Golden Retrievers and apartments. They may not be as synonymous as PB&J, but is it safe or even a viable idea to keep this popular dog breed in this type of dwelling?
Although the idea of housing this active dog in an apartment may sound non-plausible, you will be happy to know it is doable…you just need to know how.
Read on for some important & proven tips on keeping your Golden Retriever happy and healthy when living in an apartment.
Plus, some proven tips for raising a GR puppy in an apartment while working.
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Golden Retrievers: Important Facts To Know
Before we “embark” on apartment dwelling with a Golden Retriever, let’s review some important facts about the breed.
First of all, by nature, the Golden is labeled as a “sporting” dog which means it does tend to be very active.
Since this breed makes a superb hunting and service dog (both jobs that require energy) your Golden Retriever will need a moderate amount of exercise each day.
Did you know the GR loves to swim? This is a great way to help keep your Golden in shape and feeling fine!
Third, the GR has a beautiful coat
but that coat also tends to shed a moderate amount of hair. Weekly brushing will be a must-do for the Golden Retriever pet parent.
Fourth, the Golden Retriever does tend to become sad and depressed when left alone for long periods-of-time.
For the mental health of this breed, they shouldn’t be left unattended for more than seven or eight hours.
Now that we know more about this lovable pooch, let’s dig into those top 5 tips for keeping your Golden Retriever in an apartment happy & healthy.
Plus, what about having a Golden Retriever puppy in an apartment?
We’ve covered some tips on that, too!
➨ Looking for a bed for your Golden? Check these top 5 beds for Golden Retrievers
5 Easy Tips for Having a Golden Retriever in an Apartment (That Actually Work)
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Since the Golden Retriever is one of the most popular dog breeds in the United States, it’s unrealistic to think that every pet parent owns a home with a huge backyard for this dog to romp around in. So if you are in love with the Golden and live in an apartment, let’s explore some tips on keeping your fur baby happy and healthy in this dwelling.
(Note, these tips also work if you’re in a small home with a minimal backyard).
Tip # 1 – Exercise, Please
We already know the Golden is well-respected as a hunting and working dog, so exercise is going to be a top priority for the apartment-dwelling GR.
Your Golden will need at least 20 to 30 minutes of vigorous exercise twice-a-day to maintain his weight and stimulate his mind. This may be more difficult to do in an apartment as it’s not as simple as opening the door to a fenced-in backyard.
However, it’s also not impossible.
If you are a jogger, hiker or someone who just loves the great outdoors, you most likely won’t find this requirement a problem.
Set a schedule to exercise your Golden in the morning and again in the evening. This could be before work, at lunch and again after dinner. If you have a neighborhood park nearby, use it to get in a rousing game of fetch or flying disc play.
You may also want to consider doing advanced obedience training, flyball or even obstacle course training with your Golden to further the playtime experience.
Want to set up your own obstacle course? Check out how to make a dog training obstacle course without going broke!
Tip # 2 – Good Food Equals a Healthy Dog
Whether you live in a stand-alone home or an apartment, your Golden Retriever should be getting a well-balanced, nutritional diet.
Thankfully, we now live in an era that provides us with an abundance of choices when it comes to pet food. However, with these options, may also be some confusion as to what’s what in the dog food world.
To help you narrow down your choices you will need to do some label-reading on the side of the dog food bag.
- Look for foods that contain a good quality protein, namely one that names the protein.
- Avoid those foods that use the word “meat” or “meat by-products.”
- These unidentified proteins are labeled as such because they could come from any form of meat such as dead zoo animals, road kill, slaughterhouse rejects or floor scrapings – scary, but true.
- You will also want to avoid those foods that contain corn, wheat, and soy. These serve as nothing but cheap fillers and are often the reason why Goldens develop allergies and skin issues.
Need some ideas to help curb chewing? Check out the Best Dog Bones for Your Golden Retriever!
Tip # 3 – Grooming is Grrrreat!
Got a Golden? Get a brush!
Since this breed has a double coat, it means you will have your work cut out for you when it comes to keeping all that shedding under control. Plus, all that dropped hair may be especially more noticeable in a smaller space such as an apartment.
Professional groomers recommend using a good quality bristle brush and an undercoat rake on your Golden Retriever. These tools will significantly reduce the amount of shedding your GR produces when used on a regular basis.
Grrrreat grooming will also require regular bathing of your Golden. Use a pet-friendly shampoo that is gentle on your pet’s skin and will condition all that long beautiful hair.
The apartment GR will also need to have his toenails trimmed on a regular basis. Overgrown toenails are not only uncomfortable for your pooch, but they can cause pain and gait issues if left unattended.
Lastly, don’t forget about your dog’s smile. Healthy teeth and gums are obtained with daily brushing and dental chews that can reduce plaque and tartar buildup. Remember a healthy mouth equals a happy dog.
Tip # 4 – Can You See Me Now?
Whether you’re a technology-buff or not, you have to admit that these new dog-cam/treat dispensers are rockin’.
Perfect for the apartment dwelling GR, these computerized webcams, such as the
Furbo, allow you to monitor your pet from any location. Plus, you can give ’em a treat and talk to them with the click of a button!
These units not only give you peace-of-mind, but it allows your dog to feel less lonely during those long work days.
Tip # 5 – Play Dates & Dog Walkers, Oh My!
If you are away from your Golden for long hours, then our last tip may be our best tip.
As we mentioned earlier, the GR does need exercise – there’s no way around it – so why not arrange for a playdate or hire a dog walker? These are both excellent options for burning off all that steam your fur baby will accumulate during the day.
And since you’re in an apartment, you probably have no shortage of neighbors. Perhaps there’s a reliable teenager down the hall that wants to earn some extra cash, a friendly senior that would love some company during the day or your dog’s best fur buddy on another floor that would love get together and romp around the park?
Asking these folks for help will get your dog the exercise he needs and will break up his day so, he is less likely to be bored and lonely.
The Golden Retriever Puppy – Tips That Will Get You Through Those Training Days While You’re Working (It Can Be Done)
Whether you’re in an apartment or house, as with any puppy, the Golden will need some extra attention when potty training.
A good rule-of-paw is a puppy can only hold its bladder for one hour per month-of-age.
For example an eight-week-old puppy could hold its bladder for approximately two hours. The good news is the time increases after six months by one hour for every month old. However, it is never wise to leave your dog for longer than eight hours without a bathroom break.
Tip # 1 – Puppy’s Own Safe Space
A useful tip in helping to train your GR puppy while your working is to use the crate system.
Purchase a crate that fits your puppy, but is not too large. Generally, your puppy should be able to stand up, turn around and lie back down inside the kennel.
This measurement provides comfort, but is not so roomy that your puppy will do his business at the back and sleep at the front.
Tip # 2 – Morning Schedule
Our second tip is to be sure to give your Golden puppy plenty of exercise and opportunities in the morning to burn off some steam, eat and go to the bathroom before you leave for work.
Tip # 3 – Could You Do Me a Favor?
If you can’t get home during your lunch break, get a neighbor or family member to pop in to let your puppy out. This is also a good opportunity to have your puppy fed a light meal and allow him to play and to pee.
Tip # 4 – Fun Stuff
Lastly, keep your GR pup from becoming bored and lonely while in his crate with some safe chew toys.
The Kong company makes an excellent unit that can be stuffed with peanut butter – there’s no better way for your pup to pass the time then working all that sticky stuff outta that little hole – unless he’s playing with you, that is…
Having a Golden Retriever puppy or adult dog in an apartment is not a taboo, you just need to be aware of what your fur baby needs.
Regular exercise, a healthy diet, grooming and a helping hand from our techie and human friends and neighbors combined will make living in an apartment a picnic for the well taken care of Golden.
If you are a pet parent with a Golden Retriever in an apartment and have found some helpful ways to keep your fur baby happy, then drop us a line in the comment section.
We’d love to hear from you!