By: Demetrios Salpoglou
Living in a city apartment with a dog can be quite the challenge. First and foremost, you need to find a place that allows for animals. Once you’ve found you and your dog’s new home, then you have to establish different ground rules for your pet than you would normally have created for them in a house or something more spread out. Many Boston apartments allow for dogs and some even have dog-friendly amenities included. Finding apartments for rent in Boston that allow for dogs is not too difficult, the challenge lies in the competition for these coveted apartments. Once you find your dream apartment, establishing a respectful dog-routine is the next key step to having a good relationship with your neighbors and landlord.
Finding a Dog-Friendly Apartment
When setting out to find a dog-friendly apartment, give yourself more time than the average apartment hunter. Not only are you competing against everyone looking for somewhere to live, your options are much more limited. Pet allowances may still include restrictions on breed, size and the overall number of pets that you may keep in your potential new apartment.
Sometimes the search results will not indicate whether or not an apartment allows for dogs, in which case you will need to contact the landlord or property manager to get more information. In these cases, it is as simple as adding this to your list of questions before even scheduling a viewing. You will not want to view the apartment if you cannot have your dog there…
Prior to beginning your apartment search, make sure your dog’s vaccinations are up to date. You will also need copies of their records and licensing information. Not everyone asks for each of these things, but in order to speed up your application process, it is important to be prepared so you do not lose out on that perfect home. By over-preparing your dog’s documentation in addition to your own, you will increase your chances to land yourself that apartment.
How to be a Respectful Dog Owner in an Apartment Building
Not all pet owners are the best tenants. They may be great inside their own apartments, but sometimes they lack the ability to realize when their dogs are irritating a neighbor or making someone uncomfortable. And that’s okay! Not everyone is a people-reader. Owners of dogs need training when moving to a new location just as their dogs do. There are a few things you can do to prevent your pup from annoying someone in an apartment building and also to discern whether or not you’ve gotten on someone’s nerves. Below are some tips on being a respectful dog owner, starting with the basics.
1. Pick up your poo! Yes, you absolutely, 100% of the time, need to pick up your dog’s poo. Even if they go in a bush or off the beaten path, you have to pick it up and throw it away. You would be surprised how many people do not abide by this rule. It’s detrimental. Do not leave your dog’s bowel movements anywhere. It’s not cool, man.
2. Backup and let people pass in hallways and tight spaces. Your dog will need to know manners to allow people to pass respectfully. Try to encourage them to sit and stay patiently while another tenant goes by. If they generally bark at people in their “territory” apologize and truly attempt to train your dog out of that habit.
3. Keep them from barking at the door. Oftentimes in an apartment, your dog will hear much more traffic and general noise than normal. It takes time for a canine to get used to apartment life, but it also takes some guided training. Don’t let your dog bark as your neighbors pass. If necessary, use an indoor barrier of some sort for the initial training, like this one from Amazon.
4. If your dog likes to sniff where other dogs are, chances are they will stop by every other door on the way to your own where a dog has previously stepped foot. Do not allow them to do this. When you walk past other apartment doors, keep your dog close on a short leash. If someone else has a dog behind said door, this will prevent any reactive behavior on both parts. By keeping your dog from sniffing someone else’s door and potentially aggravating their own animals, you are respecting your neighbor’s peace. Letting your dog sniff is akin to knocking on the door outright and running away.
5. Sweep the stairs. This sounds strange, but a lot of apartment buildings do not have common area cleaning services so you have to do this occasionally. If your dog sheds a lot and you go up and down stairs, chances are you have hairballs everywhere. Take some initiative and just sweep the stairs every now and then. Get the hair out of the way and send the signal to your neighbors that you are a responsible and respectful pet owner. If you’re not the only one in the building, maybe you can convince the other dog owners to take turns sweeping with you.
6. If your dog is a “scary” breed or has some quirks, introduce yourself to your closest neighbors and just let them know about them. If your puppy is friendly, and they have to be to live in an apartment, then you should also ask if your neighbors would like to be introduced. It could help cut down on your dog’s barking, reactivity, etc. to have him or her know your neighbors. Plus, once they fall in love with your dog then nothing your baby does will be nearly as invasive.
Routine is Key
Respecting your neighbors is one thing, but you also have to respect your dog. Dogs are very active creatures and not only need a strict exercise routine but also a meal plan and even training schedule. A dog in an apartment may get bored and start acting out. Your job as its loyal owner is to ensure this does not happen. Make sure your dog has a set nutrition and eating schedule, daily walking routine, daily training activities and weekly or consistent trips to the park or elsewhere.
Owning a dog in an apartment is a lot more work than in a house; however, it can be more fun if it’s done right. Training your dog and walking him or her so often can be a game instead of a chore. It’s all in the perspective, but as long as you are a respectful dog owner, you should never have an issue keeping your canine in your apartment.