Dogs are animals that enjoy being in nature. Unfortunately, many people live in apartments that have no immediate outdoor access. That makes it tough to raise a dog mainly because they do not have free-range access to an outdoor place. According to We Love Doodles, adopting only small dog breeds is advisable if you stay in high-rise apartments, as it is not really suitable for a large dog that needs more physical activity.
Why Outdoor is Essential for Large Dogs Breeds:
Larger breeds of dogs were mostly bred as working dogs. This means they are meant to do physical labor. They are energetic and highly active. When such dogs are forced to live in an apartment where physical activity is less, the energy stays bottled up in these dogs. This can lead to destructive behavior. These dogs need to burn the energy, or else they may end up misbehaving and gaining more weight due to lack of activity. Their joints will degrade as they are not getting enough workouts.
This is the main reason why people who live in individual apartments with backyard access are advised to adopt such dogs. Still, some pet parents live in apartments and have adopted large dog breeds. You can still make this work if you carefully follow these tips to help your dog lead a healthy lifestyle.
1. Use a Retractable Leash:
If you have a common garden in your building, you can take your dog there every day. If your dog is not well-behaved in the public, leaving it off-leash may lead to objection from the other members of the building. Hence, a retractable leash is a great solution that gives you some control over the dog while it can enjoy some time roaming in the garden. If you get an 8m or 10m long retractable leash, you can also play fetch with the dog in the common garden without any worries. A brake button on these leashes helps you stop the dog when you want to. You can also fix the leash to a shorter length while walking the dog within the common area of your apartment.
2. Find a Dog Park Nearby:
Most localities have a dog park where you can take the dog for some off-leash time. Find one in your locality where you can take your dog after work. This helps your dog socialize with other pooches and enjoy some time exploring the outdoors. This eventually helps the dog burn all the energy and stay calm later on.
As your dog interacts with other dogs, their vaccinations should be up to date. Ensure your dog is fixed as well, as you would not want any accidents. Another thing to worry about is ticks and fleas from other dogs, which can be avoided with the help of regular grooming and anti-tick medication. Use the best grooming scissors for dogs along with a medicated shampoo and conditioner to ensure they are mat and tick-free.
3. Take Your Dog on Several Walks in a Day:
Walking your dog is a must, even if you live in a house with a backyard. Apart from your home, your dog also needs to interact with the world outside. When you live in an apartment, you can increase the number of walks in a day to meet your dog’s physical exercise requirement. A minimum of three walks a day is a must for the dog to relieve itself and also burn all the extra energy that it has bottled up. Increase the frequency and time of walks slowly. This is beneficial not just for the dog, but for you as well.
4. Find a Long Corridor in the Home to Play Fetch:
Not just outdoors, but you can also play with the dog indoors at times throughout the day. If you have a long terrace or a corridor in the house, you can use it to play fetch with your dog. It may not be as good as playing outside, but still, your dog will get some extra playtime. Carpet the floor, as you would not want the dog to slip on tiles.
You can also indulge in other games, such as tug, which does not need much space to play and can be played indoors easily.
5. Plan Dog Play Date:
You can always find other pet parents with a backyard and let your dog be friends with their pooches. This means your dog can be sent to their place once in a while to enjoy playing in the backyard with other dogs. This will give them some outdoor time, and they will also enjoy visiting their friends often.
Usually, pet parents are quite accommodating and if your pet is non-aggressive, then finding such friends becomes easier. You can meet other pet parents in pet parks, at the groomer or at pet stores. You can also offer to keep a watch on their pet while they are away so that the arrangement benefits both of you.
6. Challenge the Dog Mentally:
Another way to tire your dog completely so that they do not misbehave and get enough stimulation is by increasing their mental activity. Many puzzle feeder toys can be used to mentally challenge the dog. Different levels of these puzzles help the dog stay busy for a long time and tire them mentally. If your dog is food motivated, which many of them are, this becomes easier. You can also discover your own puzzle games, such as treat hunt throughout the home, that improve your dog’s sniffing capability. Be creating in innovating new games at home so that not just outside but the dog stays active inside the home too.
The Bottom Line:
All pet parents aim to give their dogs the best lives. Your living condition may not be ideal for the dog, but that does not mean you cannot make this work. There are different ways we have discussed above in which you can cope up to the lack of space in your home. Once you take that extra step for the wellness of your furry friend, they will leave a healthy and long life with you.