Caring for a dog in a small apartment can be extremely challenging for several reasons. You may have a large dog who takes up space and has an abundance of energy or you may have a small dog who has to bark (or yap) at everything they hear. It is important to understand that caring for a dog is like caring for a baby - they have requirements. Big or small, high energy or super chill, we need to ensure that our pups will be able to adjust to and thrive in apartment-living.
Whether you are new to apartment living or you currently live in an apartment with your dog, here are some tips and tricks for making your furry friend comfortable in a smaller space!
What You Need to Know
Exercise: Dogs require at least 30 minutes to 2 hours of exercise each day. Make sure you are available to take your pup out for walks, jogs or to the dog park to let out some of that pent up energy! Even pups that are a bit more relaxed require exercise to stay happy and healthy. Walk your pup around the complex so he can get new sniffs in (this is great for mental exercise as well). Indoor games, like scent hunt, are also a great way to keep them mentally stimulated.
Breed: Different breeds have different needs! If you are thinking of moving into a small apartment and own a Weimaraner, things could get difficult... Not just because of the size, but because of energy. High energy breeds who are in confined spaces tend to become destructive if they aren’t adequately stimulated. This is not to say that larger/high energy breeds won’t work in a small space, but it will require a little more time on your part to keep both of you comfortable. Lower energy breeds without a doubt will be least challenging when moving into a smaller space!
Desensitize: Get your furbaby used to their environment by walking around the complex and introducing him to the new smells and surroundings. Neighbors can be noisy and your pup will have no idea what’s going on out there so be sure to bring them out often to help them adapt and desensitize. If your dog is people friendly, introduce him to your neighbors, including other dogs!
The First Floor: If you have the option, getting a first floor apartment will suit any dog best. It’s as easy as opening up the door and letting them do their business right outside. The view might be great from a balcony patio, but you don’t want to have to worry about your dog taking the leap of faith off of the balcony because he sees a squirrel!
Create a Corner: Designating a specific area in your apartment where your pup can chew on his toys and bones will create a ‘safe’ space for them. This also benefits you because your dog won’t be free to run loose all over and get into your belongings. Have a crate? Even better. Place the crate in your pup’s designated corner, throw in a few of his favorite toys, feed him a Super Chew from Real Dog Box ;) and let him get chew wasted! Check out these easy tips to crate train.
Daycare or Dog Walker: Sometimes consistent lengthy walks can be difficult to fit into our schedules, so hiring a dog walker will ensure your furry friend gets the exercise and stimulation he needs! Or dropping your pup off at a daycare facility while you are away at work will give him proper socialization and give you peace of mind! I encourage daycare and dog walkers because it is so important for dogs to socialize with other dogs and people. Getting them used to all these new senses actually helps their overall behavior!