If you live in an apartment you might not think there is enough space to raise a puppy in your home but that is not always the case. Our TLC Animal Clinic vets will provide you with information on how to raise your puppy in an apartment.
A new puppy can be cuddly and cute but it takes a lot of work to turn that puppy into the perfect dog for you. You’ll need to train it and give it the tools needed to successfully interact with people and other animals. There are many things you can do as a pet owner to ensure your puppy is well taken care of and happy in its new home.
Potty Train Your Puppy
When people think of potty training they generally associate it with toddlers but potty training needs to be done with puppies as well. There are a few things you need to do when potty training, they are:
- Stick to a schedule. To avoid accidents, you'll want to take your puppy outside to potty frequently.
- Designate a "potty zone" outside.
- Use a consistent command.
- Celebrate immediately.
- Supervise or confine.
- Handle accidents appropriately.
- Have patience and hang in there.
Crate Train Your Puppy
When you live in an apartment or do not have a separate room in your house, you may need to crate train your puppy. Many people do not like crate training because they think the puppy does not like it but that is not true. Your puppy can be happy and cozy in their very own bedroom crate.
Crate training can take some time like any other training technique. Your puppy is going to need to get to know the crate and adjust things so it is comfortable. It is always good to put comfy blankets and some toys in the crate and place the crate in an area where your dog won't be disrupted by others walking by. This will become your dog's safe space or a quiet place.
Practice opening and closing the crate to get your puppy used to knowing what it will be like when they are being put in or taken out of the crate. Start by putting your dog in the crate while you are home for short time, then increase the time you leave your puppy in the crate by leaving them in it while you go out or run errands. After a while, you will notice less barking and resistance when you put your puppy into the crate.
Adding treats to the crate will also help with crate training.
Pet-Friendly Building and Neighborhood
Getting a puppy can be a big decision and when making this decision you need to consider your building and your neighborhood. Is your neighborhood or apartment building pet-friendly?
If your building or neighborhood is not pet-friendly then you may have to move so you can keep your puppy without issues. Living in a building and neighborhood that is pet-friendly is so important because other pet owners are always a great resource when trying to train a puppy. If your neighborhood is pet-friendly you may even have dog parks nearby where your new puppy can make friends and practice those social skills.
Certain apartment buildings are "half" pet-friendly because you can have a dog but they have to be under a certain size and weight so a lot of bigger dog breeds would not be welcome so make sure to check with your landlord on the rules of the building on pets.
Keep A Clean Apartment
It's important when first bringing a puppy home that your home is clean and organized. A good way to do this is by designating a specific box, bin, or area of the apartment to store your dog’s toys, balls, and other items. This will keep your floor clean while giving your puppy access to all their favorite treats.
It’s important to only use safe toys meant for dogs. Avoid tennis balls and other small toys that may cause choking.
Keep an eye on how worn and tattered your dog’s toys get. As they begin to chew and eat away at them, you’ll likely find evidence around your apartment.
Avoid this by only leaving toys in the dog bin that are in good shape and intact.
Keep Food/Snack Sealed
When you live in an apartment it can be hard to "hide" or "put up" all your trash cans because you just don't have the space for them, so the best thing that can be done instead is to make sure all your dog's and your food and snacks are sealed and put away each day. This is especially important when you leave your home.
Most dry dog food and treats are stored in paper bags or cardboard boxes. These are easy for rats and other rodents to chew through and feast on.
Instead, store your dog’s treats in plastic containers with sealed lids. This keeps infestations out and your pup’s food safe and healthy and if it is in sealed containers, they will keep your dog’s food fresher, and longer, saving you money.
When it comes to storage, keep your dog’s food and treats out of reach.
Keep Barking To A Minimum
This tip may be the hardest one to accomplish. When you are not home you can't stop your puppy from barking or whining so it's important to try to minimize barking whenever you are home.
When you playing with your puppy, try not to get your dog too riled up or excited which may cause them to bark loudly. Training your dog not to bark using treats, and command words like “quiet”, can work well.
Instead of a shock collar, you could try a citronella collar to reduce your dog’s barking.
This collar activates a spray of citronella when your dog barks. The spray is triggered by the vibration of your pup’s throat, preventing outside noises from setting it off accidentally.
These collars are harmless to dogs and non-offensive to humans, making them a viable way to keep barking to a minimum.