Whether you live in an apartment or are considering moving into one, it can present a few unique challenges for you and your dog. Not only do you have to carry furniture up flights of stairs, but most apartments are smaller than the average house and don’t have the luxury of a garden just out the back door. If you’re lucky, you’ll have a balcony to enjoy your new views from.
Dogs in apartment buildings can be extremely comfortable when the right precautions are taken. They won’t even notice that they don’t have a garden to run in. Below are some ways in which you can keep your dog happy and healthy while making the most of your inner-city apartment living.
1. Give Your Dog Lots of Exercise
Owning a dog is a big and wonderful commitment and it can require a big time commitment of walking, and companionship. One of the things that a dog needs is regular exercise. This can become an issue when living in an apartment, given that the spaces are often small and don’t come with a garden to play in.
To avoid your dog feeling cooped up like a chicken, make sure you take your four-legged friend out for a walk at least two times a day. If you own a high-energy breed, then it may need to be more. Whether it’s just around the block or to the local dog park, it will allow them to use up all their energy. Then when it’s time to go back to your pet friendly apartment, they will be ready for a nap.
It’s also a great opportunity to explore your neighbourhood and discover some great parks and trails that your city has invested in. See if there are some local dog parks for your dog to run around in, and for you to meet some new like-minded friends as well.
2. Do You Have the Right Dog Breed for Apartment Living?
Smaller isn’t always better when it comes to dogs living in apartments. There is a misconception that a breed such as a Dachshund or a Corgi will thrive in a smaller environment. Some small breeds such as a terrier are high-energy and often quite noisy if they aren’t properly stimulated.
The ideal breed for apartment living is one that is quiet, has lower energy levels and isn’t high maintenance. After all, if you work a 9-5 job, your dog is going to be left on its own for a while during the daytime. You will want a dog breed that is happy to lie on the couch and sleep the day away until you return from work. Then the fun can begin.
3. Establish a Routine
For dog owners who live in a house with a garden, all they have to do is open the back door to let their dog go to the toilet. In an apartment, it isn’t so easy. If you have a balcony attached to your apartment, you can get a plot of fake grass to act as a potty. If this isn’t an option, you need to establish a toilet routine for your dog.
Try to take your dog out for a walk at the same time each day in the morning and evening. This will allow them to go to the toilet, especially if you take them out after they have eaten. Soon they will be trained to know that going outside means they can relieve themselves. It also saves you having to wait outside for them to finish doing their business, which isn’t what you want on a cold winter’s night.
4. Make the Apartment Safe for Your Dog
Dogs are happiest when they have a space of their own to relax and unwind, especially after a fun walk outside. To make your apartment safe for your dog when you aren’t home, remove anything that could become a hazard. This means keeping all wires hidden so they aren’t chewed and placing breakable objects somewhere they can’t be reached.
If you are happy for your dog to sit on the couch and they happen to be a small breed, why not invest in a dog ramp. It will help them to easily reach the couch without hurting themselves. You can browse through our selection of ramps and stairs and see what would suit your apartment.
Another great thing to do for your dog is to make sure they have lots of toys to play with. This will keep them entertained while you are away and prevent them from chewing things they shouldn’t.
5. Get Them Used to Strange Noises
Most apartment buildings tend to be in the middle of a city. This means there will be a lot of loud noises from cars and neighbours that your dog might not be used to. Any strange noise can make a dog feel anxious, but you can help them become used to the sounds.
Take them on walks along busy streets and introduce them to the neighbours in your apartment building. Another option that can help is to enrol them in obedience training to help with any issues they might have. Whether it’s them barking too much or feeling scared, training them to be calm in stressful situations will help.
6. Hire A Dog Walker or Attend Doggy Day-care
Not everyone works short shifts at their day job. If you know you are going to be away from your dog for longer than they can stand, hiring a dog walker can help. Even if it’s a friend or family member, they can quickly visit your dog and make sure they can go to the toilet and be fed.
Another option is to see if your city has a dog day care facility. This will allow your dog to socialise with other dogs and have some freedom from being stuck in the apartment all day. Your dog will be exhausted and happy from a long day of playing and socialising.
Enjoy Apartment Living with Your Pooch
With some small changes to the way you and your dog live, you and your dog can easily adjust to apartment living. Make the most of the small space together by cuddling up on the couch in the evenings and take long walks around the neighbourhood or visit the dog park. Owning and loving a dog is so rewarding and it will gift you with many fond memories.