Apartment living and dogs often seems like a difficult combination. Between having a landlord, a small space, and a creature that relies on your for its well-being, it can be a daunting idea. The thing is, apartment living and dogs can go together like peanut butter and jelly.
Tips on Apartment Living with a Dog
Although apartments can be small, there’s no reason you can’t have a dog if you want one – unless, of course the landlord doesn’t allow it. There are some considerations to take into account, but if you do that, you should have no problem having a fuzzy friend in your apartment.
The Right Energy Level
The right energy level is the very first thing you should consider when deciding which dog is best for you. If you’re a highly active person, then you might be okay with a terrier or a working breed. However, if you’re gone for long periods of time, or you’re more of a couch potato, you’ll want a low energy breed like an English Bulldog or a Mastiff.
The Right Size
Yes, I just typed out Mastiff in an article about apartment living and dogs. Energy level is really the key when it comes to considering a dog for your apartment. However, after that, you’ll need to consider your apartment size. If you have an apartment on the larger size, dogs like Mastiffs and Great Pyrenees actually make wonderful pets. Although they’re ginormous, their energy level is super low. If you have a smaller apartment, you’ll want to look at dogs from the toy to medium ranged size.
The Right Temperament
In addition to size and energy level, you need to consider personality when picking a dog for apartment living. Even if you have a dog with the right size and energy level, you still need a dog with the right temperament.
When looking at temperament in puppies, seek out the puppy that’s in the middle in every way. It doesn’t rush to you first, but it’s not the last to come out. It’s happy to see you, but not to the point of being overly nippy.
If you’re adopting an adult dog, watch for a dog that looks directly at you and not with its head turned to the side. Again, the middle road is what you’re after here, as well. Also check the cage card to see if the dog is good with your particular situation. For example, is the dog good with kids, housebroken, good with other animals?
One thing to note is that you’ll have to use best judgement if you’re adopting an adult from a shelter. Shelter living can often make the best tempered dog appear cagey or off. If particular dog catches your eye, spend adequate time with it to really get a feel for its temperament.
If at all possible, crate training can be a life saver when it comes to apartment living with dogs. If you train your dog that the crate is a great place to relax, safe, and secure, you can teach it to love being in the crate while you’re out and about. This will ensure that your dog doesn’t come down with a case of the mischiefs and destroy your couch, among other things.
Apartment living with a dog is pretty much the same as living with a toddler. You’ll want to dog proof every part of your apartment. The obvious things are keeping anything you don’t want chewed up off of the floor or the counter. In addition, you’ll want to keep your dog out of any areas that they might be prone to destroy. You want your security deposit back!
Apartment Living with Dogs is Possible
Apartment living doesn’t preclude you from having a dog. In fact, apartment living with a dog in the mix is pretty much like living in your own home. You just need to make a few minor tweaks. Everything I’ve mentioned in this article should help you choose a dog that fits into your lifestyle easily and comfortably.