According to the National Multifamily Housing Council, more than 36% of Americans live in rental-occupied units. With an estimated 90 million dogs living with U.S. families, invariably many of these pups will live in an apartment at some point in their life. While there is nothing inherently wrong with renting an apartment with a pooch, it can be stressful for a dog if the right precautions aren’t taken. This is true even for smaller breeds if you don’t take time to meet your dog’s needs. Here are a few ways that apartment living impacts your dog and ways to mitigate any adverse effects.
Lack of Outdoor Space
Have you ever spent too much time inside and got a bit stir-crazy? Dogs can feel the same way. Apartments often lack the outdoor space that allows your dog to get some fresh air and stretch their legs. If you are gone for most of the day, this can lead to bad dog behavior like chewing and stress-induced bowel movements.
You can reduce these negative behaviors by ensuring your dog is getting enough outdoor exercise before and after you leave. Make sure to get out for a long walk at least once or even twice a day. This is in addition to taking your dog outside to use the restroom. If you have an enclosed balcony or patio, install a doggy door to allow your pup to go in and out when you are home, giving him some time to enjoy sunbathing during the day.
Lack of Socialization
Neighborhoods with single-family homes often have access to local dog parks, while apartments are less likely to have wide-open spaces. The lack of dog-on-dog interaction can leave your pup lacking the socialization he needs to thrive.
You may have to go out of your way to ensure your dog can mingle with others. Get to know your neighbors who are also dog owners and plan playdates or walks together. Not only is this socialization good for your dog, but it is excellent for you as well!
Many apartments limit the breed of dogs that renters can own. Most commonly restricted breeds include Pit Bulls, German Shepherds, Doberman Pinschers and other large breeds over a certain weight. While many large dogs are fantastic pets, there are a few aggressive incidents that have given them a bad reputation. Apartments are looking to limit liability for dog-related incidents, so they often restrict the type of dog they accept. If you are looking for an apartment, make sure to inquire about any breed or weight restrictions and additional fees.
Apartment living can be dog-friendly if you give your pup the exercise and socialization they need to thrive in a more compact environment.