If you’ve just moved into an apartment unit or planning to do so in the near future, you might be wondering whether doing so will mean giving up your love for dogs. If that’s something you’re worried about, you can rest easy. Keeping a dog in your unit is totally possible. A bit of planning, some homework and, perhaps, a little preparation will however be necessary.
First Things First – Are Dogs Allowed In My Unit?
Some lessors, landlords or body corporates might have by-laws forbidding residents of their units from keeping any pets, while others could place restrictions on the types of breeds you’re allowed to keep. Before you settle on a unit, it’s a good idea to first confirm that dogs are allowed in the building. Once you have the by-laws out of the way, now you can get into the nitty-gritty of keeping a happy and healthy dog in your apartment unit.
Here’re five important tips for living with your dog in a unit:
1. The Breed Matters
Even when your landlord does not restrict the dog breeds you can keep in your flat, it’s still something you should consider because not all dog breeds fare well in “restricted” spaces. The size of the breed doesn’t matter as much as the personality.
Large dogs that have low energy levels such as Mastiffs, Pyrenees, Saint Bernards, Newfoundlands and the Great Dane are great for keeping in units. On the other hand, small canines like basset hounds and terriers can annoy neighbours with their shrill, loud barks. It’s, therefore, very important that you do some research to find a dog breed that easily fits the apartment lifestyle.
2. Create A Space For Your Dog
With lots of unfamiliar things – noises, smells, and people – dogs can find it difficult to relax in a unit. Creating a personal space for your dog where they can relax and wind down will help tremendously. Find a corner where you can put your dog’s things such as a dog bed, their favourite toys as well as food and water bowls.
If your dog needs to be kept in a crate, make sure that the crate is as comfortable as possible and situated at an area designated for your mutt. Crate training can be especially useful if your dog is having a bit of a difficult time adjusting to the new environment.
3. Get Your Dog Into A Routine
Dogs do well when they have a routine to follow, more so when you’re living in a unit where they can’t go out whenever they require to go to the bathroom. You should try to take your pooch out for a walk about three times a day (morning, midday and evening) at the same time each day so that they know when to expect it.
You should also feed your pet at regular times each day. This way you’ll have your dog’s food metabolism working around your schedule and, therefore, won’t have to wait around for him to go to the bathroom whenever you take him out.
4. Find Someone To Help Out During The Day
If you’ll not be around much during the day, it would be wise to find someone (a friend, family, neighbour or pet sitter) to check on your mutt during the day and perhaps take them out for an afternoon bathroom break and walk.
5. Create Playtime For Your Dog
Create indoor playtime for your furry friend to make up for lost outdoor playtime. Obstacle courses, hide and seek, fetch, and practising tricks are all fun games you can play indoors with your pet for bonding and exercise. It also helps your pooch get comfortable in the new home.
Additionally, you should also arrange play dates for your dog with other dogs as it’s beneficial to his wellbeing. Find a fellow dog owner with a similar-sized breed that you can walk your dogs with or plan dog play dates with.
Although having to contend with smaller spaces is part of city living, it doesn’t mean that you cannot have a canine friend to keep you company. As long as you are mindful of your living space and, more importantly, your pooch, sharing your unit with your companion pet should be an awesome experience.