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9 Tips for Keeping a Big Dog Happy in a Small Apartment

9 Tips for Keeping a Big Dog Happy in a Small Apartment

There’s nothing more exciting than getting a new puppy.

You bring it home, make sure it has plenty of toys, and take extra care to give it as much food and water as it needs.

But before long, reality starts to set in.

You have to clean up accidents, take the dog on walks, and pay a lot of money at the vet.

Of course, you still love your dog and take care of it – you just start to understand that with a big dog comes a lot of responsibility!

And sometimes, it requires even more responsibility if you are keeping a big dog in a small space. After all, it’s easy to understand how it could be easy for a large dog to feel cramped and unhappy without plenty of room to run around.

But that doesn’t mean you should give up – fortunately, there are some handy tips you can use to make sure your big dog stays happy living with you in a tiny apartment.

Let’s start with one of the most important steps:

1.     Get some supplies from a local Cerritos pet store

If you just got your dog, you may not be sure about the supplies you need to take care of it. This can especially be true in the case of first-time dog owners.

While the list of supplies will vary depending on your dog’s specific needs, there are some basic items that pretty much every dog needs, including:

  • Food and water bowls
  • Dog food
  • A dog bed
  • Plenty of chew toys
  • Toys to play fetch with, like Frisbees or balls
  • A collar and/or harness
  • A leash
  • Identification tags
  • Grooming supplies, like nail clippers and a brush

You may also need a crate if you’re going to be traveling with your dog or crate training it. Sit down and make a list before you move into your apartment, and plan a trip to a local Cerritos pet store.

You can even bring your dog with you to make the outing more exciting – maybe your dog will even want to pick out some special treats!

And don’t forget to budget for regular veterinary care. A healthy dog is a happy dog!

2.     Exercise your dog every day

Small dogs, like Chihuahuas, can often get the exercise they need running around or playing fetch in even the smallest apartment.

But let’s face it – a big dog isn’t going to have enough room to exercise in your small apartment. Playing fetch in your living room won’t quite cut it.

So, prioritize playtime with your dog, and take it out multiple times per day if you can. And that doesn’t necessarily mean just walking your dog – there are plenty of possibilities that will help you and your dog lead a healthy, active lifestyle.

For example, you could.

  • Visit a local Cerritos park. For example, you may want to check out Home Run Dog Park. This park is conveniently located on Studebaker Road – not far from your Cerritos apartment!
  • Take your dog for a morning jog. Get in the habit of waking up an hour early, and take your dog out for a quick run. Even 30 minutes is better than nothing!
  • Go hiking with your dog. Do you live near a mountain or nature preserve? If so, grab some gear and take your dog for a fun hike. Bring some friends or family members along too to make it a group outing!

If you absolutely cannot take your dog out to exercise every day, consider hiring a trustworthy sitter who can take your dog out while you’re away.

Otherwise, you may find that your big dog becomes bored and under stimulated to the point of acting out in your apartment – and that’s the last thing you want to come home to after a long day at work.

3.     Create a comfy space for your dog

Just because you live in apartments in Cerritos that are on the smaller side doesn’t mean your big dog needs to feel cramped and uncomfortable. Create a welcoming space for your dog in your apartment that includes:

  • A dog bed or pillow
  • A food bowl
  • A water bowl

These are just some of the basics, but you could also add other items, like blankets, additional pillows, and toys.

If you do decide to place some toys in your dog’s designated space, make sure you supervise your dog at all times. This will help ensure that your dog doesn’t choke on part of the toy.

4.     Hire someone to walk and/or care for your dog if necessary

If you work a lot or have many responsibilities that keep you busy, it’s a good idea to hire a sitter or dog walker – someone who can give your dog the exercise and attention it needs.

Be picky when you’re deciding on a caretaker for your dog, and make sure you choose someone who is experienced and trustworthy.

This will cost you some money, of course, but it will be well worth knowing that your dog is happy and healthy.

5.     Maximize your apartment space as much as possible

You may not be able to literally make your apartment larger, but you can certainly make your apartment feel more spacious.

This benefits your dog when you create more room for the dog to walk around and sprawl out.

So for example, you might consider re-arranging your furniture in a way that allows for more floor space in specific areas. Or, you might consider putting some of your furniture in storage to make room for your dog’s bed and supplies.

Experiment until you find an arrangement that makes both you and your dog happy. Who knows – you might find that you actually end up enjoying a more minimalist look in your apartment!

6.     Keep your dog out of danger

The average apartment is full of items that could put a dog’s life in danger. For example, medicines and essential oils can be harmful to dogs. Chocolate is poisonous for dogs – as are a wide variety of foods that humans regularly eat. And small toys are a choking hazard for dogs.

That’s why it’s so important to make sure everything that could potentially harm your dog is well out of its reach.

Consider using cabinet locks to keep your dog away from harmful substances, and use baby gates to block off any areas you don’t want your dog in while you’re away from home.

By taking these simple steps, you can greatly reduce the chances that your dog will suffer harm living in your apartment. Still, accidents happen sometimes, so make sure you have a first aid kit handy for your dog so you can act fast if you need to!

7.     Give your dog plenty of attention

While your big dog does need plenty of exercise outside of your apartment, don’t forget to give it plenty of attention while you’re hanging out at home too.

Dogs are social creatures, and they’re often happiest when they feel connected to their human. Here are a few ways to make that happen:

  • Play tug-o-war
  • Cuddle on the couch
  • Pet your dog and give it some tasty treats

These small gestures can have a big impact on your dog’s happiness, so make the time to give your dog attention whenever you can!

8.     Create a routine for everyday events

For example, you can try to take your dog for bathroom breaks around the same time every day.

By doing so, you can train your dog to expect to be taken out around a certain time. As a result, your dog may not have as many accidents inside, which is always a good thing!

You can also create routines for feeding, playtime, walks, and other events – try to come up with a schedule that works around your responsibilities so you can really stick to it long-term!

9.     Be realistic and patient with your dog

No matter how perfectly your train your dog or how often you take it out to exercise, some accidents are bound to happen.

You might come home to a smelly puddle on the floor, or you might walk into your bedroom and notice that your pillows have been ripped to shreds.

While these situations are definitely stressful and upsetting, try your best to be patient with your dog. It may be acting out because it is not getting enough mental stimulation, or it may just be one of those rare occasions where your dog acts out for no apparent reason.

Dogs can take a while to train, but they’re often eager to please their owner. Discipline your dog when needed, but try to figure out why your dog is acting up too. If you can pinpoint the cause, it will likely be a lot easier to find a good solution.

It can take some time to train your pup and get it used to living in a new, smaller space. But if you follow the tips in this post, you’ll sure to keep your dog happy – no matter how small your apartment is!

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