Owning a dog in a city: tips for a dog friendly apartment
Making your apartment home comfortable for a furry friend can be a challenge. These tips for owning a dog in a city will help you turn any space into a dog friendly apartment! Whether looking at a new pup, or moving in with an old companion, addressing the dog’s needs in your new surroundings will make for a happy abode.
Do your homework on your dog’s needs
Not every neighborhood is ideal for dog owners. Make sure you know the locations of the nearest pet stores, pet daycare, and dog-friendly open spaces around the apartment in question. Also be sure to research any legal restrictions on dogs, such as breeds, or walking on and off the leash in public spaces.
If in doubt, go for a stroll! How many people do you see walking their dogs in the neighborhood you are considering? If not many to none, the neighborhood may not be right for you. If there are plenty of people meandering with their pets, it is probably a safe bet that you will enjoy doing the same with yours!
Ask other dog owners about their experience in the neighborhood. Are there any pet-friendly stores, restaurants, or bars in the area? Is it easy to find a dog friendly apartment? These are questions you need answered! Talking to potential neighbors is also a great way to find a friend for your pup.
Read your dog friendly apartment’s policies carefully
Know the policies of your apartment, and stick to them. It can be sad when you find the perfect apartment, but it does not allow pets. While tempting, moving a dog in without the landlord’s knowledge is not a good idea. It can seem like a small deal, but the risks are great, the biggest being eviction.
Even with a policy against pets in place, or against pets of a certain size, ask the landlord for specifics, or if references would change their mind. Sometimes a bad tenant experience in the past is the reason for a policy against owning a dog in an apartment. Many landlords are fairly lenient, especially for a well-behaved animal.
Be prepared with facts about your pet: are they calm, have they lived well in apartment situations in the past, are they spayed or neutered? Make sure to keep your dog current on their vaccinations and free of parasites. Close quarters like apartments can put people and other pets at risk for anything your pup is carrying.
If you do not have a backyard available to you like most city residents, locate the nearest dog park to make sure your dog has enough exercise. Establish a walking route and routine in the neighborhood to keep both your pet and self healthy and happy.
Getting yourself and your animal companion outside is one way to keep their mind sharp. And yours! In fact, one of the great benefits of owning a pet is that it improves your mental health.
This is also a great way to establish familiarity and a relationship with neighbors and surrounding businesses. Not all dogs are comfortable with strangers or new, louder noises, so make sure to set aside time for exercise and socializing.
If keeping your pet active during the day is not an option due to your work schedule, think about investing in a walking service. This could be an official app like Wag or Rover, or think about hiring a neighbor you trust.
Make time for play
Make sure your pup is properly house trained, but also keep them sharp with interactive toys for when they are confined in the apartment. Dogs need mental stimulation just like humans do. While playing fetch would be ideal in a backyard or at the park, it is not viable if you own a dog in a city.
You don’t have to buy expensive or specialized toys. Just providing your dog with items that make them work for treats like peanut butter or something to chew on can make a huge difference. Keeping them mentally active can also prevent them from tearing up things in your apartment out of boredom.
Set aside space
Just like humans, dogs need their own space to relax in. This can also help them to alleviate stress or anxiety. It can be hard to get away from each other if you share a small apartment with your pet. Your dog’s private area can be as simple as a kennel, a dog bed, or a pile of blankets. It does not need to be large. In fact, a corner of the apartment would do. Whatever it takes to make your dog feel safe and secure when they need a quiet moment, be sure to set up their own area in the apartment.
Training is paramount
Dogs must acclimate to city environments, but good training will help your dog relax and safely explore its new apartment surroundings. Bathroom training and bark control will be key to convincing a landlord to rent to you. Your dog may have additional needs when first moving to an unfamiliar surrounding.
Be sure to also address separation anxiety and the need for reassurance for your pup as it arises. You can tackle these issues in a group obedience classes, or through hiring a one on one dog trainer.
A Word about breeds
The truth is that not every dog breed will do well in apartment living. Most will make great companions after proper training and adaptation to the noisy surroundings of a city. However, learning more about breeds will never hurt. For example, pugs do not require much exercise, and French bulldogs tend to be lazy – both perfect for a small city apartment. If you are moving into an apartment with a dog you already own, be sure to pay attention to the needs of your particular breed.
Owning a dog in an apartment in a city can be extra challenging but we think it is worth it. Dogs are an easy way to meet neighbors, and daily walks make for a great excuse to explore the neighborhood.