What does your dog need to be happy living in an apartment

If you are considering adopting a dog but you live in a flat, in the city, you must take into account some recommendations so as not to make mistakes in the election. Do not be guided only by physical appearance or size. Better follow these tips …

Can you have a dog in a flat?

Let’s start with the most basic: can you have a dog in an apartment?

The short and direct answer would be YES. Now, with nuances … It is worth turning the question around and reformulating it like this:

Do you have the time, money and commitment to have a dog in a flat?

Actually, the size of the house is not as important when it comes to having a dog as are many other aspects related to our lifestyle, our availability of time and money and our commitment to the welfare of the animal. Let’s cut to the chase:

You can have a dog in a flat:

  • If you are clear that you can offer everything he need , both on the material level and behavioral.
  • Whenever you have time to take your dog for a walk at least three times a day(morning, afternoon and evening) or money to hire a walker to do it in your place when it is not possible.
  • If you are able to guarantee that you will not spend most of the day alone and locked up.
  • It is acceptable to have a dog in a flat, in the city, as long as you do not plan to leave it locked on the terrace or balcony ,because you don’t want him to dirty your flat.

What happens if the apartment is very small?

We are not going to fool anyone: the bigger the floor, the more comfortable it will be for the dog, a priority if he has to spend long hours inside it. But this is nothing that escapes from logic: just as it happens to people, we like to have space but we are able to adapt to the circumstances.

Dogs do not need to live on huge floors to feel at ease. What they do need is the possibility of going out and interacting with the environment and with other dogs. The floor should be, fundamentally, the place of rest after the activity abroad.

To make a parallel that everyone will understand: wolves (the wild ancestors of dogs) often sleep in small caves or dens where the herd is grouped. To rest they do not need much space, but they do need it when they are not sleeping: daily they travel long distances in search of prey to hunt or new territories to explore.

Is it better to have a dog in a flat with a terrace?

Again, we return to the matter before: if the dog goes out to the street all you need, then the fact of having a flat with a terrace or without it will not make a difference.

Moreover, some people tend to think that the dog that has access to a terrace does not need to go out so much to walk. This statement is totally wrong.

A dog needs to go out and interact with the external environment, even if he lives in a flat with a terrace.

These are the reasons:

  1. The physical exercise that involves going for a walk or playing on the street keeps the dog in shape and avoids risks linked to overweight and obesity.
  2. The mental exercise that involves relating to the stimuli of the environment is beneficial for the psychic health of the dog.
  3. The deprivation of liberty in a dog can have as serious consequences health problems and behavior.  

Dogs in the city

Once the question of whether you can have a dog in an apartment is answered, I would like to address the debate about dog ownership in urban environments.

Some professionals in the dog industry are against having dogs in the city because they believe that scarce contact with nature is harmful to them and because some types of dogs cannot adapt to the overwhelming stimuli of the urban environment (cars, motorcycles, people all sides, noise pollution, etc.)

Can you have a dog in the city?

In my opinion, the city is NOT the ideal environment for dogs, just as it is not for children , and I would dare say not even for adults. The reasons: higher pollution rate, more restrictions on movement (dogs must be tied most of the time), less green space, noise pollution and all the risks to physical and mental health associated with these factors. However, I do not believe that having a dog in the city is a sin because the urban environment also offers advantages that have a positive impact on dog welfare. 

Now, the city offers some advantages for certain types of dogs that should not be overlooked:

  • In the city it is easier to find dogs to play and interact with yours than in certain rural areas. And this fact is important for a correct socialization. But be  very careful with the dangers that dog runs and parks can entail.
  • The city offers a wide range of services linked to the welfare of dogs (specialized stores, veterinary centers, etc.).

What is the best dog to live in a flat in the city?

If you have to choose which dog to adopt, and you live in a flat in the city, I recommend the following:

  • Do not look at the size but at the temperament: there are small dogs that demand much more attention and activity than certain larger breeds.
  • Small dogs DO NOT require less care than large dogs : the myth of “low maintenance dogs” or low maintenance dogs is just that, a myth. ALL dogs, by the mere fact of being individuals belonging to the canine species, have a series of needs that must be met. From a chihuahua to a German bulldog.
  • Choose your dog as your lifestyle , not according to your aesthetic preferences.
  • If you adopt, and live in the city, try not to choose a dog especially scared or scary because it will be difficult to adapt to an urban environment without problems.

I will not give you a list of optimal breeds to live in the city as other websites do because there are many types of dogs that can be happy in an urban environment, regardless of their race, provided that all their physical and psychological needs are met. In the same way, any dog of any breed can have a bad time in the city if it is not taken care of as it deserves.

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