How to Be a Responsible Dog Owner in an Apartment

For many of us life just isn’t complete without the loving companionship of a dog. Big or small, drool-y or…not, dogs bring joy and humor to each day, and we would do anything for them, but building dwellers in Atlanta apartments must take extra steps toward ensuring that they are being responsible pet owners. Here are some of the ways that we can all be good to our dogs and good to our close-by neighbors.

Own an Apartment-friendly Breed

Face it: if you want to keep a Great Dane for a pet, you should wait until you have a spacious house and a big, fenced-in yard. The type of dog you get is the first step in being a good owner. There are many things to consider, including size: loudness and frequency of barks (looking at you, sweet, soulful but utterly ear-piercing Beagle); energy level; your current lifestyle; and even the dog’s age. Choose a breed that is compatible with apartment life and you’ll spare yourself a depressing trip to the shelter later.

Make Managing Pet Waste a Priority

Infected fecal matter left on the ground is one of the most dangerous ways that dogs can contract illness, and our furry friends do tend to view that waste as a tasty snack. Do your part by always picking up after your dog has done his business and then disposing of it safely. Most pet-friendly apartment complexes will offer disposal bins and bags around the buildings, but you should always keep bags on-hand.

Socialize Your Dog Early and Often

Growling, aggressive barking and lunging for other dogs can be mitigated with early socialization that is maintained throughout his life. It’s especially important in an apartment setting because other pooches will likely be near and numerous. You don’t want to end up with the unfriendly dog that everyone is afraid of.

Provide Plenty of Exercise

Even the most couch-friendly breeds require some physical activity to maintain their weight and overall health. If you can’t make at least a daily half-hour walk fit into your schedule, you might reconsider getting a dog in the first place. Because apartments tend to be smaller in square footage and lack a fenced-in back yard, the onus is on the owner to get pups ample exercise.

The best way you can do right by your faithful canine companion in an apartment setting is to be a smart, conscientious and thoughtful owner.

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