10 Tips for Apartment Living with Your Dog
Living in an apartment isn’t always an easy situation when it comes to dog ownership. You typically don’t have a backyard to let your dog go potty in or run around and play. Plus, if your pup is a little mischievous, you could end up losing your deposit thanks to doggy damage. Then, there are the neighbors that likely don’t welcome your dog’s howls while you’re away at work.
Of course, these are all examples of the potential downsides of apartment living with your dog. The keyword here is potential, meaning the good news is, these situations aren’t inevitable. In contrast, think of them more as a picture of what you can avoid with some simple tips and tricks.
Apartment Living with a Canine Roommate
If your home sweet home is an apartment, then you undoubtedly have a few more restrictions when it comes to having a dog as your roomie. After all, you’re living in someone else’s property, which means, ultimately, what they say goes. If you’re fortunate to find a place that welcomes pets, the respectful and considerate thing to do is abide by the complex’s rules. It’s also vital to respect your neighbors and the complex’s common areas, like meeting rooms, rec centers, and outdoor spaces.
Here are ten ways to make your apartment the perfect place for you and your canine companion to coexist.
Don’t Slack on Training
Training your pooch is of prime importance no matter where you live, but it's imperative in an apartment. Primarily because when you live in an apartment, it's not just about you and your dog; it’s also about all the people who live around you.
Ensure you devote adequate time to potty training and basic training, teaching your dog simple commands, like “sit,” “stay,” and “come.” Crate training your pup is also a great idea. While it’s ideal to start training your pet as young as possible, you can still teach an old dog new tricks. If you're struggling, talk to your vet about recommended obedience classes in your area or see if she recommends any professional private trainers.
Establish a Schedule
Dogs thrive on routine, so if you don't already have a schedule, now is the time to start one. Start the day with a brisk walk and some playtime with your pup so that your dog’s more likely to rest while you start work. This is especially important if you, like so many others recently, are working from home. Establishing a schedule can also help train your pup’s bladder to take bathroom breaks at certain times, which is especially nice when you're in bed for the night.
An organized home helps life run more smoothly, whether you live in a huge house, a small apartment, or something in between. When your house is organized, you're calmer, which means your pup will be more relaxed. Organize your dog’s belongings in a way that makes sense for your lifestyle, so tasks like grooming, feeding, and other essentials are easy to do.
Doggy-Proof Your Apartment
Of course, you always want your pup to be safe, and doggy proofing is vital whether you rent or own a home. However, it becomes even more critical to puppy-proof your home in an apartment since you want to avoid dealing with a lot of damage. Therefore, take measures to keep both your dog and apartment safe. For example, keep the trash can in a closed cabinet and use a child safety latch, so you don't come home to garbage all over the floor. Tie up long curtain cords so they don't pose a hazard for your pup. Also, keep breakable items and things that could make a mess out of your dog’s reach.
Limit Your Dog’s Access While You’re Away
The fewer places your dog can get to while you're away, the less mess and trouble your pal can get into. Choose a special place for your pup to stay while you're gone. For example, you could put a safety gate across the doorway of a spare bedroom or bathroom and let that be your pup’s perch while you're away from home.
Provide Ample Opportunities for Play and Exercise
Obviously, the more opportunities your dog has for exercise and playtime, the more willing he'll be to rest at other times. Taking your dog for a walk and playing together are ideal, of course, but you can't do it all day long. Therefore, make sure your pup has access to toys that help with mental stimulation and are engaging, like the Rolly Cannoli. This way you won't have to worry about your precious pal interrupting your Zoom call.
Consider a Dog-Walking Service
If you're swamped with work and, let's face it, who isn't nowadays, consider hiring a dog walking service. You can find recommendations through sites like Rover.com or talk to your vet. You can hire someone to come walk your dog if you’re away for work, but it's also a great idea if you're working from home. This way, you don't have to miss a beat or a deadline because you need to stop for a puppy potty break.
Potty Train Your Pup to Use the Patio or Balcony
Taking your dog for a couple of walks a day is a great way to get exercise and bond. However, you don't necessarily want to have to snap on the leash every time your pup needs to use the bathroom. If your apartment has a balcony or patio area, you could try training your dog to use an outdoor potty pad area. If anything, this could be a solution to avoid late-night bathroom excursions.
Your dog might be the equivalent of your fur-covered child, but your pup's voice is not music to everyone's ears. It’s no secret that when you live in an apartment, you hear sounds from above, below, and next door, which means your neighbors hear you too. Of course, training your dog is the ideal way to discourage excessive barking. There are also several gadgets, like the Furbo dog camera, that enable you to communicate with your pup and even dispense treats remotely.
Start a Doggy-Damage Fund
Yes, of course, your dog is the most well-behaved pup on the planet, however, even the best of us have bad days. Therefore, it couldn't hurt to set aside some extra cash if your dog does some major damage. At the least, you won't stress out about the possibility, and if your dog doesn't destroy anything, then you've got extra cash. Not a bad thing at all.
What If an Apartment Isn’t a Good Fit for Your Dog?
Sometimes an apartment might not be a good fit for a dog. And it's not necessarily your dog's fault. For example, larger breeds that need a lot of exercise and physical activity, like German Shepherds and Labradors, generally don’t do well in an apartment. No matter what the reason, if it doesn't seem to be working out or your dog seems miserable, you'll have some choices to make. And some of them will likely be tough.
But don't worry, it doesn't automatically mean you need to find another home for your pet; that would be the absolute extreme. Instead, think of other possibilities. For example, are you willing to move? Maybe you can find a complex that's more pet-friendly or a more dog-friendly neighborhood with lots of dog parks and doggy daycares, etc. Or, are you at a point in your life where you can purchase a home? Or if you still want to rent, maybe you can find a house for rent that accepts pets.
Whatever your living situation, it’s important to ensure both you and your pet are happy and safe. Apartment living with your dog can be a wonderful experience as long as you take a few extra steps. Check out our blog for more helpful tips on living with your furry friend. There are tons of useful tips to guide you through the winding roads of pet-parenting.
Helpful Tips and Tricks for Giving Your Pet Medication
You would do anything for your pet, especially when it comes to their health. However, giving your pet medicine is often easier said than done. From the dog that runs and hides to the kitty that won’t come down from the highest shelf, pets can be stubborn. But you can’t give up, because your pet needs his medication, whether it’s for monthly flea prevention, an acute illness, or a chronic disease. So, what do you do?
Before you stress yourself (and your pet) out, try these tips for giving medicine to your pet. From creative tricks to helpful products, you’re sure to find one that makes the process easier.
Tricks to Help Your Pet Take Medicine
If giving your pet medicine has you pulling your hair out, try some of these tricks before you have to schedule an emergency appointment with your hairdresser.
Disguise the Medicine
A popular way to trick your pet into taking medicine is to make it look, smell, and taste like something else. For pills, you can try slathering peanut butter over them or try stuffing them into a piece of bread, bacon, or cheese.
You can also mix it into your pet’s food bowl during their regular mealtime, although doing so with canned food might be best. It is not unlikely for an incredibly headstrong pet to eat their entire bowl of kibble, only to leave behind the one solitary pill. Therefore, always ensure your pet has actually consumed the medicine when giving it to them in disguise.
Use the “Sandwich Method”
If your pet has a treat that they absolutely adore, you can use this to your advantage by employing the “sandwich method.” Before you start grabbing the bread and mayo...this isn’t about making an actual sandwich. It’s about how you give the medicine to your pet.
Start by feeding your pet a few bits of the irresistible food item. Then, sneak in the pill and immediately follow it with another piece of their favorite food. If your pal tends to be a fast eater, this might be a perfect method for you.
Try Changing the Delivery Method
Some animals struggle with taking pills for reasons beyond simply not liking the taste. For example, if your furry friend has sensitive teeth, chewing a hard tablet could be quite tricky. Talk to your vet about alternative forms of the medication, like a powder or liquid.
Or, ask your veterinarian if you can crush the pill into a powder and mix it with something like peanut butter, cream cheese, or yogurt. You can then place the mixture in a small bowl for your pet to enjoy. The critical point here is to ask your vet. You should never alter any medication for your pet unless you get the green light from the doctor.
Instead of making this a stressful task, turn this into a game. Take a handful of treats and throw them one at a time into the air. After a few throws, swap a treat for their medication. Your dog will be having too much fun catching the treats that he won’t notice the difference. This method will work best for dogs.
Products That Make It Easier to Give Your Pet Medicine
Sometimes, trying to trick your pet just won’t work. Somehow, there are always those pets that just know, no matter what you try. Luckily, the struggle to give pets medication is one that many people face, so several products are available to help.
For example, for liquid medications, it’s typical to use a small syringe device, like this one from Essential Pet. Your vet will usually give you one along with the medication, but if not, you can buy one at any drugstore.
Fill the syringe with the liquid, then place it in your pet’s mouth, gently close their jaws, and stroke their throat as you dispense the medication to encourage them to swallow. You can also make your pet want to lap it up right out of the syringe by mixing it with a tasty liquid. Just make sure to check with your vet first to ensure you don’t throw off the dosage.
You can try making your own pill pockets out of some of your pet’s favorite treats, but you can also purchase ready-made ones that come in irresistible flavors for your pet. These pockets mask the texture and the taste of the medicine, with flavors like liver, beef, and other pet temptations. You simply put the pill inside the pocket, pinch it closed, and give it to your pet.
Here are a few pill pockets you can check out to see if they’re right for your pal:
- Greenie Pill Pockets Canine Chicken Flavor (also available in other flavors, like peanut butter, cheese, and hickory smoke)
- Greenie Pill Pockets Cat Salmon (also available in other flavors, like tuna & cheese, and chicken)
Of course, some pets have mastered the art of eating the pill pocket and then spitting out the pill. If this applies to your beloved furry friend, then you’ll have to go with one of the other tips or tricks.
In some cases, your pet might not eat a pill because it’s too big. If this is the only problem, then you are in luck. You can purchase a pill cutter at any drugstore to easily cut the pill down to a more manageable size for your pet. It’s also possible that your vet will cut the pills for you when you fill the prescription.
If none of the above tricks or products are helping, you can ask your vet to demonstrate how to use a pill gun. It’s a syringe-looking device that allows you to place the pill in the back of your pet’s mouth.
Although you might not prefer it to other methods, if nothing else works, it’s better than putting your whole hand in your pet’s mouth and risking a bite. However, it might make your pal a little nervous at first, so if you plan to use it, train your pet to get used to it first.
Let them see it, smell it, etc., without trying to actually use it on them. Then, put some yummy stuff on the end of it, like peanut butter or tuna, and let your pet lick it. Gradually put it a little further into your pet’s mouth until they seem to be more used to it. Once you’ve reached that point, you can attempt to give the meds with the pill gun.
Here are some pill guns you can try:
- Jorvet Pet Pill Gun for Dogs and Cats (comes as a 12-pack)
- VetOne Pet Piller for Dogs and Cats (comes as a 12-pack)
After a little trial and error, you’re sure to find a way that will be the perfect “spoonful of sugar” for giving medicine to your pet. Knowledge is power when it comes to being a pet parent, which is why at Neater Pets we like to fill our blog with all sorts of helpful tips and resources. Instead of dreading challenging pet-related tasks, you can breathe easier, and rest assured your pet has what he needs to stay happy and healthy. Now that’s an easy pill to swallow.