Benefits of Living in an Apartment with Your Dog
Guest Post by Jackie Phillips
When you and your dog live in an apartment you will be sharing very close quarters. Since you don’t have a backyard in which your dog can spend a lot of time, you both spend more time inside together. Your relationship with your dog may start to feel more like a roommate with him expressing needs of his own and a desire for equal space and time. Since you will be going together on walks several times a day, you will be spending even more time together, exploring your neighborhood and going to dog parks. If you are able to take your dog to work with you, you will be spending more time together than most husbands and wives. When you live in an apartment with a dog, your relationship blooms from that of a standard owner and dog relationship to that of being close friends, roommates and inseparable buddies.
For some people and dogs this is the type of relationship they are accustomed to having with their dogs, and it does not seem unusual. When I first moved out of my parent’s house at the age of 19, I took the family dog, Prezo, with me. I moved into a large house with several roommates and Prezo lived in my room with me. Since my parents did not allow Prezo in the house (he was only allowed in the garage due to my dad’s allergies) Prezo was unaccustomed to living inside. However, he was always housetrained and quickly adjusted to life inside a house. I remember realizing the changes he needed to go through and how I could help him through all that.
That is not to say that if you live in a house with your dog that you won’t have a deep relationship with your dog. Absolutely, you can. However, living in an apartment adds a deeper level of commitment and understanding that can easily be taken for granted if you live with a yard.
If you want to take your dog on a driving vacation with you instead of leaving him or her in a kennel or with a friend or family member, he or she will be more adjusted and better trained coming from living in an apartment. Living in an apartment adjusts your dog to staying in motel/hotel rooms and other small spaces comfortably. Your dog should also be familiar with being in a crate in the car for long car rides. Since you walk your dog daily in your neighborhood your dog will be more used to being calm and better behaved around a variety of people and other pets so you can walk your dog in new cities and on trails with a lot less stress. Your dog can more easily adapt to going to new dog parks and strange situations. Finally, your dog will already be familiar with having to relieve themselves in a variety of environments which helps a lot while traveling. And, of course, your dog is much happier to be with you than in a kennel.
You will get more exercise for the both of you because you and your dog will be going for walks several times a day. Of course, if you are smoking while out on your walks that doesn’t count. A brisk walk will be better for your health than a slow one will be. Since dogs walk at approximately four miles an hour and human beings typically walk at only two miles an hour, try to adjust your pace to your dog’s pace instead of the other way around.
Your dogs overall stress level will be reduced when encountering anything new or a change in its routine because the dog will already be fully adjusted to coming across on a daily bases all the different and challenging experiences he or she encounters in their daily life at home. This stress reduction will also benefit his health over the long term.
If you take your dog to dog parks for exercise, you will meet other dog people. As a result, your dog will become more socialized automatically as they meet more people on their walks. They will become more adapted to noises, machines and other animals. Compare this kind of experience to the experience of a dog that lives in a house with a yard. The house dog will rarely, if at all, be taken for walks, loosing out on the socialization and training opportunities.
You set an example for others to see what a well-behaved and well-trained dog can truly be like. I meet people all the time who were once extremely afraid of dogs eventually look forward to seeing my dogs, and my dogs loved to see them everyday, also, which made these people very happy.
This excerpt comes from my published book: Renting with Rex: How You, Your Dog, Your Landlord and Your Neighbors Can All Thrive in Rental Housing.
Since 1984 I have been renting with dogs, cats, birds and rabbits in the San Francisco Bay Area and Northern California. I have lived in a wide variety of types and sizes of rentals. During these experiences, I have seen a wide variety of landlords, property owners, managers, roommates and rental agreements. I have also volunteered and worked in shelters and have seen many animals surrendered to shelters because their owners were unable to find a place to live. My main objective for this book is to prevent another animal from loosing their home.
I am available to do rental counseling to assist dogs to adjust to living in an apartment or rental housing.
I am also a full time professional pet detective, and through the use of a wide variety of techniques, including a trained tracking dog, we assist people throughout Northern and Central California to help them bring home their lost pet.