Coming home to a four-legged friend’s loving face can be the best thing after a long day at work, but some people think they can’t have this luxury because having dogs in apartments is too difficult. With these five tips on keeping your pooch happy and healthy, even you apartment dwellers can know the joys of owning a dog.
5 Tips for Keeping Your Dog Happy in an Apartment
1. Be Realistic
What kind of dog do you want or have? Contrary to popular belief, smaller dogs aren’t always the best for apartment living. They tend to require more exercise and are often noisier than larger breeds. Surprisingly, Great Danes are actually great apartment dogs because they are considered a low energy breed.
Once you figure out what kind of dog you want you need to ask yourself: do I have the time to take care of a dog? Unlike having a dog in a house, where you can often just let your pup out in the backyard to do their business and run around, it’ll take more time to leash up and go for walks multiple times a day.
2. Exercise Often
Because your pooch is confined to a smaller area during the day, they need to be walked at least 2-3 times per day, at minimum just to go to the bathroom.
To supplement your daily walks, you should have at least two high-energy sessions per week with your dog. This could mean taking longer walks, playing fetch, going to the beach to play or checking out your area dog parks.
All of these get your dog socialized, properly exercised and exhausts them mentally, physically and socially. Doing this gives them an energy release which, in turn, helps prevent separation anxiety and keeps Fido from chewing on your shoes or your furniture.
3. Keep Your Pooch Stimulated
Like us humans, dogs get bored if they don’t have anything to do. You can help your furry friend by teaching them new tricks every couple of weeks, giving them new smells around the apartment and swapping out their toys every month or so.
A fun game my grandparents did every night with their chocolate lab, Molly, was to have her sit in the bedroom while they would hide treats around the rest of their place. Then they’d tell her to “Go get it!” and off she’d go sniffing around to find the treats.
All of these things give your pup ways to use their brain so they aren’t taking out that built up energy in negative ways.
Here are a couple of our favorite toys for when your four-legged friend is home alone:
4. Make a Routine
Since you most likely can’t let your dog out throughout the day, getting into a routine helps your pooch know what to expect. If you walk them around the same time each day, they’ll learn when they should go to the bathroom and are less likely to have accidents around the apartment.
5. Give Fido His Own Space
Just like you may have your own “getaway” space, so should your dog. This could include their bed or crate (if they’re trained and comfortable), food and water and their favorite toys. Giving them a specific area of the apartment gives them some place to relax during the day or retreat to if they get stressed out.
Overall, if you have the time to commit to walking and playing with your dog every day, they’ll be just as happy, if not happier, than if they lived in a house.
Did I miss something? Leave your additional tips in the comments below for how you keep your apartment pup happy.
Searching for an apartment that accepts your dog? Check out this article on finding the right apartment for you and your pup: Apartment Hunting Tips for Pet Parents
About Daniele Haekenkamp
Daniele joined the dogIDs pack as a Product Marketing Intern. In her spare time she enjoys collecting video games and singing along to Disney movies. Even though she loves petting every dog in sight, she considers herself to be more of a cat person (we try not to hold it against her). Her lifelong goal is to someday start her own company.