Is your small apartment being an obstacle for your lifelong dream of getting a dog? Well, my friend, it’s time to rethink your decision.
Sure, dogs need a lot of space and attention. But for city dwellers who have to work on a daily basis, that isn’t always possible. But it doesn’t mean that you can’t bring a furry friend home.
Apartment dogs can be just as happy and healthy as others, as long as you fulfill all their needs. So, keep reading to get some tips on how to be the best dog parent, even in a small apartment space.
1. The Breed Matters
Before keeping your dog in an apartment, make sure you know everything about the breed. Make sure to visit the vet for any health problems that might be an issue if you leave your dog alone. Also, not all dogs are okay with living in small spaces.
Larger, active dogs are usually better suited for larger living areas. For apartments, small dogs are ideal options. But some large dogs can thrive in small apartments too – as long as they’re not too high in energy or very noisy.
2. Exercise is Key
Exercise is not only physically healthy for dogs, but will also keep them mentally stimulated. Regular exercise helps to release pent up energy that would otherwise show up as destructive canine behavior.
So, make sure your dog goes on walks, at least twice a day, preferably in the mornings and evenings. If you can’t make time, hire a dog walker, or drop them at a doggy center while you go to work.
Whenever possible, give your dog lots of play times and schedule some high-intensity exercise. It also helps to set some play dates with other dogs in the neighborhood.
If your dog is quite hyperactive, using lasting chews or treats to mitigate aggressive chewing behaviors can prevent them from wreaking havoc in your small apartment. This does not only help you maintain the integrity of your couch but also help your pooch channel their energy more productively.
3. Make Sure Your Dog is Comfortable
Just like us humans, dogs need their own space too. So, give your dog a corner of its own where it can wind down and chill. This can be your dog’s bed or just its crate.
Keep a bunch of its favorite toys and some comfortable bedding and pillows. And of course, keep its food and water bowls nearby as well. This den should be somewhere quiet enough for it to sleep, but not too far away so it feels lonely.
4. A Routine Life Makes Everything Better
Dogs love routine, and if you can do everything in a schedule, it will be less of a hassle for you as well. Try to feed and take your dog to the bathroom at the same time every day.
Be very careful about which times you pick, because food and potty breaks are clearly linked.
This way, your dog’s body will adjust on its own and you won’t have to wait for when it’s ready to poop. The walk every morning and evening should signal that it’s time to go.
5. Doggy Proof Your House
Just as parents baby-proof their rooms, you need to do the same for your dog. The first thing you should do is to cover up wires and get rid of loose electric plugs. You should also get childproof latches for medicine and food cabinets.
And if you’re someone with a lot of houseplants, make sure they’re not poisonous for dogs. It’s also a good idea to keep some rooms off limits for your dog’s safety.
While there are lots of things you can do to keep your dog happy and healthy in an apartment, nothing will work if it’s not obedient. So, make sure your dog is well trained.
Potty training, bark training, and crate training are the lessons you should tackle right away.
If your dog is ill, with even something as minor as digestive issues, don’t wait it out and go to a vet. Also consider trying extra measures like shifting to a low residue diet for dogs, which will make your life much easier.
But don’t fret too much. If you get the right breed, a little training and responsibility on your part should be enough. All your dog wants is love and attention, so never be stingy with that, and you’re good to go.