At times, keeping your furry friend around becomes a challenge. You want to let them roam free while you work and mind your own business. But you can’t help but follow them around. What if they get themselves into trouble? We know the idea is frightening. What if your beloved dog falls off from the corner window that you prefer to keep open at all times? What if your dog gets too close to an electrical device? What if your dog decides to play in your home office and ruins all your precious files? These ifs can drive you crazy! So you prefer keeping an eye on them. Don't fret - we've got a list that could save you some time and energy. Incorporate these eight smart hacks in your apartment and witness how easy life becomes!
1. Crate train your dog
When living in an apartment, you don’t have much space to spare. You can't possibly dedicate one entire room to your dog! Hence, it’s a wise move to crate train your dog, especially if they become destructive when free-roaming. Often, it’s the best strategy for apartment owners because it provides your dog a separate space of their own. You can place a warm blanket in the crate, as well as some fluffy toys or a Kong to make it cozy and engaging. Also, it's a good idea to train them to feel comfortable in it by themselves. Begin training by leaving the room and letting them sleep in the crate in small increments of time until they can tolerate it for longer periods.
2. Keep your food supplies sealed
Your dog might end up exploring your kitchen out of boredom (especially if they don't have other dogs to play with or you’re not around). While on one of these special explorations, they may just tip over a cereal box or spill the milk carton. Hence, it’s best to keep all your food supplies inside the pantry or your refrigerator. Do not leave anything on the kitchen counter - those counter surfer pups can be fiercely determined!
3. Train your dog how to behave around the apartment
When you first bring home your dog, you will have to teach him or her some basics. First, designate a room for them. Place their crate in a certain room and ensure that you keep the crate there consistently. That way, they will associate that room with rest and relaxation - their own personal space. Even when you leave them alone, they will stick to this dedicated room gladly. Similarly, it’s best to make it clear to your dog whether they’re allowed to jump on the furniture or not. Some people love to snuggle with their pets in their beds, sofas, and even home office chairs, while others simply can’t take it. So, decide which suits you best and train your dog accordingly (and try to stay consistent).
When you make this decision, keep your visitors and furniture in mind. Some of your visitors might not like it. Similarly, if your dog is a heavyweight, constant jumps might cause damage to the furniture. Or if they have long nails, they could scratch and destroy your bed sheets or leather office chairs.
4. Lower the barking
Barking is a dog’s means of communication. For that very reason, we don’t recommend asking your dog to not bark at all. It’s wrong to train them to quieten themselves at all times. Instead, you can train your dog to lower his or her barking pitch and frequency. You can do so by promptly addressing their concerns, and rewarding them when they are quiet when you tell them to calm down.
5. Crate your dog when leaving the apartment
When you leave, it can be a bad idea to leave your dog loose in the apartment alone if they're not trained as free-roaming pups. At times panic, loneliness, and boredom might get the better of them, and they may end up playing around with the wrong stuff. That means you might come home and discover a wrecked kitchen, or perhaps, your office chair turned into a chew toy. So, it’s best to restrict your dog to one room only. Remember: dogs are social creatures and want to be around their people. Don't leave them unattended, even in their crate, for an excessive amount of time daily if you can avoid it. Regular potty breaks, or even checking in on them at lunch if you work nearby can help break up the hours they're left alone. Even better, you can get a dog walker or sitter if your situation allows to give them some entertainment, love, or exercise while you're out.
6. Hide the trash can
Again, an apartment is small, and your dog may be too energized to sit still. As you proceed with your day’s work, your dog’s inquisitiveness and hunting instincts may drive them to explore your trash can, which can leave your place messy. Hence, it’s best to hide the trash can in a place where the smell won’t invite them. Even better, purchase a trash can that has a closing lid to keep curious pups out.
7. Train Your Dog to Use the Potty Pads
When you bring home a pup, you should train him or her to use the potty pads. Even if you are bringing in a teenage or adult dog that’s already trained to use pads, you might have to help them familiarize themselves with your place and relearn the process. This is because dogs can panic and make a mess in a new environment when they're unsure or stressed. It falls upon you to let them know where they will find the pad placed at all times. If you have a small garden on your balcony, it would be best to create a small pad there.
8. Keep a stack of cleaning products
Despite all measures, we recommend keeping a good stash of cleaning supplies like stain removers, gloves, detergents, sanitizers, fabric cleaners, etc. You never know what your young pup may get you into, so it’s best to keep cleaning products ready. Also, it’s a good idea to regularly clean your apartment thoroughly to remove the hair they shed.
To summarize, keeping a dog in an apartment may not appear to be easy. However, the affection, love, and company that you get will all be worth it. So, don’t shy away from the responsibilities. Just incorporate them into your routine!
Shawn Mack is an experienced content writer who offers ghostwriting, copy-writing, and blogging services. His educational background in the business and technical field has given him a broad base from which to approach many topics. He is also fond of writing interesting articles on technology & digital marketing-related topics.