August 28, 2013

Living in an apartment with a dog

Posted in: Dog

^Toby enjoying his neighbourhood

^ Toby’s backyard

^ Toby at Fawkner Park


We moved into the city from the suburbs two and a half years ago because we lived so far away from the action; we had no action in our lives.

I was nervous about the move because living in the suburbs was the only way of life I knew and I was afraid of the change. I enjoyed our home, it was big, it was modern, it had a backyard (that we never used) and it was close to work.

Nonetheless, we moved into an apartment in the city. I was concerned about living in an apartment. Firstly, there is less space, there is noise, there is no yard and you live in a building which is pretty much a replica of a hotel, minus the staff, not very homely.

I was worried for nothing because instantly our lives became much fuller, more colourful and more exciting. As I always say, our suburb is a playground for adults.

After settling into our new lifestyle, Andrew suggested that we get a dog. I wasn’t too keen on the idea. We don’t have a yard, where would the dog relieve himself? We are always at work, what would the dog do when we were gone for so long? We are always so busy, we don’t have time for a dog! And so on.

Andrew wouldn’t let go of the idea and so I googled, if keeping a dog in an apartment was something people do.

That is when I came across information that made sense. I read an article that said almost all dogs can live in an apartment only if, and it is a big if, they get enough exercise for their size. The article also went on to say that a ‘cage’ is a cage, regardless of its size. Dogs that are kept in a big backyard, day in and day out without any exercise is just as bad as keeping a dog in an apartment with no exercise.

I also emailed some vets to see what their thoughts were on having a dog in an apartment and they all said it was fine, as long as they are exercised and stimulated twice a day.

After I started coming around to the idea, all of a sudden I noticed dogs of all shapes and sizes coming out of our apartment, and their owners reassured me that it was totally fine. And it is totally fine.

Toby gets more exercise and stimulation then a lot of dogs I know. I think people who live in apartments with dogs make a more conscious effort  to get their dog outside and active within the community. We are lucky that we live next to park that is 41 hectares and has an off lead area that Toby socialises in. He loves saying ‘hey’ to all his friends each morning and evening.  We get up at 5.45am for our 40 minute walk through Fawkner Park and a coffee stop before I get ready for work and then again, back to Fawkner for an hour, after work.

Toby also goes to Doggy Daycare on a Wednesday and is out and about with us every weekend. I think Toby has a great life and I feel we can offer him a better life in the city then the suburbs because he is integrated into our lifestyles. From going to the shops with us,  to cafes, businesses and bars. People in general in the city are more accommodating and more than happy to co-exist with four legged, furry people too.

Do you live in an apartment with a dog? Tell us your story.