All your dreams have come true and you’re finally getting a dog! Your first thought is probably going to be how you’re going to get your apartment ready for your new friend.
But, remember, your pup isn’t going to just live in your apartment (maybe they will in a dog-friendly city like these). You’ll take him through the lobby to go out on his daily walks, he’ll see the neighbors in the stairwells, and you’ll probably be taking him out around the building grounds. So, if you want to make your apartment dog-friendly, you have to focus on the whole building, not just your home. The folks at Mortgages.com helped us understand how to do just that.
What Is Allowed?
If you have a dog when you first move into a building, the building manager is likely going to be able to tell you all the rules and regulations you need to be aware of.
But if you got the dog after you’ve already been living there for awhile, you might not have gotten the whole spiel. Check to see where your dog is allowed, if there are any restrictions on areas like the elevator, and what is expected of you as a dog owner. This will help keep you and your pup out of trouble and on your neighbors’ good sides.
Meet The Neighbors
Meeting the neighbors is always a good idea and a dog is a great excuse to start knocking on some doors. Start with the apartments that are immediately adjacent to yours. Knock on the door and introduce yourself and let them know that you recently got a dog and that they should feel free to call or text you if they hear any barking or howling while you’re out of the apartment.
Just remember not to bring your dog with you when you first knock on the door. You never know who’s going to be allergic or generally just does not like dogs.
Where Is The Bathroom?
Dogs are curious, so get ready to be very familiar with your apartment complex. While you’re walking around be sure to be on the lookout for any areas where your dog isn’t allowed.
A lot of newer apartments have grassy areas that come fully equipped with doggie clean-up bags. Be sure to use them—no one likes the neighbor who doesn’t clean up after their pet.
You know what they say about idle hands…and paws. Any dog owner will tell you, if you leave your pup alone in your apartment with nothing to do, they’re going to get bored. And when they get bored, they’re going to get into trouble.
Boredom is a major reason why some dogs chew up shoes, dig through the garbage, or rip up your upholstery. The good news is there are lots of mentally stimulating toys on the market to help keep your pup engaged all day.
The catch is that every dog is different. Think about the types of behavior you see your dog showing every day. Do they love to sniff around at the park until they find some delicious morsel to snack on? They might be interested in puzzle toys that ask them to solve a puzzle before they can . Do they chew everything? An antler treat will keep them busy for months.
What About Training?
A well-trained dog is going to be much happier in your apartment—and everywhere. Proper training helps your pup learn what is expected of him and help him be a more confident, well-adjusted roommate.
Diffusers, Candles & Plug Ins
Trips to the park, long walks, and dips in the nearby lake are all going to make your dog smell extra doggy. But that doesn’t mean your apartment has to smell like a kennel.
Try buying a small diffuser and some essential oils to help cover the odor while you give Fido a bath and wash his things. Bonus: if you get a relaxing oil, like lavender, you can also use it to help your pup calm down during stressful nights, like the Fourth of July or New Years Eve.
Remove Dangerous Items
Certain plants can be dangerous (but tempting) for dogs to eat, so be sure to either get rid of them or put them out of reach. The same goes for other doggie hazards like chocolate, coffee, and grapes.
Do You Have A Safe Zone?
Everyone likes to have their own space to go to when they need a break or some quiet time, and dogs are no different. Set up a “safe zone” for your dog somewhere in your apartment. It might be their bed, crate, or even an easy chair that they can sit in. Ideally this space is just for them and no people are allowed to mess with it. This is where your pup will go when he’s feeling stressed out or just needs to chill.
Now that your apartment is ready, it’s time to start enjoying some games of fetch and puppy snuggles!