Apartment living with a dog can be an extremely enjoyable lifestyle. However, it can also be stressful if you aren’t prepared, or don’t have the experience. Here for nine tips for apartment living with dogs!
Tips for Apartment Living With Dogs
Establish a Schedule
Creating a schedule for your dog is imperative for successful apartment living. You want to be sure that you start a potty and meal time routine right away. Having this important step down will lessen the chance of accidents, stress induced behaviors and anxiety. Dogs thrive on routine, so putting one together is important anyways, but it’s especially crucial for easy apartment living.
My “set in stone” routine for Wynston is: morning potty walk at 5:30am, followed by breakfast. Another short potty walk around 10am, then maybe another one if he’s antsy or I’m taking a break. Then dinner at 3:00pm before another walk. I take Wynston out to go potty one more time before bed, typically between 7-9pm. He has yet to have an accident, and he always knows when it’s time for our next step in the day.
Exercise Your Dog
To avoid your dog becoming stressed and bored, be sure you’re taking them out on a nice walk in the morning and evening. This will give them the opportunity to their business as well as get plenty of exercise. High energy dogs will obviously need much more physical exercise outside the apartment everyday in order to be happy living in an apartment. Dog parks at apartment complexes are becoming more common, so if you’re in the market for a new place, seek out a community with a dog park…which brings me to my next point.
Find a Dog-Friendly Community
Since embracing pet parenthood is at an all time high, so is the need for dog-friendly communities. Millennials are also buying less homes and opting to rent for many reasons. New apartment complexes can potentially offer a variety of pet-friendly amenities such as a dog washing station, dog park and plenty of waste receptacles.
Here are some things to consider when looking for a new apartment:
- Access to a dog park
- Extra amenities like a dog washing station
- Dog poop pick up stations
- A patio so your dog can enjoy time outside at your apartment
- Breed/size restrictions (every state and place has different policies)
- Pet parent meet ups
The luxury apartment community I just moved into (Liv Northgate) has a plethora of dog-friendly options including a dog park with agility equipment, a Yappy Hour for pet parents on Wednesdays, and a dog washing station! More and more communities are being built with pet parents in mind…and I love it! These benefits were a huge part of the reason I chose my apartment 🙂
Purchase a Dog Door
If your apartment has a sliding glass door onto a private patio, you may want to purchase a dog door! This way you can set up a potty area on the patio for your dog if need be, and they can get fresh air as they choose. Just make sure it’s okay with your landlord or management. I’d also be sure that your dog won’t sit outside and bark all day if you’re gone. Having a dog door is potentially a very smart idea depending on your circumstances. Whether you end up with a dog door or not, make sure your patio is secure so your pets cannot get out. Try using chicken wire or fencing material to keep them safe in the confines if your space.
Consider the Size/Breed of Your Dog vs. Apartment Size
Depending on your dog’s breed and size, they could need plenty of space to play and enjoy life. You may want to consider a larger apartment if you think it may be the best option for your dog, especially if you have a family. Dogs need alone time too, and you don’t want everyone cramped. This could cause stress and anxiety for all involved.
Be Courteous of Your Neighbors
No one likes a dog that barks all the time – your neighbors will hear it and they will complain! If you’re gone all day and your dog is prone to behaviors like barking, crying or whining, put on some calming music for them while your gone. You can also offer a variety of activities like treat puzzles, a frozen Kong and a ton of exercise in the morning before you leave (check out a list of activities your dog can do if they’re bored). Close blinds that your dog can see out of in case they bark at people or cars. The TV is great, too, so your dog has something to listen to.
Having trouble with those stress induced behaviors such as barking, crying or potty accidents? Please seek the help of a positive reinforcement trainer to get on the right track!
Try to Get a Unit on the First Floor
Most of the time it’s ideal to get a unit on the first floor. It makes taking your dog in and out a lot easier, especially if you have a small, senior or injured dog. Sure, you may have to deal with some noise from your upstairs neighbors, but the accessibility of a ground floor apartment may be worth it to you! (I know it is for me!)
Be a Responsible Pet Parent
Don’t be that guy – clean up after your dog! Many apartment communities make this super easy by already having dog waste pick up stations. There’s really no excuse to be that lazy. I’d also suggest making sure your dog is vaccinated. You never know what they may come in contact with while living in a close vicinity with other people and dogs.
You don’t want to have to owe money for damages at the end of your apartment lease. Clean regularly to keep your home looking nice and smelling clean. If you put the above tips into play, it will decrease the likelihood that your pup will chew up your walls, carpet or furniture.
Wynston and I have a great routine for apartment living. He’s the perfect dog for such a lifestyle because he’s low energy and quiet. We enjoy taking advantage of everything our community has to offer, and I’m glad to see that more apartment companies are recognizing pet parents’ need for more options.
Do you have any tips to share about apartment living with dogs? I’d love to add to this list!