Things to Consider
There are many things to consider when you live in an apartment and you choose to adopt a dog. First and foremost, does your landlord or condo board allow dogs? If they do allow dogs, are there restrictions on the size or breed? Make sure to consult your lease agreement or condo agreement before you make a decision about adopting a dog.
If your building allows dogs, you should also take into consideration any other pets you may have. For instance, if you have a cat, you might run into trouble when introducing a dog into a small living space.
You will also want to pet-proof your home, especially your windows and balconies. Make sure windows stay closed and patio doors are always secure. When your pet is on the patio, secure him with a leash and harness and never leave him unattended. There are special pet screens that you can purchase from pet and specialty stores that provide an added level of security.
Size of Dog
Size is important when choosing a dog to share your apartment – both the size of the dog and the size of your apartment. If you live in a studio a small dog like a Chihuahua may be perfectly comfortable, but a Labrador Retriever in that same space wouldn’t be quite so practical. On the other hand if you live in a spacious penthouse apartment, medium sized or large dogs may be quite comfortable in your space.
When choosing a dog to adopt, personality traits are important no matter where you live. But when you live in an apartment building with neighbors in very close proximity, you have a special set of circumstances to consider. You don’t want to choose a breed that is prone to barking or howling, especially if you work a full time job. You don’t want to risk alienating your neighbors or worse – getting into trouble with your landlord or condo board.
Some people do not like dogs or may be frightened by dogs – even small breeds. Your relationship with your neighbors could change if you have a dog who doesn’t mind his manners around people in the hallway or elevator. You’ll want to choose a breed that is easy to train and will listen to your commands, even when distracted by the hustle and bustle of apartment living.
Dogs need exercise – even small breeds. When you live in an apartment you must make a commitment to exercise your pet regularly. Two walks per day are necessary to help maintain the health and temperament of your dog. If your dog is a medium or large breed, you will want to try to take longer or more frequent walks than if you have a small breed, but keep in mind even little dogs need exercise.
House training is another important issue to consider when you’re thinking of adopting a dog. If you live in a high-rise without easy access to outdoor space, house training your dog can get tricky. You’ll want to make sure that you prepare yourself for accidents and have a solid plan in place for house training.
Owning a dog is a serious commitment and sharing an apartment with a dog requires an added level of commitment to ensure the happiness, health and security of your pet. But with advanced preparation, you and your dog can share a lifetime of happiness, even in a small space.