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If you’d like to have a canine companion by your side and live in an apartment, here’s good news: There are lots of dogs who are compatible with a city-dweller’s lifestyle. And, an increasing amount of residential communities are adopting pet-friendly policies. If you are living in an apartment and are considering adding a dog to your family, here are some tips to help: Be sure to check with your landlord about restrictions before you’re won over by those puppy dog eyes. You don't want to have to surrender your apartment or worse yet, your new friend, simply because you didn't know your apartment didn't take pets. Also, some landlords have weight and breed restrictions, so be sure you're in compliance with those before you bring a dog home.
No matter where they reside, all dogs have a daily need for exercise and companionship. Purebred dogs and mutts alike can live happily in apartments as long as these needs are met. For dogs with lower exercise requirements, daily walks are sufficient. For more active dogs, add some additional romps and a few play dates at the dog park to work off that extra energy.
Some dogs are meant for the indoor-only lifestyle that an apartment has to offer. Brachycephalic dogs, or those with shorter breathing passages, are susceptible to extremes in temperature and need to live in air-conditioned homes. Their need to stay indoors makes them an ideal apartment companion. Breed examples: Pugs, Bulldogs, Boston Terriers, Shih Tzus, Pekingese, Japanese Chins, Brussels Griffons, Malteses, Cavalier King Charles Spaniels and English Toy Spaniels.
Dogs with low to moderate energy levels can get their exercise needs met with a daily walk. These dogs would happily trade in their tennis ball to become a couch potato and make great apartment pets. Breed examples: Basset Hounds, English Bulldogs, Dachshunds, English Toy Spaniels, Pekingese, Whippet, Pugs, and senior or older dogs.
Small dogs with a lot of energy can get their needs by simply running around the apartment. With their tiny size, a small apartment provides ample room to run and play. Breed examples: Poodles (miniature and toy), Pomeranians, Papillions, Bichon Frises, Havaneses, Chihuahuas, Miniature Pinschers, Italian Greyhounds, Lhasa Apsos, Miniature Schnauzers, and most terriers.
Believe it or not, there are medium to large sized dogs that do very well in smaller spaces. They generally have low to moderate energy and adapt well provided they have ample opportunity to get out for some exercise. Long daily walks and a few hearty play sessions a week will do the trick. Breed examples: Cocker Spaniels, Greyhounds, Great Danes, Newfoundlands, Saint Bernards, Mastiffs, Old English Sheepdogs, Bloodhounds, Borzois and Rottweilers.
When choosing an apartment dog, you may also want to consider making a trip to your local animal shelter and rescuing a smaller, mixed breed dog. If properly trained, mutts can make fantastic apartment companions. Plus, you'll be saving a life and giving a very deserving animal a good home.
Check restrictions first.