6 Do’s and Don’ts for Living in an Apartment with a New Puppy

Rich Duda
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Don’t Take a Vacation

If you are like most people who get a new puppy, you probably feel the need to take your dog with you wherever you go. But you will regret it if you do so!

A new puppy requires a lot of your attention, especially during the first few weeks of their life.

Going to parks, local off-leash areas, or other dog-friendly locations with a puppy is a must do, but this should be done in the morning and early evenings so you can spend the daytime with the puppy.

It is best to keep a puppy away from other dogs for a while, and potentially for good. Because usually it’s your puppy who’s the instigator, who gets overly excited, and ends up getting pushed around by the other dog.

This not only spoils the time you were hoping to spend with your puppy, but may also harm your puppy.

Your puppy will be hungry, crying, and probably wanting to go potty. The constant shaking or crying will drive you crazy.

And hence, it’s wise to train the puppy before your vacation. This way it will be able to hold its bladder for a longer time, and more importantly, will be somewhat trained which will make your job easier.

Don’t Do Playdates Right Away

Your new puppy is going to be excited about his new home, and will probably want to explore it from top to bottom. However, I would advise against letting your puppy explore right away.

I know he’s super excited, but let’s give him a few days to adjust to his new surroundings. That way, when you’re ready to take him to playdates, he will have some good house training in place.

I’ll admit you’re tired of chasing your new puppy around your new home and you want him to be out and about. I get it.

You just don’t want to wait one more minute before playing with him. But you know what?

Your puppy is taking everything in while he’s tightly tucked away in his new crate. He’s getting the lay of the land and being indoctrinated into the sounds, scents, and sights of his new home.

Whether you’re putting a pup down for a nap or letting him into his crate for the night, take the time to let him sniff around.

He’ll be a better-trained, more relaxed, and a more content household member if you let him get comfortable in his surroundings.

Don’t Get Angry

Go to bed early! If your cute baby puppy is exhausted, all the bad things she did today will be forgotten. If she’s awake, she’s probably doing mischief.

If your puppy goes into her crate when you go to your room, time her. You will see that she will spend more time sleeping than awake.

Show your puppy where she’s allowed to eliminate. Take her to the door each time you go out, and she will quickly learn to eliminate on cue.

Keep in mind that puppies, especially after they start teething, chew everything and get into everything. Expect a mess.

Teach your puppy that the place where you keep her food is also off-limits. You will see that she respects your house rules.

Create a space safe for your puppy to play and dig in the house. A blanket or towel placed on the floor will do fine.

Do Puppy-proof Your Home

The more things you can puppy-proof, the more comfortable your life will be with your new best friend. While you may not have as much free time as you expect during the first year of your pup's life, you've got to take this valuable time to do what you can to prepare and puppy-proof your home.

Start with the easy tasks: Close toilet lids, wait until later to lay carpeting. You can also place rubber mats (or even old carpeting) at entrances of rooms you don't want your pup playing in.

If there are cords you don't want your puppy near, up off the floor or use a cord protector. For under desks, clear out your desk first, and then cover with painter's paper.

Don't forget about doorways. Most puppy teething time and energy will be spent chewing on things. To prevent this, you can place a sturdy baby gate at the top of the stairs.

Baby gates can also be used for rooms you don't want your puppy in.

If you are a runner you can invest in a treadmill for your home for your pup. They will help burn off much of the puppy energy, and you'll obtain the satisfaction of knowing you helped your pet lead a healthy and active life.

Use Time Off

If you’re lucky enough to have a good employer, you will likely have some amount of vacation time available to you.

Unfortunately, many people have the tendency to burn their vacation days early in the year and then forget about them for the rest of the year.

Find a Dog Park

Any dog owner will tell you that taking your dog to the park is one of the most rewarding experiences you can share with them. Dog parks can be a great source of socialization for your puppy, especially if you have a dog that’s shy or more reserved.

Dog parks are also great for meeting other dog owners and making friends for your dog, and it can be a good place to hand off your dog to someone else when you’re too busy to walk them.

Get a Travel Crate

One of the most important things you can do when housetraining your puppy is to set up a safe place for them.

That’s where a travel crate comes in handy.

Use a Crate, But Know When to Use Other Techniques.

A crate is a great tool that can be helpful in house-training, preventing destructive chewing, and keeping your dog protected in the car.

But if you become too dependent on the crate, you can end up ignoring other important training basics.

Your Pet’s Private Spot

It’s normal to not want to share your home with a brash little puppy.

If you have a small apartment, your home office, bedroom, or even kitchen table may not be an appropriate place for your puppy to “go potty.”

If you are lucky enough to have a garage, a laundry room, a laundry closet or a downstairs bathroom, consider converting one of these spaces into your puppy’s private spot.

This doesn’t mean he must live in your garage, for example, while you are at work. It means that he should have an area that he has access to anytime he feels like it, whether you’re home or not.

Young puppies will generally need to eliminate after waking up, 20-30 minutes after eating, or after playing.

It’s a good idea to have this spot available on any given day.

If you have any baby gates lying around, you can use them to separate a safe and comfortable space for your puppy within your home.

Or, if you are handy, you can build him a gate to create a private enclosure where he can be happy and protected.