There’s a reason why dogs are called man’s best friend, with one of those reasons being that they stick with us through thick and thin. They don’t care about your religious beliefs, whether you’re rich or not, and they most certainly don’t care about where you live, the latter forming the subject of today’s discussion. A small apartment presents some challenges when living with pets, especially a large breed such as the Great Dane, but with a little know-how, you can pull off living with a large dog in small apartment without issue. To ensure that that is the case, keep the following in mind.
Incorporate Quality Exercise into Your Routine
Large dogs are primarily inactive during their advanced years with many typically sleeping for most of the day. To counter this inactivity whose flames are fanned by small living spaces, make some time for exercise in your daily schedule. A big dog is a bit constricted in small premises and might find it hard to run around and be himself without banging into things. An hour of outdoor activities daily is the general rule of thumb, but the exact amount of exercise can vary depending on several factors. Look to your vet for help with a precise estimate and some insight into proper cardiovascular exercise, which should undoubtedly encompass running. If you’re too busy to fulfill these needs, find a doggy daycare or a similar service to do it for you.
Have a Generous Collection of Play Items
Since there’s little for him to do inside given limited playing room, ensure he’s busy indoors with toys that’ll keep him occupied for long periods. Some of those include treat-dispensing puzzles such as a dog activity mat that stimulates both mind and body, rubber toys that are extremely hard to chew, moving toys that keep him guessing, among many others. Having a vast selection picked out allows him to shift his attention to another if he gets bored with one toy.
Be Your Dog’s, and Thereby, Your Neighbor’s Keeper
Keep the barking to a minimum with indoor toys and also be sure to discourage him from using common areas of the building as a potty. Additionally, always have him on a short leash when going outside your apartment. A gentle giant he may be, but a big dog can be physically intimidating so having him close to you reassures overly scared neighbors. Also, a good trick or two such as the “high five” can endear him to those who aren’t too keen on being around him.
Make Him His Own Den
His sleeping quarters will be his focal point for hanging out, so you need to make it as cozy and homey as possible. Visually-appealing beds go a long way in creating such an ambiance. If possible, you can even carve out a special spot for him on an exclusive sofa or chair accessorized by his favorite blanket. Having his toy box nearby will also further cement that area as his personal getaway, making him feel comfortable despite the confined dwellings.
A Note from GR8NESS
Having a big dog in a small apartment has its share of mishaps so be prepared for him accidentally swatting away your favorite coffee mug when his tail wags with excitement. That said, not all big dogs can hack it in confined spaces, the Border Collie and the Giant Schnauzer come to mind, as they have enormous exercise requirements that a busy city slicker might be unable to provide.
Other factors to also keep in mind include when living with a large dog in small apartment is territorial traits. Does your dog consider the public hallway an extension of his home and consequently meets strangers with growls? Then an apartment might not be ideal for him. However, with proper obedience training, you can weed out any unwanted behaviors so that you and your sizeable furry friend can live in harmony anywhere.