Author: Julia at Dogs Planet
Regardless of how close you are to your dog, living together in a confined, urban apartment will inevitably pose a set of challenges. In order for all members of your family to live comfortably, you will need to find a way to overcome these challenges, in a way that suits both humans and dogs.
As the owner in the relationship, you will need to make sure the dog knows his place, and at the same time has all the space they need to be a dog. Here are some ideas on how to make living with your furry roommate better.
Choose the Right Breed
If you are thinking of adopting a dog, you should really take your living quarters into consideration. Keep in mind – not all dogs handle living in a confined space equally. It will mostly depend on the dog’s energy levels and size.
Some breeds simply handle life in a confined space better than others. You want to look for a calm dog breed that fits into the space, and that won’t get the zoomies too often, so as not to disturb your neighbors. You also want to ensure they don’t feel trapped and claustrophobic, so do some research before bringing a pet home.
Some of the breeds you might consider getting if you live in a small apartment are: thePug, Mastiff, Chihuahua, Boston Terrier or the French Bulldog.
If you would like to choose a larger dog, and you have a bit more space in your apartment, you could go for the Great Dane. While they are certainly one of the largest breeds, they are also very laid back, calm and easygoing, and for this reason, make great roommates.
Provide Plenty of Outdoor Exercise
Regardless of how well your dog handles living indoors, they still need to enjoy outdoor activities. You have to make sure your dog is getting his daily walks as well as some playtime. Your pet needs to have social interactions with other dogs or animals too, so try to find a dog park to take them to. If you have neighbors or friends with dogs, you may organize a little playdate for your pets.
Your dog should be getting some exercise twice a day, in the morning and in the evening. Ideally, one of these routines will be amore vigorous one, and the other can involve a slower-paced walk.
Playing fetch or hide and seek are also a great choice, and if your dog is a good swimmer, make sure to take them to a body of water as often as you can too.
Provide Indoor Pastimes
Time spent indoors should also be filled with activities for your dog. If not, your pet may become bored and unhappy, and no walking in the park can remedy that. Bored dogs are prone to barking, chewing furniture, and toileting around the house.
As already mentioned, your dog should be getting their fair share of daily workouts. If you are unable to take them for a walk and exercise outdoors, it may be a good idea to make something up while inside.
Try to set up an obstacle course, or just play a mini-fetch game indoors. You can also just roll around with them, or play an indoor game of hide and seek. Teaching them new commands will also count as mental exercise, and you can come up with all kinds of interesting tricks.
Create a Doggy Corner
Since your dog will be spending a fair amount of time indoors, it is always good to set up a nice and cozy spot for them, in which they can rest. Try to set up a bed with pillows and blankets, a bowl of water, and even add some toys. This is a spot where your dog should feel relaxed and undisturbed, so try to respect their privacy, and don’t disturb them when they retreat here.
Make Sure Your Dog Knows Who’s the Boss
It is very important to eradicate all unwanted behavior your dog might start to display, as soon as it starts to creep up. Remember, your apartment – your rules. You should start training your dog how to behave indoors as soon as they arrive.
Set up a rewards and punishments system and stick to it no matter what. This will help them better understand what is expected of them, and they will be much better behaved.
Establish a Routine
As long as you have a routine during the day, your dog will get used to a certain pattern of behavior.
For example, try to give them their meals at the same time of the day. Teach them when to expect lunch and dinner, and their metabolism will adjust, meaning that they won’t have food cravings throughout the day.
A routine time for walking will also be much appreciated, as will a bedtime one. Focus on doing the same things in the same order before each activity, and they will soon learn what to expect.
Cuddling is Part of the Routine!
The best thing you can do to make your dog feel comfortable in an apartment is providing plenty of love and attention. Don’t take it too far though, as you want your dog to be perfectly fine on their own, and able to amuse themselves. However, make them a part of your everyday routines, be they watching TV or cleaning, and the time you spend together will be much more enjoyable.