When it comes to raising a dog, a regular home trumps an apartment in many ways. For one, a home provides easy access to the first floor, which is important for taking your dog out for walks and letting them do their business. Moreover, a home has more distance from the neighbors, preventing frequent complaints over the noise, unlike in an apartment where units are literally right next to each other.
Nevertheless, it is certainly possible to raise a dog comfortably in an apartment despite all of its disadvantages. The key is to prepare thoroughly, which you can do by following these tips:
Choose The Right Dog
Whether you are buying a dog from a breeder or adopting one from the shelter, choose a dog that is right for your space. For starters, consider the size of the dog and think about whether they will have enough space in your apartment. If your apartment is on the small size, a small to medium-sized breed is likely the best option.
More than that, take the dog’s energy level and tendency to bark into consideration. Highly energetic breeds and breeds that tend to bark or howl are typically not suitable for apartment owners. But if you have your mind set on adopting such a breed, it is highly advisable that you sign them up for dog training to curb excessive barking and inappropriate behavior.
Develop A Plan
Before you take your new pet home, you have to plan on how you’re going to get them from your apartment to the first floor, and vice versa. Aside from that, you also have to plan on how you’re going to keep them behaved while you are away from home.
For instance, if your apartment has an elevator, you probably want to train your dog how to behave well in the presence of strangers in case you share the elevator with a neighbor. Until then, expect to take the stairs until your dog has grown accustomed to other people.
Moreover, you also have to have a plan for when you’re going to leave your new dog home alone. Even if they are an infrequent barker, they may still get anxious when you are not around, and this can manifest in poor behavior. A few strategies that you can apply include crate training them, hiring a dog walker, installing a dog camera, or giving them plenty of options for self-entertainment.
Prepare Their Space
Dogs are generally territorial, and in a small apartment, they may have a hard time establishing their “territory” because there is simply not enough space to go around for the both of you. To avoid problems that can stem from you “invading” their territory, set up a small space in the apartment for your new pet. This could be a corner in the living room or maybe a spare closet in the hallway; in any case, clear the space of your belongings to make room for your dog’s stuff.
Once you choose a space and clear it out, place your dog’s bed there, along with toys, blankets, crates, and other things that they can associate as their own. Having such a space can help your pet remain calm and happy even while you are not at home.
Soundproof The Apartment
Even infrequent barkers can still make noise from time to time, and your neighbors may not be too happy with that. That said, consider soundproofing your apartment to deaden the noises from your new pet. Here are some ideas that you can consider:
- Place heavy furniture against walls
- Hang tapestries, artwork, or acoustic panels on the walls
- Fill in the gaps around doors and windows
- Lay down rugs
- Add book shelves
- Hang soundproofing curtains on windows
Get All The Essentials
Stock up on essentials before your new dog arrives. This includes food, bowls, leashes, a dog bed, toys, a crate, collars, puppy pads, and training tools. It is also a good idea to prepare a storage space for all of your dog’s essentials before you take them home, preferably in an easily accessible spot.
Prepare To Get Plenty Of Exercise
Apartment-dwelling dogs need plenty of exercise since they are unlikely to get enough physical activity in a limited space. That said, prepare yourself for frequent walks, trips to the park, play sessions, and other activities to keep your dog well-exercised.
Apartment living is certainly more fun with a furry best friend by your side. To ensure that your dog will be happy and healthy in their new home, follow these preparation tips before you take them home to your apartment.