Although most people believe it is best to have a furry friend at a house, it is possible to keep a dog happy in an apartment.Of course – as long as you are willing to put in the effort to give your four-legged friend the best life possible.
With our help, discover tips that will help make your life a bit easier and with fewer accidents (and destroyed shoes).
Written by Lita Luse, a lifestyle journalist and dog enthusiast.
Currently, she is an owner of two quirky Westies and an active mongrel.
Take Them Exercising
When it comes to keeping a dog happy in an apartment, a lot depends on your furry friend’s size.
Smaller dogs are generally more easily entertained.
Breeds like Chihuahuas can get their daily dose of exercise by simply playing fetch in the apartment.
But big and active dogs need more space to get in the training they need.
As a dog owner, you have to prioritize spending time together.
Walking is not the only thing you can do to make sure your friend gets the number of activities they require, explains grumbledog.com.
Your pet will love a visit to a dog park or heading on a hiking adventure. In fact, they will enjoy most physical activities you like to do (try yoga – dogs are naturals at it).
We’ve recently discovered disc golf, and our three musketeers love it too.
If you can’t get your dog the exercise they need, perhaps it is worth hiring a sitter who can walk your family member while you are not available, recommends thehonestkitchen.com.
Find Pet Toys That Will Keep Them Busy
Dogs aren’t too hard to entertain. Give them a stick, and they will have a blast.
But – when they are left alone – it is an entirely different situation.
Toys that work while you are at home won’t always be the right choice when you are gone.
After all – if there is nobody to annoy with all the squeaky sounds, what is the point?
Invest in more challenging entertainment options, writes rover.com.
For example, find a toy in which you can place a treat. Your dog will be busy trying to get its paws on the snack. That means – no time for boredom or destructive behavior!
Our Westies sometimes get pretty emotional just as we are about to leave.
That is why we always keep a bone or a treat to give them when we have to go. That keeps them distracted and less focused on what is happening.
It is also a good idea to leave your dog their favorite blankets or pillows and even things that smell like you – that way, they won’t feel as alone.
Make Plans for Training (Even if Your Dog Hates it)
Although every dog would benefit from proper training, it is even more crucial for those who live in an apartment.
If your dog constantly barks or is aggressive to your neighbors, you will have a problem.
When living in an apartment, you have to keep in mind that there will be other people and dogs at all times, so they must be well behaved in these circumstances.
Fortunately, we have been blessed with supportive and friendly neighbors.
They don’t mind the occasional bark, but if you are living in a building that is strict about its rules, you really have to pay attention to your dog’s training.
Also, keep in mind that with age, it gets more challenging to change their behavior.
Have a Routine (And Follow it!)
Dogs love habits. That is why building a routine is essential.
If you can – try to leave for work or studies at the same time as often as possible, suggests pawprides.com. The same goes for coming home.
Our dogs are completely chill when we go to work.
If – for some reason – the routine gets changed, they become a lot more anxious.
Of course, life is life – you can’t plan everything (although your dog would be ecstatic about it), but try to make your furry friend’s days as similar as possible.
If it seems like you won’t be able to keep up with the schedule you have built, ask for your family’s help.
Make regular visits to the vet
Of course, keeping up with your pet’s health is always important, no matter if you live in a house or an apartment.
But dogs who live in a flat have more exposure to other animals, which makes them more likely to catch unwanted diseases and infections.
That is why it is also vital to keep up to date with all necessary vaccinations.
How to keep a dog happy in an apartment?
Invest in cozy dog furniture.
Your dog doesn’t need much to feel happy. In fact, they would want nothing more than just to snuggle up in your lap or share your bed. But even if your pet has taken over your sleeping area, it is best to create a space of its own.
For example, choose an empty corner in your apartment where you can lay out their favorite blanket and toys.
Some dogs may feel anxiety while being in a big apartment alone (even if it seems tiny to you).
Our Westies used to be extremely stressed in their puppy days.
That is why we invested in a big crate, where we always kept a fresh bowl of water, a cozy bed, and toys to play around with.
Although every time we returned home, it seemed like the Third World War had happened, we were calm, knowing they were safe and comfortable.
Keep your pet leashed at all times
When leaving for a walk, putting your dog on a leash sometimes feel unnecessary, especially if the surroundings are completely safe and your pup is trained properly.
But – when living in an apartment – you have to be sensitive to your neighbors and their needs.
Furthermore, it is also crucial for your dog’s safety. After all – there are probably other animals living in the building, and you never know how they are going to react to your family member. That is why it is always best to keep your dog leashed.
Entertain your family member
Even if you are at home, you must make sure your dog isn’t bored.
It might not be easy to play fetch in a 500 sq ft flat, but it doesn’t mean you can’t keep their mind busy.
Hide treats where they can eventually find them, play games or perhaps have a match of tug-of-war. The possibilities are endless!