In a recent article, we covered some of our favorite fluffy, happy, loving dogs that are able to thrive in an apartment. In this article, we’ll share some of our tips and tricks to keep your precious pooch or pooches pampered, content, and comfortable in an apartment setting.
We know it can be difficult to keep a dog in an apartment, especially if there is not a dog park or a fenced-in yard for them to romp around and socialize in. But we’re here to help you and your companion(s) make the most of apartment living!
Although it’s not as fun for them as running around a yard chasing squirrels or rabbits, dogs can still be happy and occupied in a smaller environment.
1. Exercise Often
Most dogs are rambunctious, playful pups and need exercise to not only relieve themselves but to also expend their pent-up energy. Some apartments have a doggy park where their canine residents can run, romp, and roll around with human and doggy friends!
Or, take them for walks in the morning and evening. They’ll be able to release their energy – if dogs are cooped up for too long without exercise, they might turn their attention to less-desirable means of distraction such as destroying your furniture and using your slippers as chew toys. It’s recommended to walk dogs at least 2-3 times a day.
2. Toys, Toys, and More Toys!
It’s important to keep your dog occupied and distracted during the day. This includes providing them with varied and sufficient toys. Give them a duck to rip the head off! Or a chewy rope they can destroy instead of your couch!
Or, better yet, get them a soft squeaky toy shaped like a football to demolish. They’ll love you all the more for it! Giving them some challenging toys that reward them treats will keep them entertained!
3. Set A Routine
Establishing a set routine for bathroom breaks and feeding will significantly decrease your pup’s stress. They’ll learn to expect the routine, and it will help make your life a little easier when you don’t have to get up at 3am in the middle of winter to take your doggo outside for a bathroom break. Dogs respond very well to routines.
4. Hire Outside Help
If you are out of your apartment for several hours a day, it might not hurt to hire a doggy sitter or a dog walker. Dogs should never be left alone for extended periods of time. Outside help can ensure your dog receives their walks and attention while you’re gone. They are well worth the investment to know your dog is happy and healthy.
Or, also consider taking your dog to a doggy daycare.
5. Live on the First Floor, If Possible
Living on the first floor of an apartment is ideal when living with dogs. Your canine companion will appreciate the decreased distance between the apartment and the outdoors where he’ll go to exercise and do his business.
Having to constantly come down from an upper floor might become annoying and cumbersome for both you and your dog after a while. If you cannot get a ground-level unit, try aiming for an apartment with a balcony. You can always purchase artificial turf or real patches of grass so your dog can go to the bathroom in emergencies.
6. Create a Special Space for Your Dog
Creating a special place for your dog helps anxious dogs relax. You can purchase special furniture for them such as beds or give them special toys or blanks to make their space even better.
Your dog might simply lay there to chew their toys, eat and drink, or just lounge around on their backs as they wriggle for attention. If you’re gone during the day, feel free to give your special dog something that smells like you (their human) to calm them and keep them company.
7. Go to the Dog Park!
As mentioned above, some apartment or condo complexes have a dog park for residents to use. Otherwise, take your dog to a local dog park. Not only will your dog run around in circles, play fetch, or roll around in the grass, chances are they’ll make friends with other dogs.
Socialization is important to dogs since they are pack animals. The more friends they make in the park, the happier they’re likely to be. Plus, once your dog has had his or her share of fun, they’ll curl right up on their favorite bed and pass out as soon as you get home!
In this article, we gave you a few tips and tricks to help acclimate your dog to apartment living. Apartment dogs require more attention than normal since they are stuck in a smaller space. They need exercise, love, attention, and a space to call their own – this will increase their chance of being happy with you in your apartment.
And after all, is not their happiness and health the most important thing at the end of the day?