All Things Dog

Small Dogs: An Apartment Dweller’s Best Friend

While almost any low-maintenance, low-energy dog can live happily in limited space, the most popular apartment dogs are small breeds. Size is a factor in their ability to adapt successfully to apartment living-a little fluff ball like a Shih Tzu or a toy poodle is a perfect fit for a 500-square-foot city dwelling.

Breeds like pugs, Bassett hounds and French bulldogs also tend to be good condo dogs, as they need less exercise, barely shed, and seldom bark without provocation.

Creating a Fido-friendly space

While the best apartment breeds tend to be low activity dogs, every pooch needs to play. And regular exercise, even if your dog is a couch potato, is good for his joints, bones, and overall health.

Be sure to keep many engaging, safe toys on hand for indoor exercise. An appropriately sized toy for small mouths maximizes the fun. Tough rubber chews like Kongs with a hollow center that you fill with treats can keep your townhouse dog happy for hours. Plush puzzle or hide toys that develop intelligence can also keep your small dog entertained.

Think about your dog's trip to the bathroom, too. You might look into home potty-training devices, especially if your apartment dog is older and outdoor bathroom breaks are not as easy as slipping out a porch door into the backyard.

If you have a long-back breed like a dachshund, you can also create a dog- friendlier environment by restricting him to the first floor of your apartment. Stairs are hard on a dachshund's back and setting up his dog bed on one floor can be a spine saver.

The next time you're at the pet store, you can also check out a number of pet accessories—like small crates, exercise devices, and studio-suitable toys—to enjoy your shared apartment together.

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