We’ve all heard a friend say, “I’d love to get a dog, but I live in an apartment” or “it’s cruel to get a dog when you live in an apartment in the city.” While the apartment lifestyle certainly can be more difficult with a pet, it does not have to be restricting and should never reach the point of “cruelty.”
Here are 3 relatively simple steps one can take to make their pet comfortable in their urban, apartment-dwelling lifestyle.
- Step 1: Adjust your schedule
Before bringing a dog into a new apartment, be sure to map out a specific schedule you will be able to keep during the workweek. Your dog’s anxiety will be lessened when you have to leave for work if they know you’ll be coming back at a certain time. Maintaining consistency in your dog’s day-to-day schedule is the best way to comfort him. For example, try to feed, walk and take your dog outside at a set time and in a specific order each morning and evening.
- Step 2: Get plenty of walks
If you have a job that requires you to be away for many hours at a time, it is crucial that you make time to walk your dog before you leave for work and after you get home. Ideally, each of these walks should be at least 30 minutes. If possible, jog for one of these outings! If your job requires you to be away for several hours at a time, hire a dog walker to let your pup out during the day. If that’s a bit outside of your budget, see if you can pay a friend to walk your pet during the day.
- Step 3: Doggy proof your apartment
You’ve most likely heard of “baby proofing” a home, but doggy proofing is just as important for your dog’s safety and comfort! First and foremost, be sure that anything that could harm your dog (chocolate, pills, human food, etc.) is kept in a secure place that cannot be reached by your dog no matter what, even if he jumps up on the counter while you’re at work. Always be sure to leave water out for your dog and also a place for him to use the restroom. Newspaper left in a tiled area works fine, but you can also buy potty pads at most pet suppliers. Lastly, think about your dog’s comfort in your apartment, just as you would for a friend. Make sure he has a comfortable place to take a nap and plenty of toys to play with. Kong Dog Toys are recommended for keeping your dog distracted for long periods of time. Speak to your pet supplier about dog toys made specifically for mind stimulation when your pet is alone. Also, be sure that the temperature is suitable for your dog. If you feel warm in your apartment, your dog will feel twice as hot! Be sure to leave out a fan on hot days (if you don’t have air conditioning) and warm blankets when it’s cold out.
Now that you have the basics under your belt, you can relax knowing that your dog is safe and comfortable at home!