These days, more and more people are passing on houses in favour of apartment living. They’re small, easy to maintain, and cheaper than houses – which is a real win in our price-drunk housing market. For people with pet cats, birds, fish, or guinea pigs, unit living is a simple prospect. For Dog Owners, however, it can pose a few problems.
Sitcoms raised us all to believe that our apartments would rival small town houses in size. In truth, most apartments are too small to give your pooch the space they’d like. Beyond that, with no backyard at their disposal, your furry friend can turn stir crazy when left alone. There’s also the matter of their barking. When your dog barks in a house, your neighbour may barely notice it. When they bark in an apartment, you can have neighbours on four sides yelling “Keep in down in there!”
None of this means you can’t own a pup in a flat. In fact, if you follow the right steps, your pooch can be just as happy living on the 16th floor. By applying the pointers below, you’ll be able to give your dog the ritzy apartment life they deserve!
Make your apartment dog-friendly
Units often lack a couple of the key components that canines require. One is an absence of space. Another is a lack of grass or soil on which to relieve themselves. While you can’t do much to create extra space (more on that later), you CAN give them a patch of grass for bathroom business. Buying a Pet Loo is an easy option, and can be kept in the toilet, laundry, or balcony.
Training your dog to use the Pet Loo is also a fairly simple process. Simply lead them to the Pet Loo whenever they need to go, then reward them with a treat once they’re done. At first they may make a few mistakes, and leave a mess around the apartment. However, once they come to think “Pet Loo now=treat later”, you’ll have set a trend that won’t break.
Bust the apartment bark
When you’re an apartment-dwelling Dog Owner, you’ll come to fear the sound of your dog barking. If the neighbours hear too much of it, they might complain to the body corporate. And if the body corporate hear many complaints, they might make life difficult for you and your dog.
You’ll never stop your pooch from barking altogether. However, you can keep excessive barking to a minimum. For more info, read our blog post on stopping your dog from barking too much.
Keep them busy when you’re at home
While you may not be able to play fetch in a 60m2 flat, you can still keep your furry friend’s mind active. If you hide dog treats in easy-to-reach places, you’ll send your pooch on a treasure hunt around your apartment. In addition to giving them a workout, this will also encourage them to explore their new home.
Tug-of-war is also great energy-burner; just make sure you don’t let your pup win. In fact, there are a range of indoor games you can play that don’t require much space.
Keep them busy when you’re out
How your dog handles being alone in the apartment will depend on their size, temperament, and energy levels. As a general rule, though, you can expect your pup to struggle if left on their own for too long. With no-one to keep them occupied, and no space in which to roam, they can begin to feel trapped.
For periods of an hour or less, many dogs can be left to their own devices in a flat. For longer stints, however, it’s worth booking them into Doggy Day Care. Failing that, an hour-long walk with a Dog Walker can break up the day for them. The exercise will also tire them out, which will make them much more willing to relax in their confined quarters.
Do you want to give your apartment-dwelling pup the best diet around? Sign up to Mad Paws Dinner Bowl!