So you’ve found an apartment that allows dogs, you’ve put down your pet deposit or pet fee, and maybe you will even have to pay monthly pet rent. Now, all that’s left to do is keep your furry best friend entertained and happy so he doesn’t destroy the place or disturb your neighbor’s peace before you move again. This may sound like a tall order, but with a few simple tricks, you can keep your pup’s tail wagging.
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When Nature Calls
Priority #1 in having an apartment dog is figuring out a consistent and easy bathroom routine.
If possible, live on the first floor with a front door that opens to the outside in order to make bathroom breaks quick and easy. Keep in mind, however, that some apartment communities will restrict where your pup may be allowed to “take care of business.” When you absolutely can’t go outside, bring the outside in with a real grass litter box. There are several options on the market. The grass absorbs odor and is disposable. Lastly, remember that accidents happen; when they do, use a portable wet vacuum to clean, then finish with a pet deodorizer like Nature’s Miracle to remove the scent.
Go Fetch: Fun Ways to Keep Your Pooch Entertained
The best way to get your dog’s destructive behaviors out is to get his or her energy out.
One of the best places to let your pup run it out is at the dog park. A quick Yelp search will help you find the best dog parks in your area. You can also ask your friends and coworkers if they know of any “best-kept-secret” dog parks, walking trails or hikes. On rainy days when your pup has to stay inside, you can still keep him entertained with fun games and puzzles within your apartment. Indoor doggie fetch machines and treat puzzle toys can keep your pooch busy for hours. Another option, if your apartment and lifestyle allow it, is to get another dog. Getting your four-legged friend a brother or sister can help stave off separation anxiety. Just keep in mind that more of those pet fees, deposits and pet rent might be due to your property manager.
Preventing a Disaster
Dogs have many friendly and adorable attributes, so it can be easy to forget they are animals and it’s in their nature to chew. The best way to avoid destruction is with prevention.
For starters, do a thorough sweep of your apartment to make sure there are no temptations for your little Cujo. Make sure food and trash cans are secure, and valuables are locked away.
Next, redirect your dog’s need to chew by giving him challenging chew toys and bones to work on. KONG is the leading brand of indestructible dog toys, but there are several on the market that can keep your furry buddy entertained. Ultimately, use some trial and error with your pup — experiment with which toys keep his interest.
Howling at the Moon
In addition to chewing, it’s also in your dog’s nature to howl and bark. It can be a challenge to find a compromise between your dog’s natural instinct to protect and making enemies of your neighbors. The good news is that it’s possible. The key is to be understanding.
One of the most popular options is to use bark collars to correct the behavior. There are three types of corrective bark collars; the first uses a spray. Barking causes these collars to emit a burst of citronella or air, which is startling and unpleasant to your dog. The downside is that spray collars sometimes don’t react to high-pitched barks, and your pup can get used to them, making them ineffective. Another type of collar uses ultrasonic sound. When your dog barks, this collar uses sound only your dog can hear. The final and least humane of these corrective bark collars uses electrical shock. It delivers an electrical shock to your dog when he barks. With all of these options, remember to remove the collar when your dog is with other dogs, as another dog’s bark may trigger your dog’s collar. Also, do not leave the collar on your dog when he is unsupervised.
Another technique used to curb your dog’s barking is called mirror training. When your dog barks, remain calm and reward him or her when the barking stops. Essentially, you are displaying the behavior you want him to mirror. In a calm, confident tone, let your dog know that he is safe, you are safe and there no need to protect.
Lastly, when you’re going to be away for a long time, have a dog walker or a friend check in on your pooch to assure him that he’s safe. Separation anxiety can be one of the biggest causes of barking. Having another person come by lets your fur baby know she hasn’t been left alone forever and that you’re coming back.
The American Kennel Club rates these breeds as the most suitable for apartment living:
– Welsh Corgi
– French bulldog
With these tips, you and your pup can live happily ever after in an apartment.