Living in a small apartment can be a challenge for a few
different reasons. But add a dog to the scenario, and
small-apartment living becomes even more challenging. Big or small,
many dogs are comfortable living in apartments, but there are still
steps their owners should take every day to keep them happy and
So, if you're living in a compact space with your furry
friend or you're considering adopting a dog while living in a
little studio or one-bedroom place, here are some important tips
for keeping dogs content in small apartments:
Dogs are a big time commitment. In fact, the main rule for
keeping pups happy and healthy is to make sure they get regular
While living in a small apartment, your dog isn't going to have
a lot of room to run around, let out energy or play. Not only can
this make your pup feel cooped up or frustrated, but it could also
cause them to let out their energy in not-so-constructive ways
(like by chewing up your shoes or furniture).
At the very least, dogs should get a bit of exercise twice a
day, once in the morning and once in the evening. On top of that,
dogs should have the opportunity to do some serious high-intensity
exercise at least once a week.
Find a nearby dog park, lake, or anywhere else you can play
fetch or run around. Or find time each week to take them on a bike
ride or run.
Create a Doggie Haven
Dogs find it easier to relax and wind down if they have their
own space, so make your pup their own little haven in a corner of
Put a dog bed, a few toys, and their food and water bowls in
their corner to give them a place to retreat when they need a
break. Or, if they're crate trained, make the crate as comfortable
Make a Routine
Dogs thrive when they have a routine and are thrown off easily,
especially if they can't go outside to go to the bathroom whenever
they need to. Try to take your pup for a walk at the same time each
morning and evening so they'll know when to expect it.
Aim for feeding them at the same time each day as well. That way
their body will start to metabolize food around your schedule and
they'll be ready to go to the bathroom when you take them out (so
no standing outside for 20 minutes during the winter before their
Enlist Some Daytime Help
Many dog breeds are more happy and healthy when they're able to
go outside and stay active throughout the day. However, this can
obviously be a problem for those of us who have 9-to-5 jobs or
other commitments during the day.
Hire a neighbor or friend to take your dog on walks or runs
every day while you're gone. If given enough activity every day,
even high-energy dogs can stay happy in a smaller place.
Find a Pup to Play With
Most dogs love hanging out with other dogs because it gives them
the opportunity to interact and play in ways they can't with
humans. Find other dog owners in your apartment building or
neighborhood who would like to take walks with you or even just
come over for a puppy play date.
If there's a dog park near you, take advantage of the
opportunity for your pup to play with others, and see if you can
make some connections there for future play dates.