While living in a flat can somewhat curb your ability to keep certain types of pets, it is still entirely possible to keep a dog happy and comfortably in a flat rather than a house-with a few caveats! Living in a flat can be rather more challenging when it comes to caring for a dog than living in a house generally is, and there are a range of additional factors that you will need to bear in mind in order to get things right.
In this article, we will look at some of the elements of dog care and management that are pretty much unique to living in a flat rather than a house, and how to make flat-dwelling and life with a dog work for you. Read on to learn more.
One of the main challenges that often face dog owners and would-be dog owners that live in flats is how to provide access to outdoors- few flats have their own enclosed garden, and if you live above the ground floor, the problem of outdoor space is even more acute! In order to keep a dog in a flat happily and successfully, you will need to have access to some form of outside area where your dog can pop out to the toilet when needed, and remember that you will always have to go with them and not allow them to do their business and then pick it up later, as you can do if you have a garden!
Additionally, making sure that your dog gets enough exercise is important too, and you will have to ensure that their walks are well suited to their energy levels and age.
Most flats and apartments have shared spaces, such as the lobby, stairs and possibly lifts-if you are lucky enough to have your own entrance, this is not such a problem! When using shared spaced with your dog, it is vitally important to ensure that your dog is kept close to you and under control, and that they are not allowed to invade anyone else’s space, or worse, jump up on someone with muddy paws!
Always give way to others on the stairs, and ask people before sharing a lift with them if they are happy with your dog riding along.
Generally, flats are better suited to small to medium dogs than large breeds, although this will of course depend on the size of your flat! Pick carefully when choosing the breed or type of dog that you wish to own, to ensure that it will be comfortable in your flat, and not soon outgrow the available space!
The temperament of your dog is another vitally important factor to bear in mind-highly active working breeds such as the Border collie can be quite a handful, which will be amplified even more if you’re sharing a small space with your dog, and cannot simply let them out into the garden when you both need a break!
It is also worth bearing in mind that if you have thin walls and/or a noisy dog, you’re going to fall out with your neighbours in short order! Try to ensure that your dog does not make a lot of noise and fuss, particularly when you are out or at night, and talk to your neighbours ahead of time to get their thoughts if you are considering getting a dog.
If you rent your flat, if you own a leasehold flat or if your flat is privately owned by managed by an agency, you may need to get permission to keep a dog before you go and get one! Check your tenancy agreement or the terms of residence in your building to find out if there are regulations or restrictions on pets, and make sure that you don’t fall at the first hurdle by breaking the rules!
If your dog comes in from a walk and they are muddy, wet or otherwise messy, the chances are that they are going to bring all of that mess in with them, and possibly, get it all over the building’s communal areas, such as the lobby, stairs and walls!
Even if a cleaning service takes care of the communal areas of your building for you, if you own a dog, it is only right that you should clear up these shared spaces if your dog makes a mess of them, which may mean hoovering, getting mud off the walls, and generally, removing fur and other traces of your dog!
The same goes for outdoor communal spaces such as parks or gardens-it goes without saying that you should always pick up your dog’s waste immediately, and also, try not to allow your dog to dig or make a mess of flowerbeds or the grass either!