Five Tips for Apartment Living with Dogs

Renting is now the preferred choice for people living in the big cities of Pakistan. Buying a house is beyond the financial reach for most middle-income earners. Thus, renting can be a convenient and flexible solution in a heated property market. But, what about all of the restrictions that come with being a tenant? And, importantly, can I keep a pet in a small apartment? Consider the following if you intend on getting a pet to come and live in an apartment with you.

1. Be realistic

Some breeds like the Bully Kuta and Gull Dong will not be happy in an apartment. If you get them as puppies they will be fine for a year or so but given their high energy levels they will want to run around and play for hours each day. Unless you can commit to running in the park with them for several hours a day, you run the risk of making them depressed. On the other hand, breeds like Shih Tzu and Pomeranian will be more than happy to lounge about on your couch and a short walk will do them fine.

2. Get the green light from your landlord

Pets are a case where it depends on the preferences of the landlord whether he allows them. In Some cases there is a carpet ban, others will only allow small mammals, and the rest are fine as long as the dog will not bark all night long. Some landlords will have a list of breeds which are allowed and you should consult with him before adopting the new family member. Under no circumstances should you attempt to sneak a pet into your apartment and keep it secret from you landlord. Sooner or later, he will find out and you could risk losing your deposit and getting evicted. It’s not worth the risk.

3. Consider your neighbours

Many apartments have thin walls and even the faintest sound can pass from one person’s apartment to the next. A small dog that barks will infuriate your neighbours. It is possible to get behavioural training to condition the dog to bark less, but this is expensive and might not transform your dog into a mute; after all, it’s in their nature to communicate.

4. Vaccinate and keep the pet healthy

Apartment blocks house many people in close quarters and of course some children. Your pet has to be parasite and virus free or there is a risk that children could pick up infections in the common areas of the apartment complex. Worst case scenario, your dog bites someone and in this case having documented proof of vaccination history will be important.

5. Socialize with patience

Pets take a lot of time to get used to new surroundings particularly if there is a lot of noise from other neighbours and the sound of traffic outside. You will need to take small steps to allow the pet to get familiar with his new home and local area. It’s a good idea to take small steps and desensitise the pet over a long period so he won’t be overwhelmed.