When we say "dog person," we're covering a big swath of people. Dog people can be introverted or extraverted. They can be young or old and belong to any race, religion, or political party. They can live anywhere in the world, from sprawling rural farms to tiny studio apartments in big cities. Of course, not every person who knows deep in their heart that they're a dog person has the kind of lifestyle that best lends itself to actually caring for a dog.
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When it comes to situational factors that keep people from pulling the metaphorical trigger on adopting their own man's best friend, where we dwell is a big one, right up there with "I work crazy hours."
Raising a happy, healthy pup in an apartment is totally doable, but here are some realities of having a dog in an apartment that you really need to know.
1. You're going to spend a lot more time outside.
Two words: Potty. Breaks.
2. And that includes times when you really don't want to be outside.
If you have a backyard all to yourself, you can let Rover out alone to do his business. In an apartment? Not so much.
3. You'll have to make an effort to get your dog exercise.
No yard also equals no convenient place to run all the puppy energy out. Exercise is vitally important for a dog's mental, as well as physical health. If you're planning to bring a dog into your apartment to live, have a plan for how to exercise him.
4. Dog parks are going to be vital.
Even apartment dogs need space to run wild, preferably off-leash at full speed. The solution if you don't have a private yard: Dog parks. Find one near you that you and your dog can both love and make it a part of your routine.
5. But walks around the city are also cool AF, TBH.
There's something kind of amazing about walking a tamed animal around a concrete jungle.
6. It will regularly look like it has snowed in your apartment.
Fun fact: Stuffed animal fluff piles up quickly in small spaces.
7. ...If you're lucky.
If you're less lucky? Well, dogs who are cooped up inside all day can have a lot of anxious energy that manifests itself in furniture-destroying fits.
8. Speaking of which, you can probably kiss your security deposit goodbye.
Even the best doggo is going to add to wear and tear on your carpets and provide many landlords with cause to withhold your security deposit.
9. It's going to cost you.
Not all buildings will even allow pets at all, but many of those that do charge pet deposits and/or pet rent, which you'll need to factor into your pet budget, along with things like food and treats and toys and vet visits.
10. You'll get creative with how you use your space.
Balconies will become makeshift yards. Concrete courtyards will become running tracks. No, you won't have all of the usual dog-friendly amenities, but you'll make it work.
11. Your dog might get lonely and bored.
It's true: Your apartment-dwelling dog might get lonely and bored sometimes. But that can be true of any dog left home alone all day—even if they're left alone in a mansion. The important thing is to make sure your lifestyle is flexible enough to spend the quality time your dog needs with him and to meet his basic needs for exercise, walks, and bathroom breaks.
12. But there are ways to keep your apartment dog entertained during the day.
Find toys your dog loves, mind-bending puzzle games to keep his brain occupied, and seriously consider hiring a dog walker if you're gone for long stretches at a time.
13. And some of those ways are pretty freaking cute.
Invest in a pet cam and prepare to GIF these moments.
14. Your dog will love the unique life he has.
Pet parenting is like any other kind of parenting in that it's rife with opportunities for guilt, but don't worry: You city dog will love the life he has because it's a life with you, someone who loves him. Besides, how many country dogs get to gaze at the view from a high-rise balcony?