Congrats on your recent decision of becoming a furbaby parent! This is an exciting time of name-picking, toy-gathering and treat-giving for your new four-legged addition to the family. Or you already have your furry bundle of joy! Whether you already have your Fido or are taking weekly visits to the local shelter, your living space is something that will help or hinder the happiness of your furry friend. But that does not mean that living in an apartment is an end-all be-all when it comes to owning pets in a small living space. That just means you will have to prep, plan, and consider a little more.
Tips for life with pets in an apartment:
- Consider the breed of the pet. Make sure to take into consideration size, energy levels, and exercise needs. For example, Great Danes need more space but have less exercise needs than a Border Collie.
- If you have a breed that needs to burn energy make sure to be prepared for the time commitment this will bring. Look around your neighborhood for any dog parks, forest trails for walks or even puppy centers!
- Consider getting a dog walker for high energy breeds or puppies that need more frequent potty breaks.
- My two favorites are Rover or Wag. Both offer walking and boarding services and are safe and reliable! For walks, you can either pick a time or plan an on-demand walk. Make it 30 mins or an hour. The walker lets themselves in via a lock box (wag sends you one for free when you sign up!), takes your pup for their walk, and leaves them back in the house for you to come home. Boarding is also an option through these two apps!
- Routine is very important for dogs. Getting them on a schedule of potty breaks will help them hold in till you get back! Fun fact: dogs can tell time by smell. As you leave, you leave a smell behind too. The longer you are away the more your smell fades and by the strength of this smell, a dog can get an idea of when you will be home again.
- Have plenty of toys for your animal to play with for them to stay occupied and distracted. No one likes coming home to ripped out couches and an energized pup.
- Consider leaving a seat for them by the window. Dogs and cats love to watch the birds, people, and other dogs come by!
- If you have an anxious animal, leave your sweater behind! Your smell will comfort them in your time away.
- Leave them with some brain games, toys, or treats. An example:
- Get a properly sized kong toy, put some peanut butter or doggy butter on the inside and freeze it! You can even throw in some blueberries for them to pick out. Freezing the treat creates a long-lasting treat to keep them busy.
- Make sure to take a lap around before leaving. Hide away all leftovers or anything else your pet might get into. Open trash is a common favorite for animals to stick their heads in and make a mess.
- Is your puppy or kitten prone to tearing up furniture or walls? Leave them in a properly sized crate but for a shorter period of time than you would a free-roaming dog.