I live in an apartment [read: Flat if you’re from the UK. I just prefer saying apartment!]. My home is very small, which I’m sure you’ve seen if you saw this TOUR POST.
I don’t have a lot of space for my pup to run around which is something you kind of have to consider when you’re buying a home and you have a four legged dog-pig to consider.
At first I was worried that Juno, the aforementioned dog-pig, would get bored and start destroying things BUT that’s never been the case.
It’s pretty obvious but keeping a dog well exercised it important when you don’t have a huge garden to let them run around in. I have a Beagle, she’s small, she fits in the flat perfectly. If you’re looking at a place to buy/rent [if they allow pets, that is] you need to take the dogs size into consideration. Not only for their benefit but for your own sanity.
To be honest living in small quarters with my four-legged pal has been OK.
We had teething problems [geddit?] where she was skittish of sounds and barked when she saw people through our GIANT window. I’d like to say she calmed down on her own but she didn’t. She used to love barking at people through the window at my parents house as well which we didn’t mind too much because it was amusing. Obviously it’s not as amusing living in a building with 8 other people [it’s only a small complex]. I didn’t want to be that person who couldn’t keep her dog quiet and I also didn’t want to annoy the building management company because my worst fear is that they’d make me get rid of her!*
I spoke to some friends, I did some googling and I bought an anti-bark collar. After one use [it sprays a really nice citrus smell which dogs don’t like but it was the best air freshener for a day or two] and a couple of days of ‘just in case’ she stopped barking at things out of the window and she stopped paying attention to the noises of other people in the building. I still have the collar just as a warning for her [because she’s cheeky] but now she only does a little bark if she gets over excited playing and that is something I don’t mind.
Keeping her well exercised, like I said before, is also a must. Every morning we roll out of bed and go out for a walk BEFORE we do ANYTHING ELSE. Sometimes I don’t want to. Sometimes she doesn’t want to. We do it anyway. She then gets a longer walk at night.
I’m really lucky to live in a pro-walking area with lots of dog owners. We have a park directly behind the building and a dog park 5 minutes down the road and we also have a communal garden Juno loves to frolic in [on the lead] and try to chase squirrels in.
We have big windows where she can watch the squirrels in the trees directly in front of our living room. It worked out well.
It’s also become really important that she have her own space. Most dogs will go to their crate or bed… Juno will not. She’s still in that petulant child phase. She hates going to bed in her actual bed so she has her own rocking chair. It’s hers. It used to be my reading chair but now, if I sit in it, she paws at me to move. Now I know you shouldn’t let a dog be territorial but I let her have it sometimes because that’s where she feels safe and cozy.
Finally, the last bit of obvious advice is to have a routine. Stick to a feeding schedule, stick to a walking schedule. If your dog feels safe and at home they are less likely to cause a fuss. Living in an apartment with a dog is all about working together; you both need your own space but you also need to have time where everyone knows what they’re doing. Trust me, it will help!!
*I know you think ‘you can move’ but I bought this place and it’s literally the only place in my budget in my ‘home’ area so…