Tips for Apartment Living With Dogs
A dog is one of the best roommates you will ever have. Dogs are always happy to see you when you get home, and they love to spend time with you wherever you are. Before you move into an apartment with your best friend, make sure that you set them up for a successful transition.
- Give them plenty of exercise and mental stimulation: Most behavioral problems are due to pent up energy that your dog has. Think of dogs as small children. They need time to stretch their legs, play, and make a mess in a controlled environment. Take your dog on plenty of walks or runs to help them burn off some of that energy. Bring a frisbee or a ball to a park for your furry friend to chase. Animals can get bored, too. When they don’t have anything to keep their minds busy, they can start to tear up parts of the house looking for things to do. Have interactive toys around the house so they can stimulate their minds in healthy, non-destructive ways.
- Research different breeds: Before you commit to becoming a pet parent, do the responsible thing and make sure that breed will respond well to apartment living. There are certain breeds that need to have large open spaces. Other breeds are more compact in nature and don’t need as much space. Even though you’ve always wanted a German Shepherd, you may need to wait until you have the right living space for a dog with that energy and size. It wouldn’t be fair to the pup to punish them for their innate needs to run and jump.
- Have a balcony potty spot: If you live on the top floor, it can be difficult to make enough outdoor potty breaks for your dog. Smaller breeds have smaller bladders and need to go out more often. To cut out some of the back and forth time, you can set up a balcony potty spot for your pup. Having a small grassy spot outside makes clean up and potty training easy.
- Protect your floors: There are several ways that you can protect your floors in the apartment. A simple and stylish way to protect the floors is to have area rugs around the room. The only downside is that it’s difficult to cover the entire space with rugs. There will still be open hardwood floor that will be vulnerable to scratching. You can also apply caps on your dog’s nails. These are painless rubber caps that go over your dogs natural nail to prevent accidently scratching. You can also get a protective film put over the entire floor. It’s a one time application so you can set it and forget it.
- Stay up-to-date on vaccinations: In a communal living space, disease and bugs are spread easily. Keep your dog protected from parasites and illness by having them up-to-date on all vaccinations and medications.
- Familiarize to the surrounding sounds: In an apartment, you are constantly surrounded by people who live above, beside, and below you. There will be odd noises from your neighbor upstairs and from people walking through the halls. These fantom noises can be alarming to your dog who is used to peace and quiet. Help acclimate them to the familiar noises of apartment living. It’ll bring down their anxiety, and give you a more peaceful dogmate.
- Socialize: You will always be around other people in an apartment. It’s important that your dog knows how to play well with others. Aggressive behavior that is territorial doesn’t work well when you have to share the hallways. Have plenty of training to get them used to other humans and other animals.
Your dogmate will appreciate all of the love and attention that you give them. By considering what your pup needs, living in an apartment with your dog becomes much more enjoyable. Dogs make great company in an apartment, especially for people who live alone. Prepare your dog for apartment life, and likewise, prepare your apartment for your dog! Don’t forget a treat every now and then!