Have you been considering getting a puppy but you live in an apartment building? Well, it is not always easy to determine whether it is a good idea to bring a puppy home.
Well, I am going to discuss the factors you must consider before getting a pup. If you are wondering if puppies can live in apartments, I am going to help you navigate through it all.
Before I continue, I must mention that puppies are high energy creatures. In most cases, they need a lot of space to walk around and release the pent up energy. However, this does not mean that puppies cannot live in apartments.
With the proper plan, it is going to be pretty enjoyable to have a puppy around. Let us quickly jump to the first things first:
Factors to consider when getting a puppy to live in an apartment
Now, the first thing you should do is find out whether there are any restrictions in your apartment building. Talk to the landlord and find out if pets are acceptable.
If you need to sign any documents, do it and follow protocol. Once you have obtained the necessary permissions, then it is time to get to it.
Identify your preferred dog breed
We all have different needs when we are looking for puppies to keep. However, you may not enjoy the freedom to have any breed in your apartment. This is because different dog breeds have different personalities and temperaments.
For instance, you cannot go for a herding or hunting breed. These breeds usually have high energy levels and the apartment might be a little small for him. Think about the long term plans for you and your dog.
Instead, go for the calm, lower energy puppy. Smaller dogs can comfortably stay in a small space as compared to the larger breeds.
Also, some dog breeds back more than others. Beware of this as you do not want to cause trouble with your neighbors. For instance, some dogs will bark at the slightest noise nearby. Well, go for a less noisy pup to maintain peace.
Your apartment features
Your residency matters when it comes to adopting puppies. Therefore, you must take the features of your apartment into consideration. This could be about his safety, training as well as exercises for the puppy.
My ideal apartment when you have a puppy is closer to the exit. As I have mentioned above, an apartment is much smaller as considered to a home. But for various reasons, not all of us have a house.
For this reason, you will need to think about potty training your puppy, since you are going to share the same limited space. Go for an apartment on the first floor, especially if you have no elevator. This will make it easy for you to get him to potty outside.
In addition, go for an apartment with a balcony. In fact, this provides adequate space for a potty area for your puppy. It is always important to have a backup plan for house training in the case of an emergency.
An elevator is especially important to get you down fast as well as for your puppy. Most puppies cannot climb stairs so you will have to carry him. An elevator changes that for you.
As I previously indicated, your residency matters when bringing a puppy home. The only advantage you have over this fact is that puppies adapt to changes fast. However, if you live in a noisy neighborhood, this could be a problem.
A lot of noises, for instance, a busy street, could stress out your new puppy. Given that he will take some time to get used to the new environments, you may consider moving to a quieter area. Later on, I am going to highlight how to desensitize your puppy to different noises.
Training your puppy for apartment
Having considered the above factors, I am sure you have come to a conclusion. So you already have it all figured out but prepare to train your pup.
Puppies from a rescue shelter may experience trouble adjusting to living in apartments. Thereby, you must be patient and be willing to help your new puppy.
So where exactly do we start?
Take some time off work
When you finally decide to get a puppy, consider taking some time off work. This way, you will be able to train and help your new puppy settle in. You need to prepare his place, probably put up his crate in your bedroom.
Note that your puppy might experience stressful events due to the sudden change of residence. If you are around for the first few days, it will help build trust with him. Now, puppies like to follow their owners around. Therefore, living in an apartment is not entirely a bad thing.
Even if you have to work, ensure you spend a lot of time with your pup. Bonding with your puppy should be your priority.
Establish a schedule
This should be the second thing you do to help your puppy settling in. Now, while puppies can live comfortably in apartments, they also require a lot of physical stimulation. It is because they often have a lot of pent up energy.
Establishing a schedule will help you adapt to having a pet now. You need to make sure that it goes hand in hand with your schedule, especially if you work. Remember that you cannot leave your puppy alone for long periods.
The schedule should include mealtime, play and exercise time. For instance, you may schedule breakfast time alongside yours. Set aside some time to exercise your puppy. Take a walk every morning and evening. You can also schedule walks with a dog walker, should you be too busy.
Note that puppies have high energy levels and may need a lot more exercise than adult dogs. This schedule should remain a daily routine until your puppy gets used to it.
Start house training immediately
Start house training immediately you get your puppy home. It is the most important thing you can do, especially when you live in an apartment. Luckily for you, puppies are a bit more receptive, which means it is not going to be as complex to house train him.
I suggest you go for crate training. You can set up a place for him to go to the balcony of your apartment. Note that house training is going to take some time. Also, puppies have smaller bladders. This means that they need to go to the potty place every hour.
It is why you might need to take some time off work. During this time, monitor and study your puppy closely. This way you can be able to realize when he is most likely to potty. I have talked about the methods to house train a puppy before.
Remember to remain patient through the training process. The key is to remain consistent until your puppy understands where and when to go to the potty. During this time, it is best to keep your puppy in the crate at all times unless it is playing or exercise time.
Also, use tasty treats and verbal praises to reward your puppy every time he gets it right. It will encourage good behavior.
Purchase puppy toys
I talked about puppies in the apartment getting stressed earlier. Well, I must emphasize that your puppy’s emotional health counts, especially during the first few days in your home. Assuming that you have a low-moderate energy puppy, he can still get stressed because of the small space.
Besides stress, your puppy can also suffer anxiety, loneliness, and boredom. Whether you are going to be at home or not, I insist on purchasing toys. Get a few interesting and exciting dog toys and teach him how to play with them.
Not only are puppy toys entertaining but provide distractions for your puppy. This will keep your puppy from engaging in destructive behavior.
Get high-quality food (See prices on Amazon)
I suggest that you speak with your vet about the food to feed your puppy. Most commercial dog foods are healthy and safe to consume. Consult with your vet about the amount and frequency to feed your puppy.
In most cases, feeding her at least four times a day, with treats in between. If you are considering introducing raw or any other diet for your puppy, get your vet’s view first. Exercise caution when feeding your puppy. Overfeeding or underfeeding him will cause stress and discomfort.
Major challenges of puppies that live in apartments
It is likely that you are going to bond with your puppy quickly. Puppies who live in apartments tend to get used to their owners quite fast. However, I am going to outline some of the challenges that you might encounter while raising your puppy in an apartment.
Puppies can cause you trouble with your neighbors because of excessive barking. Unfortunately, you will have to deal with it for the first few nights. Your puppy could cry because he is in a new environment and it takes some time to get used to it.
Well, I urge you to pay attention to your puppy. Does he seem to be uncomfortable? It could be the reason why he is constantly barking. Talk to your neighbors, especially if you are not home all day. Get to know whether he has been misbehaving all day long.
Excessive barking could be as a result of various reasons. For instance, boredom, separation anxiety and stress could be the reason why your puppy won’t shut up. Should you receive complains from your neighbors, you need to address the problem as soon as possible.
One major challenge you are going to face is to learn indoor exercise. When you live in an apartment, it means that you do not have a backyard to run and exercise your puppy. However, take some time and learn indoor exercises with your puppy.
This is going to be helpful because you may not be able to go outside for exercises every day. Besides, you need to burn those extra calories that make your puppy active.
One disadvantage of puppies who live in apartments is that you cannot control noisy buildings. For instance, if your neighbor throws a party every weekend, your puppy might act up now and then.
However, do not worry as you can be able to desensitize your puppy to these noises. Also, I suggest you start introducing him to other people as soon as possible. Since you live in an apartment, you do not want him barking at every stranger in the street.
On this note, I must mention that dogs have a strong sense of hearing. Therefore, it is possible that he might experience a few disturbed days and nights at first. He can hear people walking past your door and every other slight noise.
However, using the desensitization method, your puppy will adapt to hearing these noises and minimize his reaction.
Puppies can live in apartments comfortably. However, they might require a little more attention than normal. At the same time, an apartment is smaller than a home. This means that these puppies may not have enough room to play, explore and exercise.
Therefore, you must come up with ways to make sure that your puppy gets all of these things. Learn some tricks you can do to provide mental and physical stimulation for your puppy. The puppy toys are also going to be of help to keep him busy and stimulated.
Make sure you set aside some time to play with your puppy. Not only will it keep him active but also form a stronger bond with you. As I mentioned earlier, puppies love spending time with their owners.
Also, provide enough food for your puppy. It is essential that he feels as comfortable as possible when living with you.
Lastly, puppies can live in apartments but you need to be patient and cautious with him. Keep him occupied to limit destructive behavior. I suggest you take some time from work to help him adjust to the new changes.
Do not be scared to adopt a puppy simply because you live in an apartment. If the landlord has no problem with it, I root for you to adopt one. He is not only going to provide a company but you will have a best friend in him.