Not all dogs are natural city dwellers, and, while many are, it’s not always easy to keep your furry family member happy. Apartment life presents all kinds of challenges, so learn how to make apartment life work for your dog with our tips.
Here are Steve Dale’s tips on how to help your dog become better suited to city living:
Socialize for the city
Socializing your dog for city living and all the sights and sounds that come with it is essential to having a well-adjusted pup. Take him to busy street corners and to common areas in your building so he can learn about his environment a little at a time. RentSocial and Steve Dale also suggest a few elevator runs: “If your building has an elevator, take your pet in and out several times during off-peak hours in order to get them comfortable with using it.” Showing him that all these things are just normal parts of his life will put him at ease with his surroundings.
Be a good neighbor
Dog owners always seem to find each other, so if you’re in a building with other dogs, get ready to introduce yourself. You can then build a group that goes on outings to the park together and create a close-knit bevy of owners and their dogs. RentSocial and Steve Dale also say that “fellow pet owners can be a great resource — they will be able to recommend nearby parks, a veterinarian or pet walker/sitter they trust. Their advice will make the transition to a new home easier.” Trustworthy neighbors may also come in handy when you’re away from home and need someone to look in on your pup. Don’t forget to repay the favor!
Learn something new
Keep your dog mentally sharp by hiding treats in various places around your home before leaving for the day. You can also introduce new toys into your dog’s environment to keep him stimulated. If your dog loves to sniff everything in sight, leave some new scents on everyday items in your apartment such as lavender on his bed or a clean cloth that’s been rubbed on a neighbor’s pet. Your pup will enjoy discovering these new smells.
Find a dog-friendly home
While small dogs are believed by many to be better city dwellers, big dogs tend to be calmer indoors, are less likely to bark at the neighbors and can ward off intruders. The key here is to exercise all size dogs, so seek out an apartment with easy access to a park or less busy streets. Keep your pup on a leash at all times to keep him safe!
About Steve Dale
Steve Dale is the author of the twice weekly syndicated newspaper column “My Pet World” and is a certified Animal Behavior Consultant (International Association of Animal Behavior Consultants). Steve also serves on the board of the American Humane Association and has appeared as a guest on many local and national television and radio programs.