The Good Dog and Apartment Life - Starting Out Right
Happy Dog, Small Home :)
Starting Out Right
If you're reading this that means you are curious about dogs and apartments and how they mix. I was incredibly frustrated when i was searching for a large dog at the amount of people and organizations that turned me down just because I live in an apartment. My hope for you is that after reading my hubs you will see that it is possible to keep a dog (even a large dog) in an apartment, and for him/her to be very happy and healthy! If I don't get specific enough for what your trying to learn just ask! I try to be as simple as possible and sometimes I neglect details that would be helpful. I'm more than happy to answer questions, honestly half the fun of writing this hub is getting to know the people reading it so I am looking forward to some engaging comments!
The first step to living with a dog in an apartment is figuring out what the pet policy is. Every apartment complex has them. There are 2 very common policies that I found. The first was a simple "no pets allowed". That is pretty simple, you just aren't allowed to have a cat or dog in the apartment. The second, and slightly more varied policy was that small dogs and cats were allowed but an additional fee is required. Usually this fee was an up front pet deposit and then an additional amount of money tacked onto your monthly rent. Small dogs and cats were usually limited to 25 or sometimes 35 pounds. The third, and far more difficult policy to find is the unlimited pet policy. This policy would allow large dogs, several dogs, and sometimes no additional fee (very rare!). Typically the cheaper apartments have very limited pet policies or very high additional fees for them. The more expensive apartments will have more lenient pet policies and will vary in the additional cost they require for adding a pet into your family. I found some to be very high, and others to have no additional cost.
I would NOT recommend trying to sneak under the radar and cheat the policy. In an apartment, routine maintenance or emergency maintenance is a common thing that often means apartment personnel are entering your apartment with very short notice. If they find you are in violation of the pet policy (and they are very good at noticing) you can be heavily fined, forced to give up your dog, or kicked out of your apartment. Those are not situations you ever want to be in.
Now, the type of dog you get is a very important variable in living with one in an apartment. An entire article could be written about good vs bad dogs for apartment living. Several pet websites and books have excellent resources for figuring out which breed/type of dog is best for you and an apartment. I write this article simply from my experience raising and living with an Alaskan Malamute in our apartment. They are supposed to be one of the worst dogs for apartments. They are large, have a huge exercise requirement, shed massive amounts of fur, and can have a very high tendency to destroy furniture and walls. I was dead set on wanting an Alaskan Malamute because I find the breed beautiful and they just seemed to fit what I needed and wanted in a dog perfectly. I researched the breed extensively before finally getting her. I talked to breeders and malamute owners. I read article after article on the internet and in magazines and books for several months. I am very pleased to report that Zoe is very very happy and healthy, so if she can live in an apartment I have high hopes for you and your furry companion!
There are several obstacles to overcome when living in an apartment such as: exercise needs, living space, where to potty, very close neighbors, and noise. I'll go into each one talking about my experiences and the research I've done. I'll try to tell you what I've found works and what doesn't work. What works for me may not work for you. What didn't work for me might work for you. But that's what comments and conversations are for right?!