beforehand. Don’t try and sneak in a dog, if your landlord doesn’t find out first, your neighbor certainly will and there’s no need to remind you of potential consequences.
Be realistic about the breed/size too (even if your landlord is relaxed).
While many dogs are perfectly suited to apartment life, there are several breeds which are completely unrealistic to keep in a smaller space like an apartment. High-energy dogs, like labradors and border collies will probably struggle in confined spaces, which isn’t fair on them. Their frustration and boredom could lead to destructive behavior like chewing of furniture etc.
Keep up to date with vaccinations.
Many apartments with shared grounds are accessible to all residents, so it’s important to ensure they don’t have parasites or other diseases, especially with neighboring children around, too. Also, in the very rare occasion a dog bites (this is not often – or sometimes never – we realize) it’s vital to ensure you have proof your dog has been vaccinated.
Show your neighbors courtesy.
Typically, apartments house many people very close together, so you have to think about noise levels. A constantly barking dog isn’t going to be well received by neighbors, so you might need to consider some training or guidance from your veterinarian.
Daily leash time for your dog.
Without a back yard, you really must ensure she gets out at least once or twice a day for a walk in the local area, stretch their legs, get fresh air and go to the bathroom! So come rain, snow, sun or any other weather, be prepared for this. If you’re a full-time worker, consider a local dog-walking service, if you have a trusted neighbor that’s a real bonus.
Socialize and desensitize your pup.
Apartments are more often than not placed in urban areas, which can be noisy and busy – not to mention car and bicycle traffic and other animals. It’s a good idea to introduce him to the noises and environment slowly and calmly, so when they hear other dogs, a siren or car horn they don’t begin barking like crazy as it’s become familiar to them!
When you first move, consider something like a ‘piddle pad’ where you dog at least has somewhere to use the toilet until they (and you) are used to daily visits outdoors. If you don’t live near the ground floor, this could involve several trips up and down elevators or stairs (a good workout for you, at least).
You may wish to consider adopting a toilet-trained dog, one that is a little older to make both your lives more convenient.
Above all, dog ownership requires a great deal of commitment, love and attention – when you live in an apartment, these are just some areas you need to consider first. Not living in a house is perfectly suitable for many breeds – you can create a very happy and loving home for them, just be aware of decisions and planning you need to make beforehand.