Apartment Living with Fido: How to Raise a Dog in an Apartment


More than two-thirds of apartment dwellers own pets. Apartments mean closer proximity to your neighbors, less space, and limited access to the outdoors. For some people, adjusting to apartment living is already a difficult process.

Trying to raise a dog in these circumstances will only make things more complicated. But it doesn’t have to be a grueling and nervewracking experience to acclimate your pet.

With the right knowledge, you can ensure your dog is just as cozy residing in an apartment rather than a house of your own.

There are a lot of variables to consider, from the breed of your dog to the materials and space in your apartment.

So whether you’re looking for an apartment or just moved in with man’s best friend, take a look at these important tips to keep you and your canine companion content and comfortable in your new living space.

1. Exercise Them Frequently

Your apartment may be ten floors above the nearest park, but don’t let that become an excuse to keep your dog sequestered in the apartment.

In fact, the limited space of apartment living will impede your dog’s ability to run around and play. This means it’s in your best interest to exercise your dog even more than usual.

It is recommended that a dog receives between thirty minutes and two hours of exercise daily, depending on the breed. Dedicate yourself to at least match their recommended daily exercise, and prepared to double it if your dog still exhibits signs of high energy.

Behavioral problems, such as barking and chewing furniture, are likely to manifest when your cooped-up dog has excess energy and is unable to shake it off.

If you find yourself too busy to give your pet the exercise they need, a dog walker or doggy daycare are fantastic options to have them burn energy while you’re away at work.

2. Choose the Best Breed

Apartment living isn’t for everyone, and the same can be said for dog breeds. If you don’t yet have a canine companion of your own, it’s in your best interest to do some research on the energy levels of some of your favorite breeds.

As much as you may love the temperament of a German Shepherd, their great sense of hearing makes them a poor choice for the close proximity of apartment life.

Likewise, while chihuahuas do not require an immense amount of exercise, they are particularly talkative and are likely to annoy your neighbors.

The best apartment dog breeds are those that are quiet and require the least amount of exercise. Consider the nap-prone Greyhound or quiet Boston Terrier.

3. Raise a Dog in the Right Apartment

A pet-friendly apartment isn’t always pet-friendly. An apartment complex may allow you to bring your furry friend along, but that doesn’t mean they have the best amenities to make you and your pet truly happy.

A true pet-friendly apartment will have a variety of pet activities on-site, such as a dog run and park. Some may even have a doggy daycare to keep your pooch happy during your workday.

These apartments should also be constructed with resilient and scratch-resistant floors, countertops, and cabinets, so they can endure your pooch’s wear and tear.

Don’t lose your security deposit by choosing a “pet-friendly” apartment that doesn’t have these amenities in mind.

Looking for a real pet-friendly apartment with real accommodations? Check out our list of the top five best pet-friendly apartments.

4. Make Them Comfortable

Separation anxiety is a common cause of behavioral problems, such as barking, urinating, pacing, or destroying furniture. The best way to avoid an anxious pooch is to provide a comfortable, relaxed space for your companion.

If you can’t snag an apartment with some yard space on the first floor, you’ll want to provide a cozy space elsewhere.

Consider giving them their own bedroom closet filled with some of their favorite toys and an ample amount of cushions and blankets. This gives your dog a safe space to unwind while you’re away for the day.

There are some other ways to make your apartment more dog-approved. Set up a small box of fake grass on your balcony or patio in case your pet needs to do his business at an inopportune time.

Have a loud pet? Wood and tile floors transfer more sound to your neighbors compared to the carpeted alternative. Put down mats and carpet in areas your dog frequently inhabits.

Your neighbors will thank you for it.

5. Stick to a Routine

Nobody likes surprises, and your dog isn’t any different. By maintaining a routine with your pets, you’ll minimize their uncertainty and anxiety.

Feed your dog and take them outside at the same time every day. This will prepare them to digest food on a reliable schedule and limit any unwanted accidents in the apartment.

Also, try to come home from work with a consistent schedule.

They’ll know when it’s time to eat, time to play, and time to use the bathroom, and will be less apt to suffer from separation anxiety since they’ll know when to expect you back home.

Ready to Move In?

It’s not easy trying to raise a dog in an apartment, but by keeping them exercised, with their own space, and within a set schedule, you and your pooch will be able to enjoy your new apartment life without any unexpected hitches.

Are you looking for a pet-friendly apartment in the Chicago area? Contact us