3 Tips for Easier Small-space Living with Large Dog

by | Apr 23, 2020 | Doggos

I know it’s not ideal to live in an apartment with a large dog. I read and hear so many people recommend a pug for apartment living instead. This is definitely discouraging and makes a lot of people delay getting a dog for years while they live in an apartment.

I believe this is a disservice to pets in need of a home. Small dogs are absolutely adorable and would make great apartment friends! But if you are looking to live with a larger breed and live in an apartment, it can be disappointing to see so many others discourage it.

Does this mean that you cannot ever own a large dog in an apartment? Absolutely not! But most importantly – you have to choose a dog that will fit your activity level.

Since larger breeds usually need high amounts of activity, you are committing yourself to at least an hour of physical exercise a day. This goes for Don’t be discouraged – if there’s a will there’s a way!

Small living space…

huge dog!

What some people say about it

“If you live in an apartment – you should not own a large dog”.

Why should large dogs not find a home in an apartment? The more I thought about it – the more confused I was.

I know friends and family that own pets and live in a house. But I notice they have a section for their dogs that they separate with dog gates. This space may be even smaller than what we give @banebarks in our apartment! The argument that large dogs don’t have enough space in an apartment is inaccurate. It totally depends on you.

Sure, if you live in a house you have a backyard where your dog can go to when they please. But, you can make up for it even though you live in an apartment. Just make sure you take your dog out multiple times throughout the day if you can.

So please, do not get discouraged at all by reading these posts. Large breeds need a ton of physical exercise (I will go more in detail below) but if you are committed to this, there will be no issue. Loving an animal is more important than the space you give them (if properly exercised) in my opinion.

Owning a dog is a blessing and I recommend it to everyone (read here for five reasons why everyone should get a pet!). Do not let you living in an apartment stop you from having a large dog if that’s what you’re looking for.

Put simply, if you want a large breed but live in an apartment – GO FOR IT! Here are some tips on apartment living with your doggo:

1. Space

Big or small, you can make your living space a great area for your dog to live in. I recommend taking on a minimalist approach to your living space (you can read more about why here). This allows you and your pup more breathing room to enjoy your home. Bane is well behaved and does not chew on our items but I still make sure there’s nothing on the floor he can “investigate”.

Summary: Keep your living space as clear as you can so your shoes don’t become chew toys!

2. Chew Toys

Now that we’re on the subject – make sure your dog has toys they can chew on. This is a great way for them to release a little energy and you can make it fun! I buy @banebarks chew toys that also work as treat dispensers (if he tries hard enough to get the treat!). This is a great way to stimulate them.

Summary: Buy chew toys that make your dog work for treats to entertain and stimulate them.

3. Physical Activity

*this is a long one because it’s SO important!

Lack of exercise in a high-energy dog leads to destructive behavior. A tired dog is a happy dog after all! If you are looking to purchase a large breed, make sure they are getting enough physical exercise DAILY. This can be spread out throughout the day if that works better for you.

Unfortunately, I cannot tell you that walking a high energy dog like a German Shepherd/Husky for an hour will put a dent on their energy. It is definitely better than something but it’s not near enough what they need (I know – huge BUMMER).

I figured this out from walking with @banebarks for over an hour a day. He came back home, panted for about one minute and he was up ready to go for another walk! Meanwhile I was sweating and on my hands and knees!

The best investment

to successfully tire out

your energetic doggo!

This is why I invested in an amazing tool that I cannot endorse enough!! Walky Dog is an attachment for your bike that ensures your doggo is running next to you without the possibility of them getting hurt.

Trust me, 15-30 minutes of this and your dog will be lights out for hours! *Make sure your doggo has built up to the level of activity you pursue. They should not be walking one day and running the next without building their muscles. *

Summary: Build up to rigorous exercise and include runs for high energy dogs! If you own a bike – think about investing in Walky Dog for more rigorous exercise.

Optional: Vinegar and Water!

What?! Pheweww! I know. Vinegar is definitely not scented like roses but it is a great natural deodorizer. If I can skim a couple o’ bucks from my budget – I will do it!

I mix half vinegar and half water in a spray bottle and every time @banebarks goes out, I spray him generously throughout. Not only will this help with the “it smells like dog in here” but it can even help deter ticks since they too hate the smell of vinegar.

*Do not use this as a substitute for other tick deterrents but rather as an addition if it is cleared by your vet*  Give it a try and lemme know if you’ve enjoyed the results.

*You can use this on dog beds and items as well. It isn’t toxic to doggos or you. *  

Jennifer Garcia

– Founder of Finessing Life –

Hi! My name is Jennifer. I am a 23 year old woman who is in love with the 3 Rules of S; Sunshine, Smiles, and Simplicity! I try to live a simple and happy life surrounded by loving people and the finer things in life. My idea of heaven on earth is good food, laughter, and shopping!… read more >



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