Apartment Living With a Dog Tips for Keeping Your Canine Companion Happy
Are you worried that Fido will feel trapped inside the next apartment that you rent? Have you always wanted to get a dog but worried about how to keep it active in a one-room or two-room apartment? If so, then you need to learn all that you can about apartment living with a dog.
Dogs make very good apartment pets. They're great for helping you maintain an active lifestyle and keeping you company, but how can you ensure they're happy in your unit?
See below for an in-depth guide on how to keep a dog happy in apartment units, even if you live several stories up.
1. Get Them Outside Often
Any time that your dog gets to go outside they'll act as if it's the best thing that ever happened to them. But make no mistake about it, outside time needs to be a common occurrence for your pup.
Going outside keeps them active. It ensures that they're getting enough natural oxygen and also helps them to mix up their day and make the most of the time that they get to spend with you.
Generally speaking, your dog should have no less than an hour outside each day. But what should you do with that time? First, you could go on a walk to ensure that your furry friend is getting enough steps each day.
Here at Acadian Point Apartments, we're proud to offer a Bark Park with an Agility Course as one of our top community amenities. This is a great opportunity for them to hang out with other dogs, run around, and wear themselves out before you leave for work or after you come home at night.
You'll benefit from this as well! Giving Fido time to run around outside will help them to remain calm and work out any pent-up energy that can lead to the zoomies. Bringing your dog outside is another way to get them on a regular bathroom schedule and prevent any accidents from occurring on your bedroom floor.
2. Set Your Dog Up for Success
It's easy for your dog to behave while you're around. After all, you're their favorite person! They're so fixated on spending time with you that they rarely have time to do anything else.
That all changes when you're away. Without their human(s) around, it can be very tempting for your dog to get into all sorts of trouble. The steps you take to help them feel comfortable when you aren't home will go a long way.
First, make sure that your pup is crated while you're gone. While some people fear that it's cruel to crate a dog, the truth is that your dog likes it! It gives them a small space where they can always go to feel secure and safe. They enjoy having it the same way you enjoyed having your room growing up.
When you put them in their crate, be sure to leave them a little treat inside (to incentivize them). Make sure that the crate is at least a half-foot away from anything your dog could try to pull inside the crate while you're gone.
Lastly, once you close the crate, turn your back and walk away. Don't say anything; don't acknowledge them at all. It will help them remain calm! Is this your first-time crate training a dog? Here are 8 easy steps to help you get started:
8 Easy Ways to Crate-Train Your Dog
- Choose the Right Crate. you'll want to get one that's durable, comfortable, and flexible with whatever training you are doing. You don't want to buy a crate that is too big. Depending on how big your puppy is going to get, buy a crate that will fit their adult size.
- Establish a Proper Mindset. You will have to be mindful of when you bring your dog into the crate. If you do it while they're playing, they'll just want to come out and play more. However, if you bring them in when they are calm, they will view the crate as a place they can go to relax. It's advised to start with 10-minute sessions at a time and work your way up from there.
- Keep Your Dog Comfortable. You can keep your furry friend comfortable in their crate by laying down blankets or using a dog bed. However, if your dog is the type to tear up or pee on dog beds, there's nothing wrong with them sleeping on the crate mat. Some dogs actually prefer harder surfaces.
- Reward With Treats! Use positive association to help your dog become accustomed to the crate. By giving them a fun, stimulating toy to play with will help your dog get accustomed to longer periods of time in the crate, and make it enjoyable.
- Let Them Out. Your dog needs time outside the crate to play, eat, and use the bathroom. When you are home, it's best to let your dog out so they can stretch their legs and relax alongside you.
- Keep Your Dog Naked. Your dog should never have a collar, tag, or anything on when they're in the crate. If their collar gets stuck it could strangle them.
- Start out Small. Once you are ready to give your dog more time in the crate, do so in small steps. Start out by grabbing coffee and then you can work your way up to hours at a time. It's also a good tip to listen to your dog on a camera or monitor so you can see how they behave while you are away. Are they pacing, whining, calm? Your dog may cry loudly while locked up which may upset your neighbors.
- Be Patient. Crate training can take a few months before you start seeing success with your furry friend. Being patient and sticking to a routine will help your dog become better accustomed to the crate!
3. Keep Your Apartment Organized
We're willing to bet you weren't expecting to see this one listed. As it turns out, humans aren't the only ones that enjoy a clean, spaced-out living area.
When a living space is too cluttered, our minds tend to become too overstimulated, which causes our brain to produce more cortisol (the stress hormone). Our dogs feel the same level of stress from disorganization, which can be exceptionally risky if they're left home alone with it. This is when they might decide to take a peek into the trash can.
Make sure to declutter your apartment and set up your furniture to allow for as much open space as possible.
Place their toys in a toy bin in a specified area. This will give them more familiarity with your apartment and help them feel more comfortable.
4. Give Them Places to Lay
Whether or not you allow your dog to lay on the furniture is up to you. However, if you decide to train them not to jump on the sofa, then it's even more important that you provide them a soft place to lay.
First, invest in a dog bed for your furry friend. Find the Goldilocks fit (not too big, not too small) and it will quickly become their go-to spot for personal space.
If your apartment has primarily hard floors, then invest in a few rugs or mats to give your dog more options for places to lay.
5. Establish Eating Times
Too many dog owners keep the dog food and water bowls on the ground 24/7. While this allows your pup to eat or drink whenever they need to, it can also invite some unwanted pests into the house.
Fortunately, dogs are habitual eaters. Just like anything else, they can be trained to eat whenever works best for your schedule.
Simply lay down the food and water bowls whenever you're about to have breakfast, lunch, dinner for yourself and they'll quickly catch on. When they're done, you can store the bowls away and clean up the mess.
You can also buy automatic pet feeders from your local pet store. With these, you can set a destinated time for your pup to eat, which comes in handy if you're going away on vacation or have long workdays.
Is it Bad for Dogs to Live in Apartments?
No matter the size of your dog, big or small, they should be comfortable living in an apartment. in order to make their experience as positive as possible, there are little things you can do every day to keep them happy and healthy. If you have a big dog in a small apartment, here are a few things you can do to ensure their happiness:
- Get Them Plenty of Exercise
- Give Them Their Own Space
- Regular Vet Visits
- Establish a Routine
- Make Training a Priority
- Consider an Apartment on a Lower Level
Apartment Living With a Dog: Use These Tips
Now that you have seen an in-depth guide on apartment living with a dog, be sure to use all of these dog apartment hacks to your benefit.
If you're looking to add some greenery to your apartment, then be sure to read this article for a list of easy plants to grow in apartments. To get started, call us directly at 337-455-6013 and we will be happy to assist you further.