Raising a furry friend in an apartment can feel overwhelming since you probably don’t have access to a yard and might be limited in terms of space. However, having a dog while living in an apartment isn’t impossible. Whether you’re a dog parent already, are planning to welcome one home soon, or just hoping to adopt a pup in the future, here are some things you can do to help your dog thrive in your home.

Give Them Plenty of Exercise: You don’t need a yard to make sure your pup is getting enough exercise and, luckily, many apartment buildings —like The Flats at 345—have a Bark Park on site anyway. If your apartment building doesn’t have a place for your dog to run around, invest in a strong leash and explore your neighborhood with daily walks. You can also take your furry friend to a dog park so they can socialize with other pups. If the weather is bad, you’ll just have to get a little creative. Try playing fetch with a plush toy or practicing commands and tricks.

Invest in a Dog Walker or Daycare: If you have a puppy and aren’t able to come home during your lunch break, you might want to hire a dog walker or send your pup to daycare. New puppies have to go to the bathroom every couple of hours, so until they’re fully potty trained a dog walker can be a helpful investment. If your dog seems to get bored at home during the day, see if there’s a doggie daycare in the area where you can send them a day or two each week to burn off some energy and socialize with other dogs.

Consider Obedience Classes: Living in an apartment means being close to your neighbors, which is why you want your dog to be well-trained. Obedience classes can teach them to listen to you. This way, if they’re running around or barking too much, you will be able to control them using the techniques taught in class. Plus, the classes will give your pup a chance to socialize, which is important—and fun for them, too!

Establish a Bathroom Routine: Having a relief routine in place is especially important if you don’t have a yard to send your pup out to regularly. Try taking them out to use the bathroom at the same time in the morning, afternoon, and evening so they learn when it’s time to go. You can also coordinate meal times with potty breaks so they’ll understand it’s time to go to the bathroom after eating.

Give Them Their Own Space: To avoid having your dog (and their toys) take over your entire home, designate an area for your pup with their kennel, box of toys, and a cozy bed or blanket. You might also consider investing in a playpen if you want your pup to stay in their area when you aren’t home. If they’re really young, you can also put a pee pad inside the pen in case they need to relieve themselves when you’re away.

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