Raising a puppy in an apartment presents a set of challenges for novice and experienced dog owners alike. Puppies like to play and need frequent potty breaks, which can be difficult in an apartment. However, with a little extra patience, you can raise a healthy, happy puppy.
Speak to your landlord to make sure pets are allowed in your apartment. Many apartment complexes have size and breed restrictions, and knowing what is acceptable in advance will prevent a possible eviction. Sign any required documents and pay additional pet deposits before bringing your puppy home.
Select an appropriate breed for your apartment. Many large breeds are not recommended for apartment life due to their overwhelming size, and active breeds including herding and hunting dogs are too energetic for apartment living. Small to medium breeds with calm temperaments such as whippets, Chihuahuas and Pomeranians are well-suited for apartments.
Crate train your puppy as soon as he comes home. Line the bottom of the crate with a fluffy dog bed, and put the crate in your bedroom. Set the puppy in the crate at bedtime and close the door. He may whine and cry for a few nights, but soon he will learn the crate is his own safe, quiet sleeping space.
Provide the puppy with a number of different puppy toys. Apartment dogs often resort to destructive behaviors due to boredom, and numerous toys will keep him busy.
Take the puppy outside for frequent bathroom breaks. Puppies have weak bladders and should go out at least once an hour to prevent accidents. Place the puppy in a grassy area out of the way of foot traffic, and keep him on a leash at all times. Be courteous to your neighbors and pick up solid waste immediately.
Feed the puppy a high-quality puppy food. Look for a food with no fillers, such as corn and wheat, and with meat listed among the first few ingredients. Feed the puppy on a set schedule, spreading the meals throughout the day to minimize digestive upset. Take the puppy out to potty after every meal.
Exercise the puppy in short sessions during the day. Puppies are extremely energetic, and frequent play sessions stimulate the puppy and keep his mind and body busy. Take the puppy on short walks, throw his favorite toy and let him run in an enclosed area to burn off excess energy.
Groom the puppy at least once a week. Most apartments charge a security deposit, and keeping the puppy clean will prevent a messy apartment and keep your landlord happy. Brush his coat, clip his nails and trim long hair to prevent mats and keep your puppy comfortable and clean.
- Introduce the puppy to your neighbors. This will prevent him from barking when he sees them walking past your apartment.
- Never let your puppy wander alone outside your apartment. He could get injured or stolen, and you could face an eviction for violating pet policies.
Louise Lawson has been a published author and editor for more than 10 years. Lawson specializes in pet and food-related articles, utilizing her 15 years as a sous chef and as a dog breeder, handler and trainer to produce pieces for online and print publications.