Were you feeling lonely over lockdown and dying to get a little furry pal to make the days go in quicker? Maybe you’d like an excuse to take long walks and get some exercise in? Or maybe you think the kids could use a friend/learn a little responsibility?
Great. But there’s only one problem: you live in an apartment. This can lead to a lot of finger wagging. An apartment is no place for a dog. It’s too small, with no garden, with too many people in the building, etc.
Put the finger away. Keeping a dog in an apartment can be fine, as long as you know what you’re getting into and perhaps put in place some preparation to make sure that your dogs needs are met, you won’t have to worry about keeping them in an apartment.
Talk to the landlord
Unfortunately, this idea might immediately be shut down with a conversation with the landlord. If you are renting a property, you’ll need to know that it is dog friendly. If your landlord puts their foot down and denies you permission to have a dog living in their flat, you’re going to have to accept that.
If they catch you at it, you could receive a fine and it could result in the dog getting taken off you. Say you refuse to give up the dog, that conversation could end with an eviction. They have that right because it’s considered a breach of contract. Do you really want to have that conversation?
Think about the breed
As much as we might want that golden retriever crossed with a bear that you dreamed of, that’s simply not the most practical thing in a small apartment. You want to think about two things: the space they’ll take up and the energy they need to use up.
Smaller and mid-sized breeds are typically best for apartment living, but there are exceptions. Greyhounds, for example, are a large lanky breed known for their energy. They race, after all. But they are also exceedingly lazy. If you want something to just lie there and enjoy a cuddle, think about getting a greyhound. A retired race hound is especially adorable.
Another exception is the smaller breeds with massive amounts of energy, like anything with the term “terrier” involved. Boston, Manchester, Jack Russell, Fox, Border, they’ve all got mountains of energy to expel. The good thing here is that you can let them zoom around the room to expel it if needs be.
Good options for apartment living include basset hounds, bichon fries, bulldogs, corgis, King Charles spaniels, chihuahuas, cocker spaniels, dachshunds, pugs, etc.
Scope out the nearby nature
If you’re currently in possession of a dog and are looking for an apartment to live with them in, take a look around the neighborhood of any potential option. You’re going to want to make sure there are enough parks, fields, or trails nearby that will allow your dog a good stretch of the legs. Scope out any community football fields or stretches of grass that will allow your dog a good roll around. Of course, rolling in the grass can result in some allergies. Check out home remedies for dog allergies here.
Even if you have a place and you’re looking for a dog, take a look around your neighborhood. Are you satisfied that there is enough there to keep your dog amused and running free without danger?
Keep the barking to a minimum
As mentioned, there are in fact other people to consider when you bring a dog home. People are tolerant, up to a point. They won’t begrudge your pup a few barks at the TV or the postman, but if it’s happening a lot, you might get a noise complaint. That’s a problem you’d be better off not having to face, rather than untangling it.
Consider some soundproofing to begin with. You can stick foam panels to your walls to absorb noise, but there are more subtle ways to go about it. Put down carpet, hang long and heavy curtains, and load up on soft furnishing so that barking has less places to bounce off of.
As for your pup, you might need to start crate training. This will be useful for other reasons, such as creating a safe space for your dog, making travelling easier, and easing separation anxiety. Soon, your dog should happily enter their crate while you’re out, so that they aren’t panicking and barking down the building. You can also start training your dog with treats or a command like “quiet” to stop them barking. There is also the concept of a collar. Not a shock collar, but a citronella collar, which are harmless to dogs and non-offensive to humans. It releases a strong (to the dog) odor, which will prompt them to stop barking the way the shock collar is supposed to without the harm.