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A guide to apartment dogs

Boston Terriers make excellent apartment dogs

Boston Terriers make excellent apartment dogs

A guide to apartment dogs

Tristan Hoag

By Tristan Hoag on January 16, 2018

Everything you need to know to make an apartment dog's life comfortable

When you live in an apartment, dogs are a complicating factor. Whether you're trying to find the right dog for your apartment, or are looking for the perfect apartment for you and your dog, this article will help you keep track of the things you should consider.

Picking an apartment dog

If you live in an apartment and plan on getting a dog, you have the easier task. The best apartment dogswill share certain traits, and knowing them will help you to choose the right dog.

  • Size: The size of a dog isn’t as big factor for apartment life as you would expect. Unless the apartment is very small and the dog is big enough to cause traffic jams, behavior is more important. Weighing over 100 pounds, Bull Mastiffs are big dogs for apartments, but their calm and lazy nature still makes them a good choice.
  • Energy: Bullmastiffs make good apartment dogs because their energy level is low. Dogs that prefer to spend their days sleeping or resting will adapt to the demands of the lifestyle, and cause fewer problems with neighbors.
  • Noise: If your dog spends the entire day barking at every noise in the building, it won’t be long before your neighbors are petitioning the landlord! Golden Retrievers are an excellent example of a breed that is known for being quiet.
  • Bathroom habits: It is a good idea to think about the kind of bathroom needs a dog will require, and whether your apartment and surrounding area will accommodate them.
  • Property damage: Whenever you have a pet in an apartment, you have to expect property damage. When you are considering a dog, take a moment to look into those big, sad eyes and ask yourself, “How much of my apartment will you destroy?”

It is always a good idea to research the breed of any dog you're considering to be sure that you are choosing a dog that will fit with your lifestyle.

Picking a dog apartment

While it's tough to find perfect apartment dogs, it can be much harder to find the right apartment for your dog.

  • Search for pet-friendly apartments: Most apartment locator sites let you limit your search to apartments that accept pets, and the American Humane Society and PETA offer resources to help you find pet friendly apartments.
  • Expect a pet deposit and additional fees: Landlords have to take into account the expenses associated with renting to pet owners. This usually takes the form of an additional security deposit to cover damages, or a monthly discretionary expense such as pet rent.
  • First floor and yard for bathroom breaks: Consider how the layout and location of the apartment will impact your schedule. You won’t want to climb down three sets of stairs when your dog has a bathroom emergency!
  • Be proactive with the landlord: It will ultimately be up the landlord to decide if your pet will be allowed, so take the initiative to show that you are a responsible pet owner. Some ways to do this include:

1. Ask about the details of the pet policy.
2. Have proof of registration and vaccination.
3. Consider taking out pet owner’s insurance.
4. Set up a chance for the landlord to meet your dog.

Raising a dog in an apartment

Regardless of which came first, the apartment or the dog, the way you manage your pet will have the biggest impact on your apartment life. Here are some of the things you should consider when sharing an apartment with a dog.

  • Dedicate a space: Set up your dog’s bed and toys in one space, and protect the floor in the area. By focusing your apartment dog’s activities here, you can reduce property damage in the rest of the apartment.
  • Bathroom routine: Maintaining a consistent potty schedule will help to avoid accidents in the apartment. Some good dog breeds for apartments can be trained to use a litter box, simplifying the bathroom schedule.
  • Exercise schedule: Even a low energy dog will need to be walked every day. A dog that has been properly exercised will be more likely to relax at home, and less likely to take out frustrations on your doors, floors, and furniture.
  • Desensitization training or white noise: Desensitization training will keep your dog from reacting to random noises when you're away, which can cause problems in an apartment building. If a training program isn’t your style, leaving a fan or a television on will help to drown out some of the ambient noise.
  • Daycare: Another good solution is to enroll your dog in a daycare program. This will let your dog burn off energy, socialize and – most importantly – be out of the apartment when you aren’t there to supervise!
  • Neighborly relations: Another good idea is to maintain open communication with your neighbors, to help resolve problems before people get angry.

The real secret to sharing your apartment with a dog is to be proactive and solve problems before they start. Taking the time to research and communicate at each stage will make your apartment dog's life the best it can be.

And if you still have any questions about the best apartment dogs, the Experts on JustAnswer.com are available to you 24/7!

Do you have any tips for keeping a dog in an apartment? Share them in the comments!