Living in an Apartment with a Dog: Part Two

Living in an Apartment with a Dog: Part Two

About 17 percent of Americans at any given time live in an apartment, condo, or other small space. Navigating a move with Fido in tow can mean added stresses to an already hectic process. This is the second part of a series meant to help you tackle this process with your rescue pet.

Welcome back to Patra’s Ultimate Guide to Living in an Apartment with a Dog. First things first: let me congratulate you on your new apartment! Really, I’m so happy for you. The lease is signed, the boxes are packed, and the Uhaul has been unloaded. It’s time for you and your dog to start your new life together in your brand new space!


When your pet lives in a smaller home, he needs walks even more than other doggies. Most apartment complexes are conveniently located near dog parks—or have their own on site! Set aside 30 minutes to an hour for your daily playtime or walk—and don’t forget your doggie bags! This is a great chance to socialize your dog and teach him how to walk nicely on a leash.


As I mentioned in Part One of this guide, landlords have a lot of fears when it comes to letting dogs into their complexes, from mess to property damages. There are some simple ways to reduce the risk of your pup destroying your new pad.

Kitchen and Bathroom

While Tiberius prefers the bathroom (he’s crazy for baths!), I think the kitchen is the best room in the house. The food, the fun cabinets, the tall refrigerator to perch on… yes, the kitchen is a fun place indeed. Still, in these rooms of eating and cleaning, be sure to:

  • Cover trash cans or place them inside a latched cabinet. I’ve known many a dog to dig in the trash for last night’s yummy leftovers, strewing garbage across the apartment in the process. Not cool.
  • Put foods out of reach—even if it’s totally safe for consumption, the wrappers can hurt your pet’s tummy… leading to some very gross gastrointestinal distress, if you know what I mean.
  • Keep the toilet lid closed, for goodness’ sake! Little dogs can fall in, and big ones can help themselves to big ol’ sips of dangerous toilet cleaners.

Living Room

Ahhh, the living room. This is where my human keeps my favorite perch, the bookcase. While this is a room meant for relaxing and cuddling together, there are also a lot of potential dangers and messes that live in the living room!

  • Hide dangling electrical wires from lamps, TVs, and phone chargers from any prying paws or puppy teeth.
  • Keep choking hazards out of the way—keep your mess in check! When left alone for long periods of time, any dog gets more curious than he need be.
  • Move house plants that may be poisonous out of reach. Aloe, Elephant Ear, Jade, and Sago Palm are all super common plants that are extremely poisonous to dogs—I’m talking vomiting, depression, and even death. Put them high up for your friend’s sake.


Humans usually get ready in the bedroom, and that means clothing, makeup, and medication—the holy trifecta of mess-making and danger. During your dog-proofing procedure, don’t neglect to:

  • Stow laundry and shoes behind closed doors or in hampers. Drawstrings and buttons can lead to big problems if they’re swallowed, and uncouth canines will happily chew up stinky socks or dirty underwear.
  • Keep any medications, lotions, or cosmetics off accessible surfaces.


After you’ve finished dog-proofing, it’s time to stretch out, relax, and enjoy your brand new home with your furry friend by your side. Many, many dogs are sent to shelters when their owners downsize to a smaller place, and I know yours is so, so happy to have stayed with you. I wish you a very happy housewarming!

Love, Patra

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