Beagle dog happily playing in a sunny living room with a person in the background.

How to Be the Best Dog Parent in an Apartment

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Written by Andrea Davis
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Edited by Sarah Claire Eleazer
For Residents January 17, 2024

Within the rental community, many of our roommates have four legs and fur. Balancing the needs of your VIP (very important pup) coupled with the constraints of limited space requires some creativity, commitment, and a dash of ingenuity. With more than 70% of renters sharing their homes with pets, it's clear that the bond between humans and their furry friends is an integral part of this lifestyle. 

Whether you're a seasoned renter or a first-time canine companion, here are 10 tips to help you become a top-notch dog owner in the cozy confines of an apartment.

1.  Choose the Right Breed

Before bringing home a furry friend, consider the size, energy level, and temperament of the breed. Some dogs adapt better to apartment life than others. While it’s easy to pick out specific breeds that work best for limited spaces, don't overlook the option of adopting from shelters or rescue organizations. 
Talk to the staff and volunteers about the dog you are interested in. Find out if their energy matches your lifestyle and if they'd make a good fit.


2.  Master Potty Training

In apartment communities, where green spaces are limited, mastering the art of early potty training is essential. Establish a consistent schedule for bathroom breaks and reward your pup for doing their business in the designated areas. Be a good neighbor and keep your dog from eliminating in the indoor spaces such as the elevators, stairwells, and hallways. In the event of accidents, promptly clean up or notify a community team member for assistance.


3.  Take a Hike

Exercise, exercise, exercise! Physical activity is crucial for a healthy and happy pup, especially in a confined space. Take your dog for regular walks, explore nearby parks, or engage in indoor games like fetch or tug-of-war. Mental stimulation is just as important, so invest in puzzle toys to keep your dog's mind sharp. If there are nearby dog playgrounds available, take advantage of them as they offer excellent spaces for your pet to exercise.


4.  Control the Noise

Living in close quarters with neighbors requires consideration for noise levels. If your dog tends to bark, work on training to minimize excessive noise. Provide toys to keep them entertained and invest in noise-canceling products like soft toys or soundproofing curtains to ensure everyone in your apartment complex stays happy. Additionally, investing in a good noise machine for your home can help eliminate some outside noises that might trigger your pup's barking.


5.  Invest in Training Classes

Enrolling your pup in obedience classes is a wise investment. Well-behaved dogs contribute to a smoother living experience for both you and your neighbors. Training enhances the bond between you and your furry friend, creating a harmonious environment within the confines of your home.



6.  Socialize Your Pup

Dogs are social creatures, and apartment living should not impede their ability to interact with other people and dogs. Arrange playdates with other dogs in the building or attend local dog-friendly events. Socializing your pup will make them more comfortable with various environments and people, contributing to a reduction in anxiety.


7.  Create a Cozy Corner

Transform your apartment into a doggie haven by dedicating a small corner or nook for your four-legged friend. Invest in a comfortable bed, toys, and perhaps a cozy blanket. This designated space provides your pup with a sense of security and ownership within the shared living quarters.



8.  Master the Art of Grooming

Regular grooming is not only about keeping your pup looking sharp but also about maintaining a clean living space. Brush your dog regularly to reduce shedding, trim their nails, and bathe them when necessary. A well-groomed dog is a happy dog, and when your dog is happy, you're happy. 


9.  Be a Responsible Neighbor

Create a positive relationship with your neighbors by being a responsible pet owner. Always clean up after your dog, keep them on a leash in common areas, and promptly address any concerns your neighbors may have. A little consideration goes a long way in maintaining a peaceful coexistence.


10.  Prepare for Emergencies

Lastly, be prepared for any unexpected events. Have a pet first aid kit, know the location of the nearest emergency vet, and ensure your dog is microchipped and wearing proper identification. Taking proactive measures during emergencies ensures the safety and well-being of your furry friend.


By implementing these tips, you'll transform your apartment into a canine-friendly oasis where both you and your furry friend can thrive, all while being a great neighbor. After all, being a top-notch dog owner isn't just about the size of your living space—it's about the size of your heart and the commitment to creating a loving home for your beloved pet.

From practical tips on car break-in protection to understanding our flexible renting program and rental fraud prevention, explore more resident content on the Greystar blog.


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