You've definitely heard it—or probably said it at some point in your life: “I want to get a dog, but my apartment just isn’t big enough!” As NYC residents, we totally get it, but trust us: There are ways of making your shoebox feel big enough for a pup too. Plus, if you’re rescuing, your space—no matter how tiny—will seem like a castle compared to a shelter kennel. A few tips for squeezing a happy canine life into even a studio:
Do your homework
Chihuahua, Border Collie, Great Dane. Can you guess which breed experts say is best for apartments? Great Danes may be large, but their mellow personalities make them perfect small space dogs. Research which breeds or mixes have lower energy levels before bringing a pup home.
While regular games of fetch are great for dogs’ pent up energy (and extra couch potato pounds), think about the urban outdoors—stoops, planters, hydrants!—as an obstacle course. If you’re strapped for time, check out Running Paws, a service that pairs your pup with a professional runner to exercise at a speed that’s right for them.
Enlist a village
Dogs are kids in furry form...and it takes a village to raise a child! Whether you turn to friends, a dog walker you trust, or an app like Bark’N’Borrow, which pairs you and your pup with a canine caretakers, make sure to ask for help when you need it.
Find your dog's happy place
You know how you carved out that corner where you can meditate/play Mario Kart/do whatever makes your heart beat? Make sure your dog has a little happy place too. This hand knit sweater bed looks pretty perfect to us.
Know your neighborhood
Which bank has treats? Which restaurants let you sit with your dog outside without giving you side eye? Knowing which local places accommodate dogs can make city-living a whole lot easier—and gives you and your pup a lot more room to play with. If you haven’t already, bookmark BringFido for mastiff-sized lists of dog-friendly restaurants,stores and more.
Nothing gets your pup's energy out (and makes them collapse happily exhausted on your small apartment's floor) like a doggie play date. DoggyBnB helps you connect with friends (and friends of friends) who have dogs in your area and arranges get-togethers.
Make some house rules
Whether you want to discourage counter surfing or sitting on the couch, sticking to rules will help your dog establish routine—and make sharing the space much more manageable. And rewarding your pup in the right way can ensure that the rules really stick (check out clicker training.)
And possibly most importantly, remember: a small space means more opportunities for snuggling with your pup.
The Ollie blog is devoted to helping pet parents lead healthier lives with their pups. If you want to learn more about our fresh, human-grade food, check out MyOllie.com.