8 Tips on How to Keep Your Dog Happy in an Apartment

By: Kathryn Anderson Updated: September 16, 2021

dog happy eating shoesKeeping a dog happy in an apartment requires some considerations that other living arrangements don’t need. Finding the right place to live, the right toys, furniture, training, and exercise all will contribute to ensuring that you have no problems with keeping a dog in an apartment.

Maybe when you first picked your dog (or when they picked you) you envisioned giving them a home with enough backyard to run around in and a large house to call home. But for many pet owners, there is a different reality, and that reality is having a dog happy in an apartment.

Having a dog and living in an apartment means that you will have to consider some things that a house owner does not, but don’t worry I’ve got you covered. From making sure that you take care of your pet correctly while apartment living, to the simple fact, that you simply can’t leave your dog outside in your backyard all day while you are at work.


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Finding the Right Apartment

One of the biggest challenges that you may face is the issue of renting with pets where the landlord or building have pet restrictions. Limitations on the size of a pet, breed, or how many pets you can have can make for a difficult living experience for you and your furry friend.

Finding pet-friendly apartments can go a long way in keeping your dog happy. These types of apartments will often have a dog run on the property or at the very least nearby as well as pet grooming centers. Plus, you are more likely to find day-time dog walkers when there are so many pets to keep a dog walker busy during the day.

For people with Emotional Support Animals (ESAs), finding an apartment will be a lot easier. The owners of ESAs are legally protected against discrimination in most states of the US, meaning that in most cases, an apartment owner will have a hard time refusing you access to an apartment based on the fact that you have an ESA.


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8 Tips to Keep a Dog Happy in an Apartment!

1. Mid-Day Visits and Walks

And while I’m on the topic of dog walkers, if you know you are going to be away at work all day, hiring a dog walker to come and either visit your dog at home or take her out for some fresh air will go a long way to helping her cope with an otherwise long day without you.

2. A Friendly Voice

If you have an answering machine, the old-school kind, I’m not talking about the voicemail on your cell, feel free to call home and leave your dog a message. Sometimes all it takes is hearing the sound of your voice to reassure her that you haven’t forgotten about her.

If you feel like spending a little more money on a cool gadget, there are even two-way cameras where you can call home to reach your pet, or get this, she can even call you! These gadgets will even dispense a treat for your furry friend, what a great way to let her know that you are thinking about her.

3. The Right Pet Toys

There are dog toys and then there are dog toys that will keep her from feeling bored and lonely. If it’s boredom you are afraid she suffers from, such as you come home to find that she has chewed through your favorite shoes, then you will want a toy like a Kong toy that can give her a bit of a challenge.

This type of toy can help keep your dog happy and busy for a bit by placing a treat or even peanut butter within it for her to try and figure out how to get it out. Puzzle toys where the dog has to work out the puzzle in order to get a treat are also great to keep around the apartment to keep her engaged.

If you are looking more on along the lines of keeping her company, a rope toy or a stuffed animal, much like a little child would have, may be right up her alley. Favorite blankets or pillows can also help in keeping her company, especially if it smells like you.

a non excited dog plays with toys

4. Extra Attention

There are some, and let’s face it there always will be, dogs who are needier compared to others. These dogs will require some extra attention on your part. This attention can be extra cuddles, special treats, and some quality time between the two of you. So, share some of your time with her today.

5. Ample Exercise

Having a dog happy in an apartment means that she will need to get out and get some exercise in, and more than just the usual walk to do her business. You should make an extra effort to take her to a park, to a dog run or for a hike so she can really just let loose and get her heart pumping.

6. A Regular Routine

Dogs are creatures of habit, so the more regular her routine is the better it will be for the both of you. This means leaving for work at the same time and coming home at the same time as well, as much as humanly possible.

If you know that it is going to be a hard week for you to keep to your schedule with her, this would be a good time to hire a helping hand or ask a neighbor to help out. Remember, if you live in an apartment where there are other pets you could offer to return the favor when you’re around.


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7. Proper Pet Furniture

Yes, in all likelihood your four-legged friend likes to snuggle with you on the couch or even sleep in bed with you, but that doesn’t mean that she doesn’t need her own space as well. You may decide to create a small corner for her with her favorite blanket and toys to play with.

In some cases, dogs have a lot of anxiety having a whole big apartment (although it may feel small to you) to themselves. If this is the case with your furry friend, you may want to consider buying her a crate to place her in to alleviate her anxiety.

8. Proper Training

Having a dog happy who knows not to bark every time the elevator door opens up or isn’t going to leave scratch marks from her nails on the back of your entryway door because she doesn’t want you to go, is a huge help for happy living.

When you are having your dog trained, explain to the trainers your living arrangements and have them put an emphasis on proper behavior for this type of environment. A properly trained dog is a much happier dog overall because she knows how to handle living in a smaller space.

Does living with a pet in an apartment have its challenges? Yes, but we know as pet owners that it is so completely worth it, from their companionship to their emotional support.

Speaking of which, if you are in the neighborhood of looking for an Emotional Support Animal (ESA), then be sure to check out these great tips to make sure that you do it right.

happy dog wagging tail in apartment


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