Apartments and Dogs!

Drs. Foster and Smith Inc.

I find it hard to believe that people have a hard time in choosing a dog. Personally I think everyone would be happiest if they chose an American Bulldog like me. But Gram says not everyone has the space or the desire to have a dog my size and I have to concede to that.

So what should person think about when looking for a dog? Gram and I got together and thought of a few things you should keep in mind.

Where do you live and how much time do you have? Dogs require much more time and space than a cat. If you live in an apartment/condo there are certain breeds that fit that category quite well.

However, before you get a dog and take it back to your apartment or condominium, you need to check and see if your building will allow you to have a dog.

There are many apartments/condos that will not allow a dog for obvious reasons. Some dog owners who are not responsible have made it almost impossible for the responsible dog owner to find a place to live.

Animal shelters are filled with dogs that their owners have either abandoned or have turned over to the shelter because they cannot keep them in an apartment. It is very hard to keep a barking dog in an apartment. It is equally unfair to keep a large dog like me, that needs plenty of exercise and doesn’t get it, from tearing up the carpet or chewing on the woodwork out of sheer boredom.

If you want a dog and live in an apartment/condo there are certain breeds that make good apartment dogs. My Gram says there are some dogs that secretly want to become “couch Potatoes” and would love living in an apartment or condominium. Can you possibly believe that?

Some of these low energy dogs are: Cocker Spaniels, Clumber Spaniels, Bichon Frise, Poodles, Lhasa Apso, Shih-Tzu, Yorkshire Terriers, Chihuahua, Maltese, Papillon, Pekinese, Pomeranian, and Cockapoo to name a few.

This does not mean they do not need exercise; it means that they don’t demand a great deal of it and for the most part are not noisy (granted a few are.)

If shedding is another point of contention, when thinking of getting a dog, Gram and I have included some of those breeds. There are many people that do not think having cat or dog hair on their clothes is a sign of a well-groomed person.

Keep in mind there truly isn’t a dog that is totally “non-shedding.” All dogs shed some, however there are some breeds that shed little and here is a list of some of them: Airdale Terrier, Basenj, Bichon Frise, Bichon/Yorkie, Cairn Terrier, Cockapoo, Schnauzer, Kerry Blue Terrier, Labradoodle, Maltese, Schnoodles, Shih Tzu, Silky Terrier and many more.

If you are moving into an apartment and already have a similar dog and the apartment owner or manager is not too happy with the idea of you moving in, you might consider this game plan.

Put together a packet that includes a list of references such as your vet, current neighbors, possibly a former landlord and others, that will state the pet is well kept and that you are a responsible owner. Include information on your pet’s current vaccinations, proof of license, a record that shows the pet was spayed or neutered and a copy of obedience school training, if applicable.

Include a promise to clean up after the pet inside (should an accident occur) and outside, agree to a pet deposit, promise to keep the pet “flea free” as well as the apartment and agree to sign a policy agreement if necessary.

Gram says offer to bring the pet in for a personal interview and agree to allow the owner or manager the opportunity to visit your apartment at times that are convenient.

If you are already living in an apartment/condo that has no set rules about pets, Gram says she would consider asking for permission before she ventured out and became a pet parent. Depending on the situation, Gram says she would also present, when applying for permission, a list of references stating that you are a responsible person, the name of a vet you are considering using for your pet, and an offer to pay a pet security deposit. Plus make list of things you will do, in caring for your pet and the apartment, should you be allowed a pet.

Gram says most pet owners are responsible people, but it is unfortunate that there are some people that do not care about the property of others and truly do not care about taking proper care of their pets.

When trying to convince your future landlord, your current landlord or condo board that having a pet in the building is a good idea keep a cool head. Spend some time gathering evidence that a responsible pet owner is also a responsible tenant/owner. Be willing to compromise.

Once you have all the legal matters and rules straightened out with your apartment manager/owner or condo board. Then it is time to go out and find the dog of your dreams.

There truly is a “dog” for every lifestyle, you just need to take your time and search for it. The Internet is a great source for information. But, Gram says be leery of buying a dog sight unseen, you would not buy a car without driving it, would you?

There are many breeders that are willing to help you find the perfect pet.

Dogs can be a challenge, ask my mom. You need patience and you need to be willing to give of your time and love. Do not consider a dog, if you are not willing to take complete responsibility for it.

Being a dog parent requires time, money, patience, love and respect for another life. If you are up to the responsibility, a dog will be a loving and loyal companion and will keep your feet warm on a cold winter night.

Until next time, I remain,

Your Sadie USA, LLC