8 Tips to Keep in Mind About Having a Dog in an Apartment

May 4, 2020

A dog can be a man or woman’s best friend. If you’re feeling lonely in your apartment, a dog can be a great way to liven things up. Owning a dog is a big decision. They require a lot of care and need attention. If you are planning on keeping a dog in an apartment, there are several important factors to consider before adopting a furry friend.

Get the Right Breed

There is more to picking the right dog than finding a cute one. This is even truer for those living in apartments. The first matter you should consider is size. Don’t just think of a puppy’s current size, but how big it will get as an adult. Keep in mind that a full grown golden retriever is large in size, which may not be suitable if your apartment is small. The next factor to consider is their health needs. Consider common health problems that may affect the breed. Another important consideration is temperament. Is the dog hyper, curious, easily bored? These traits are not good to have in a dog that is going to spend most of its time in an apartment.

Check With the Property Owner

First things first, you need to check in with the owner of your property before getting a dog. Due to the potential damage a pet can cause, many landlords prohibit pets. Even if your neighbor has a cat, you shouldn’t just assume that pets are allowed. Some contracts will allow specific animals while denying others. If you are getting the dog as an emotional support animal, then you may be able to have it in your apartment even if there is a policy against pets. As long as you can have a doctor authorize that you have a disability that is being treated by an emotional support animal, your landlord must accept the pet. There are a few instances in which this is not the case, but for the most part you cannot be denied an emotional support animal.

Give Them Plenty of Exercise

In order to keep your dog from tearing your apartment to pieces, you need to give it plenty of exercise. If you don’t, you will likely return home to see your couch ripped to shreds and the stuffing strewn around the place. There are many ways to help your dog get this exercise. You can go on walks or runs with your dog. If your dog is well trained, you can even go on a bike ride with your dog. Fetch is a great, classic game to play with your dog. It gives your dog plenty of opportunities to run without requiring you to take a step. If you are unable to give your dog the exercise it needs, you can hire a dog walker to do the work for you.

Establish a Bathroom Routine

One of the quickest ways a dog can ruin your day, and your apartment, is by going to the bathroom in it. This can easily stain your carpet and the smell can be difficult to get rid of. You can prevent this by establishing a routine with your dog. An adult dog will need to use the bathroom 3-5 times a day. If you take it out at the same time during the day, your dog will get used to this schedule and wait to go until that time. Dogs don’t like to use the bathroom in their living area, so if you give them a consistent alternative they will adjust.

Plenty of Toys

Another way that you can keep your dog from chewing your apartment to bits is by providing it with plenty of toys. Chewing is actually a very important activity for a dog’s health. So give the dog several bones and other toys that it can sink its teeth into. Some great options for toys include, doggie bones, dog ropes, dog balls, and stuffed animals that are made specially for dogs. It’s important that these toys be made for dogs. Toys that are not specifically made for dogs can be dangerous for your fluffy pal. Dogs can chew plastic apart and then swallow the plastic which can lead to serious consequences.

Establish Rules

In a dog’s mind, everyone in its home fits into a strict social order. If you aren’t careful, your dog will try to establish itself as the alpha and consider you as a beta. In order for you to establish dominance, you need to establish rules and boundaries. For example, you may wish to keep the dog off the furniture and out of your room. These expectations need to be set from the beginning and always followed without exception. When you go for a walk, do not allow your dog to pull on the leash.

If you ever need to scold your dog, do it carefully. Dogs do not respond well to people that are unable to demonstrate stable behavior. When instructing your dog, you should be calm and assertive. Human’s naturally will use a higher pitched voice when getting upset, which will confuse your dog. For dogs, higher pitched voices can often indicate playfulness. If you are upset, you can emphasize this by using a lower voice.

React to Prevent Barking

In an apartment setting, a dog is going to be dealing with a lot more people passing by than normal. If you don’t want your dog barking every time a neighbor passes your door, you need to train your dog to realize that their reaction is unnecessary. When you first bring a dog to an apartment, watch it as people are coming and going. Whenever it perks up and before it barks, congratulate it for detecting that there are people there.

Train Them to Be Alone

Being alone in an apartment can be hard for a dog. Before you leave it for the day, you need to help the dog understand that you will come back. Start by leaving for a few minutes, then come back and play with your dog. Then leave for a slightly longer time. Little by little, you can build up your dog’s tolerance.

Owning a dog can be a wonderful thing. Sure, dogs are a lot of responsibility, but their undying loyalty makes it worth it. There is no reason why you can’t make keeping a dog in an apartment work. Just make sure that you do your research, plan ahead, and prepare. If you do, you’ll be ready for whatever comes your way.

Looking for an apartment? Contact us and we’ll be happy to help you find the right apartment for you!

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