03 Jan Six Essentials for Sharing an Apartment with Your Dog
No matter your living situation, dogs are a huge commitment, but they’re worth it. It’s important to be realistic about the amount of time you have to spend with your furry friend.
Choose the right dog for your situation.
Large, high-energy dogs who are prone to boredom don’t do well in an apartment setting. Feeling cooped up can lead to destructive behaviors such as chewing. The smaller the space, the smaller the dog you should choose. Breeds notoriously low in energy like French Bulldogs and Pugs make great companions; they’re playful, but don’t require much exercise. Both breeds are prone to overheating so playing inside is perfectly fine with them. If you are considering adopting a dog, ask the shelter employees questions about their energy level, their playtime behavior, and if they’re house broken.
Limit their alone time.
Adjusting your dog to apartment living can be a challenge for both of you. Limiting your dog’s alone time, especially in the first few weeks, can make the transition easier. Keeping your dog cooped up in an unfamiliar place causes stress, which leads to destructive behavior. Making your buddy feel comfortable and safe in your new space means you’re less likely to come home to a mess.
Toys. All the toys.
Stockpiling toys staves off boredom. Entertaining your dog occupied with things they’re allowed to chew on will keep them from chewing on things they aren’t allowed to chew on. Like your shoes. And furniture. Toys that keep them busy like Kongs, puzzle balls, and wooden puzzle toys occupy their time and challenge their intellect at the same time. Mental exercise is just as important for your pup as physical exercise. Swapping out toys occasionally will keep your dog happy long term.
Treat your dog, and yourself, to weekend getaways. Something as simple as taking your dog to the park for an hour or going on a hike will increase their happiness tenfold. And, by extension, yours. Nothing is cuter than a happy dog. So, make time for your pet. You may find that those hours spent in the company of your furry friend are the most stress-free of your week.
Create a routine.
Dogs like schedules. They don’t know what they are, but they like them. Taking them out at the same time every day helps with house training. Walking them on a regular basis works out that excessive energy; everyone knows a tired dog is a better-behaved dog. Plus, it gives them, and you, something to look forward to. If you’ve had a hard day at work, you may find some comfort in the fact that, when you get home, your dog will be there to greet you, ready for play time.
Lastly, it’s important to be mindful of the neighbors. Nobody wants to listen to your dog bark constantly, not even you. If you have a barker, ask your vet about training techniques you can try to keep the noise at a minimum. Your neighbors will thank you.
It’s basically impossible to not be happy with a dog in your life. Following these steps will ensure you and your dog are living your best lives together.