Introducing a dog into your household is equal parts adventure and fear. After all, you want to ensure your new family member is cared for well and has the best possible experience living with you. But, you are also fearful of your furniture, your routines and habits, and your good night’s sleep.
In order to make the transition from a no-dog apartment to a dog-friendly apartment, consider some of the tips we outline below. They may help you approach the challenges with a bit less stress, allowing you to get to know your pooch and form a bond that will last a lifetime.
Don’t forget that your new pet will also be going through all kinds of emotions, from trepidation and fear to excitement and curiosity – so don’t be surprised by their timid or exploratory behavior.
Talk to your landlord, neighbors and family members
Before you actually bring your dog home, make sure you have secured the approval of all those directly involved in your apartment life.
If you are renting, make sure you have discussed the dog with your landlord. They may be fine with cats but not dogs, or they may only be okay with smaller breeds in the space. Give them as much information as you can about the breed of dog that will be living with you, so they know what to expect.
The Petit Brabancon is an excellent apartment dog, and he’s a lot of fun too – a similar small breed will probably be happiest in a tiny space, and will be causing the least potential damage. Larger breeds might not be as comfortable in a small apartment, and your landlord may be less comfortable welcoming them too.
Whomever you live with should also be prepared for the dog’s arrival, and be ready not only to take on the responsibility of caring for the dog, but for the disruption to their accustomed way of life.
Once you have everyone’s green light, you can start preparing the space.
Buy everything you will need
Whether you are getting a puppy or a slightly older dog, there are certain items you will definitely need.
A dog bed is very high on your shopping list.
You can save yourself the expense and buy the size of bed they will be comfortable in even when they are fully grown, instead of going for a puppy bed first and a larger one later. Throw in a blanket too – you can use a kids blanket, if you don’t want to buy a specifically doggy one.
Dogs are pack animals, and they will want to sleep in company. You may or may not allow them to sleep with you in bed, or to sleep on the sofa though. Don’t place their bed in an isolated spot, rather keep it close to where you will be sitting and sleeping.
You then also need water and food bowls. There is a chance your dog may not like the ones you get them, so having a couple of options available is advisable. Ideally, you want to have more than one water bowl, unless you live in a really small apartment, where one will suffice.
You want to place the bowls on a surface that is easy to clean – so the kitchen or bathroom are your best options. You then of course also need dog food and treats – you will again have to see what they like best, so a couple of brands to test out will be good to start with.
If you’re getting a puppy, you will also need to teach them where they can do their business. While they are still young, you might want to get them some toilet training pads, which you can again place ideally on a balcony or in the bathroom, where they can make a reasonable mess if they need to.
Small dogs can
also use litter boxes, so you might want to invest in one of those if that’s how you want to train your dog. Dog-proof the apartment
Finally, once you have everything the dog will need to settle in, you need to make sure they are safe.
Start by locking up or placing out of their reach all of your medicines, cosmetics and house cleaning items. The smells are bound to attract them, and you don’t want to risk them getting into anything that can be potentially harmful.
You should also ensure they can’t get into your trashcan, so either lock it away too, or place a locking mechanism on it so they can’t get their noses in there.
Ensure they can’t reach any cords either. You want to hide them as much as possible, and maybe add some gates to the space (for example the kitchen), where they might be able to pull on a cord and bring an appliance crashing down. Don’t leave your chargers or remotes lying around, as they will also appear like the ideal toy.
A gate is also great for making sure they can’t get onto the terrace without supervision. As they become accustomed to the space and as you train them, you will be able to get rid of them, they are there for initial safety and security.
You can make one yourself, if you are a bit crafty and handy with tools.
Lock your toilet too, because some dogs will surely be tempted to get into that as well.
Examine your apartment from their point of view. You can literally crawl on the floor to see what they will be able to see, and remove any potential harm from their reach.
Bringing a dog into your home is cause for great joy, and is guaranteed to provide a lot of fun and laughter. To make sure they have the best time living with you and that they are perfectly safe, take our tips into consideration, and enjoy your doggy time, knowing no harm can come to them and that they have everything they might need.
I’m a 20-something stay-at-home mother and wife. I have an amazing husband, a beautiful daughter, two loving dogs, and a lazy cat. I wouldn’t change my life for anything! I love to read, listen to music, cook and blog!