Everyone dreams of living with their best friend, and no, we don’t mean your friend from school (though we’re sure they’re nice) — we’re talking about man’s best friend!
Adopting a dog can be an exciting and nerve-wracking experience, but when you’re living in an apartment, there can be a whole heap of challenging questions on how you’ll give your new furbaby the best life possible. How will they adapt to your lifestyle and their new home? How will they cope in small spaces? Where will they go to the bathroom if you’re not home? In this article, we aim to answer these questions and give you some great suggestions on the many shapes, sizes and breeds of dogs that are suited to sharing your apartment with you.
Before considering a dog, you need to ensure that you’re prepared for the responsibilities that come with pet ownership. Whilst some breeds can lend themselves to certain lifestyles, ultimately, all dogs need a level of considerate care, grooming and exercise. These responsibilities can compound with the unique nature of apartment living and pose challenges, such as:
If you’ve read through this list and you still feel prepared to introduce a dog to your apartment, read on to find out the best breeds for apartment living!
One of the biggest concerns apartment dwellers have when considering adding a dog to the family, is the effects of a small space on your dog’s happiness and health. This issue can be exacerbated if you lead a busy work life or simply can’t match the energy of a high-energy pet. Fortunately, there are many low energy dog breeds to choose from. Without further ado, take a look at the top three low energy dog breeds for those of us who spend a little more time on the couch than we’d like to admit:
Known for their short and sausage-shaped build, these friendly little pups only require a 30-minute walk a day and have many different coats, including wiry, long-haired and short-haired. However, if you live somewhere with lots of stairs or a busy lobby, you may have difficulties as Dachshunds have short legs and a propensity for barking at strangers.
On the larger end of the scale, we have the Great Dane. Despite common misconceptions about smaller dogs being better for apartment living, choosing your companion primarily comes down to temperament. Originating in Germany, Great Danes have patient and watchful characters, preferring to spend peaceful time with their owners over racing around. Too much exercise can actually be detrimental to the health of a Great Dane due to this breed’s large size, meaning that excessive exercise can contribute to bone and joint problems.
With a big personality but a small muscular physique, the next breed on our list is the French Bulldog. Known for their cheeky characters, a French Bulldog is sure to deliver some smiles in your day-to-day routine, but they’re also fantastic lap dogs, with a greater desire to cuddle up into a warm lap than to run around all day. Whilst this breed still needs a minimal amount of exercise, you can be sure that you will spend most of your time cuddling your cute pup.
Being a pet owner is no small task, with exercise requirements the least of your problems, from training and feeding to giving ample tummy rubs to your good girl or boy; pet parenting is a full-time job! One of the most significant responsibilities that come with a dog is hygiene. Keeping your pup clean is paramount, and a smelly dog will quickly become a problem in a small apartment. Worst of all, if you own a puppy who has a propensity for shedding, you’re in for a lot of vacuuming! Luckily there are plenty of low-maintenance dogs suited to apartment living that will make your life that little bit easier:
These friendly giants are known for having low energy levels and an easy to maintain short coat. Additionally, whilst the English originally bred this dog for guarding, Bull Mastiffs are polite and quiet dogs who reserve their noisiness for home intruders. It’s important to note that, like all dogs, these dogs will benefit from obedience training and regular exercise to maintain a healthy weight.
When we say low maintenance, you may not be thinking of a furry pup, but the Bichon Frise is all fluff! Naturally small in size, Bichon Frises are gentle and quiet dogs with minimal shedding. Whilst their shedding is low, the Bichon Frise does require a consistent groom routine with attention to bathing and trimming their coat. Ultimately the Bichon Frise is a fantastic, low-maintenance breed for those looking for a hypoallergenic pup to cut down on excessive shedding.
Originating in Germany, this thick-coated pup is another fantastic choice for allergy sufferers due to its minimal shedding. However, if you’re looking for a low energy pup too, this is not the dog for you, with this breed initially being created for high energy jobs like cattle driving.
Unfortunately, what most apartments lack these days are bathtubs, and without a spacious shower or backyard, cleaning your dog can seem an impossible task. That’s where our K9000 dog wash comes in! Located at hundreds of pet stores, car wash and laundromat locations, our self-serve dog wash machines offer the perfect place to give your dog a well-deserved pamper. Find your nearest DIY dog wash here. If you’re at a loss for the ideal bath time routine, don’t worry, we’ve got that covered too, with our comprehensive article covering everything you need to know on keeping your pup squeaky clean.
A common misconception around apartment living is that big dogs are an absolute no-no; however, this is entirely wrong when it comes to some breeds. In fact, we think you might be surprised by our number one big dog! Don’t despair if you have a penchant for gentle giants because you can still share your apartment with your dream dog.
We bet you didn’t expect to see a racing dog at the top of our best big dogs for apartments. Contrary to popular belief, greyhounds are extremely low-energy dogs with calm temperaments, making them perfect for smaller spaces. Though, of course, not exempt from needing exercise, a greyhound is perfectly content with a daily 30-minute walk.
Originating in Germany, these highly intelligent dogs are another surprising addition to our list. While Dobermans require a large amount of exercise, an owner with an equal desire to get out can easily remedy this with regular walks. Additionally, with their characteristically short coats, Dobermans are very clean dogs with minimal shedding, so your space will remain easy to maintain.
The very definition of gentle giants, Saint Bernards, are a friendly breed suitable to quiet apartment living when trained correctly. Due to their moderate energy levels, you will need to be attentive to their daily exercise needs, but ultimately, these gorgeous dogs can be great companions in apartment living.
So what about small apartment dogs? A small dog seems like a given for an apartment, right? Small space equals small dog. Unfortunately, just like with big dogs, it’s not always that easy! Every dog has their own individual temperament and needs, affecting how they behave in certain situations. But there are, of course, some great small breeds for apartment living:
These pint-sized puppies are just as polite as they are small, making them the perfect quiet housemate for tight living situations. Whilst they can have some bursts of energy, a quick walk can easily satiate their need for exercise due to their tiny size. The best part about this small dog? The perfect size for your lap!
These cheerful little bundles of fluff are another relatively low energy breed, meaning a short daily walk will fulfil their exercise needs. However, the downside is with lots of fur often comes lots of shedding! If you don’t have the time to maintain your pup’s coat regularly, or you suffer from easily triggered allergies, this might not be the breed for you!
A cross between the Cavalier King Charles Spaniel and Poodles, the Cavoodle is the perfect combination of a lap dog and low shedding breed, making them practically bred for apartment living. Suited to allergy sufferers, Cavoodles are loving and loyal companions easily pleased with a short daily walk.
Big, small, lazy, wild, long-haired or short-haired, there’s a dog for everyone. Ultimately, the most important thing when it comes to providing a happy & healthy life for your companion in an apartment, is the time and effort you put into your fur baby. By selecting a suitable breed & providing the right amount of stimulation & exercise, your apartment can be the perfect palace for your pooch. We wish you the best of luck welcoming your best friend into your apartment.