Most often, questioning if a pet is right for your family is not as important as questioning if your family is suitable for your pet. For example, bringing two huskies into the home of an elderly pensioner with mobility issues might sound like a great opportunity for companionship, but despite the best efforts and great intentions of the homeowner, having two heavyset working dogs to take care of can be a difficult proposal.
Yet it’s also important to consider how your household might influence your pets day to day living as well. In this article, we’ll focus on this approach more readily, because we know you’ll be a great owner no matter what pet you select.
We’ll also focus on dogs too, because depending on the area in which you live, some cats can be freely trusted to go outside and spread themselves out over a longer distance, rendering the dimensions of your home a little less important.
Dogs, however, tend to live at home and move into the garden, back and forth, unless you travel with them or take them for a walk. For this reason, they tend to be more influenced by the size and setup of your home than you could imagine. This begs the question – if I’m a young professional with an apartment, is it ethical for me to have a dog, or is the limited space going to be a problem?
In this post, we’ll aim to answer that question. By judging the following metrics, you’ll no doubt decide if your apartment is suitable for a dog or not, and move on confidently from there:
Are Pets Allowed In The Building?
Of course, before you can even begin thinking about the dog you need, it’s important to make sure you can bring dogs into the building anyway. If you own the apartment, then for the most part it’s your choice to have the pets you like. If you’re renting, then it’s important to speak to the landlord or letting agent about this and their rules. Some may allow you to have a smaller dog, not a larger duo.
But it’s not just the permission you need, it’s also worthwhile to consider your neighbors and what they may say. Now, if your pet is well-behaved, it doesn’t particularly matter what their opinions are. But if your dog barks (training can help with this), then just be aware that noise complaints could be made. It’s very important to be shrewd about your decision, and ensure you’re aware of the allowances afforded to you.
Assessing The Size & Needs Of Your Pooch
It’s not hard to see that the size and particular needs of your pooch will be determined by the breed you select. As we mentioned above, huskies need to be exercised, sometimes for hours each day, given their capacity as working dogs with impressive physicality. If your lifestyle isn’t compatible with this, and your home is small, then that’s not the right breed to find.
Apartments aren’t necessarily small, but they are usually one story and within a larger building. This is why it’s good to consider if your dog will have enough space. A toy dog, or a small family dog like a Cavalier King Charles Spaniel might be ideal. You may also go for a larger dog if you have a larger apartment with enough rooms, such as a beautiful chocolate labrador from Lucky Labs.
Do You Have Nearby Parks & Outdoor Areas?
It might be that your apartment is relatively modest, but if you have access to a dog-friendly local park you can visit each day, a communal building for your apartment area, and green spaces nearby, then you may have enough room suitable for your dog.
However, it’s also important to consider hazards that your dog may be exposed to. For example, you may always need to keep them on a leash before you get to a certain park, and even before that, investing in appropriate training so they’re comfortable around other dogs and will respond to your commands is key. If you’re in a high-traffic area, you may need to ensure that your dog is always by your side before you head out.
What Does Your Lifestyle Look Like?
Of course, living in an apartment doesn’t necessarily mean you’ll live one lifestyle over another. You may still have a full family living in this space. That said, it’s important to consider how often people will be at home and their comings and goings throughout the day.
Many people have full-time jobs, and as such they may have to leave their dog at home for hours a day. But if they have the room to bring another pet like a dog or a cat, at least they’re not alone. Moreover, it may be that your children come home from school at around 3 pm, meaning that the dog doesn’t have to wait home alone for long stretches each day.
If your dog is in a small apartment with little space to explore, has no companions, and you’re out at work for ten hours a day not including commute times, well, it’s not hard to see the unintentional cruelty involved in this makeup. As such, smaller properties are best assisted by regular coming and going so your dog feels comfortable and engaged in the space. Otherwise, they may be liable to misbehave, such as by tearing up furniture or howling out of boredom.
Managing A Friendly Living Space
It’s good to give your pet a sense of homeliness within your apartment, so they can feel a sense of non-aggressive dominion over small areas. This might include the place they sleep in their doggy bed each night, as well as keeping their dog bowl and water in the utility room, always easy to find.
While it’s true that dogs aren’t the kind of pet that will need equipment akin to a hamster wheel, nor are they agile enough for cat climbing frames, they can still make use of doggy toys and areas specifically designed for them. Even a small bed you can place in front of the television so they don’t jump on the sofa during your movie-watching hours can be a good idea. If the dog feels welcome in the home, the size isn’t going to be such a dealbreaker.
Will The Dog Have Companions?
We mentioned above that dogs can thrive when they have other dogs to spend time with and feel connected to. Of course, having one dog in a mid-size apartment is one thing, but having two can require more space. Depending on the pet you have at the moment, this may change your plans considerably.
For example, perhaps you’ll opt for a smaller dog and a toy dog so that they can grant one another company, but you’re not having to deal with two large-sized pups that grow rapidly over the first six months. If you have children in the house, then you’ll certainly have the right companions, just make sure that your dog breed is comfortable and placid around kids.
Consider Exercise & Doggy Business
How easy is it for you to get out of the apartment and get some exercise? Also, how much time do you have each morning to let out your dog and ensure they can commit to their doggy business? What are the rules for this? It’s unlikely that a communal garden within a building may be happy with doggy business being left around, or dogs marking their territory. For this reason, you may need to go to a more public area. Consider how much time this will take and if you can adequately protect against accidents. Moreover, make sure to train the dog and never scold them for something they cannot help.
With this advice, you’re sure to gauge if your apartment is suitable for a dog. It’s more than fine to judge that it isn’t now, but it may be next time move.