So, you’ve decided to take the next step in your life and buy your first apartment or maybe your two-story house with the big backyard and pool has gotten a little hard to handle and you want something cosy.
Whatever the reason may be, keep in mind that it isn’t just yourself looking for a home but your four-legged friend too. Let’s face it, they are the king or queen of the house!
If you are planning on moving in an apartment with your pooch there are some things to keep in mind as it will be a big change for not only yourself, but for them too. Make sure you are prepared to make some small adjustments to ensure both you and your canine are happy and safe in your new lifestyle.
As most apartments are small with little roaming room for pets to explore, your daily exercise routine may be extended. This is because your furry friend won’t have the luxury of a garden or backyard to burn off that extra energy.
First thing to consider is what breed of dog you have. Obviously, your exercise routine will differ from keeping a Chihuahua in an apartment than say a German Shepherd which will need a little more than a short stroll to the park. Other high energy breeds such as border collies and cattle dogs wouldn’t be recommended for apartment living due to their high energy and exercise requirements.
However, if you are set on getting a larger breed there are a few exceptions. You might not believe it, but Great Dane’s can be great apartment dwellers due to their relaxed and rather laid back nature giving them their nickname ‘lounge lizards’. A short stroll to the park every day and a spot next to you on the couch would do just fine for them.
Smaller dogs don’t need as much exercise but still do need that daily stroll around the block to keep them healthy and happy. Some breeds to consider would be Chihuahuas, Poodles and Maltese Terriers. Mostly because they are considered ‘velcro’ breeds and tend to love nothing more than a spot on your lap next to the heater watching their favourite TV show.
Always make sure you have lots of items to keep your dog busy when leaving the house. Boredom busters such kongs filled with their favourite treat is great as well as their favourite toys. Chewable bones are also good however keep them to a minimum as some bones like raw hides and pigs ears have a high fat content and should be given only on occasion. Without these boredom busters you are likely to come home to a house make over and a stressed out pooch.
Giving these treats and toys not only promotes excitement, but is excellent for energy draining fun for your pet before they hear the excitement of your keys jiggling in the door. By doing this regularly your pet will be too occupied to miss you too much and will be more relaxed throughout the day.
Over the Counter Medication
If you’ve tried everything above and find it isn’t working for you there is an alternative option. Adaptil is a safe relaxant for dogs and can be used to make travel, visits to groomer or being home alone less stressful. Its convenient spray bottle makes it easy to use and apply especially when you’re on the go. To use just spray Adaptil using 8-10 pumps about 15 minutes prior to travel or leaving the house on your dog’s bedding, inside crates, in the car or kennels. If you have any concerns regarding Adaptil please call your local vet and feel free to ask any questions you may have.
So, it’s good news for all the apartment dwellers out there that wish to own a furry friend. If you are willing to put in the time and commitment, a dog CAN be kept in an apartment and still be as healthy and happy as any other pet. If you have any concerns please don’t hesitate to call your local vet and ask them any questions you may have.
Other Pet alternatives
If you’re not set on getting a dog but are still looking for a pet, there are other alternatives that make great apartment dwellers.
If you’re looking for something a little more relaxed and independent yet will still cuddle up to you on the couch, why not have a furry feline as a roommate?
Cats are usually quieter and less active than a dog, especially if you don’t have the time to go for a walk every day. A nice scratching post, a litter tray, a few cat friendly toys and a water dish should do just fine until you get home. If you want a cat that is going to be a little more interactive, some good choices would be a Ragdoll or Burmese which can act almost dog-like with their playful nature. However, there are many breeds to choose from depending on the appearance and characteristics of the cat you would like.
Birds are a great choice for apartments as most don’t require as much attention as a dog but still need daily interaction and socialization. It also depends on which bird you’re considering getting as some require more care than others. Budgies and cockatiels are a good choice as an apartment bird as they are quite small, less vocal and don’t need as much daily interaction than other larger birds. If you want something bigger like a cockatoo or a macaw, be prepared for a lot more work and daily interaction as these birds crave human attention and socialization. They are very smart and need activities like puzzles and brain busters to keep them occupied as well as human interaction. Without these boredom busters, your cockatoo or macaw will become very destructive, loud and may even pluck their feathers due to a lack of attention. Before buying a bird please do your research on the specific care requirements needed for the specific bird you are after.
If you want something more scaly than furry, then a reptile may be the pet for you. Same with birds, the care requirement will depend on which reptile you get. Most are easy to care for if you aren’t grossed out by insects or dead mice. Some choices may be snakes, turtles or bearded dragons. Again, please do your research on what reptile you want to get. If you want something that is more social, friendly, easy to feed and can sit with you on the couch watching TV, then a bearded dragon would be a great choice. Often nicknamed ‘beardies’, these scaly friends are often referred to as the puppy dogs of the reptile world with their calm and somewhat quirky nature. Beardies are the perfect choice for a beginner reptile and would do very well in apartment living,
Choosing the right pet for you and your lifestyle can be difficult, but with the right time and research you might just find one that’s perfect for you!