Bringing a new puppy home to your space-deficient city condo? We’ve got six tips for preparing and making the most of your living area.
1. Invest in some pee pads.
Save your floor and your sanity. Chances are, your puppy is going to need to go often (and immediately), and for condo dwellers with no quick access to the outdoors (or with only a small, concrete balcony – not exactly puppy friendly) pee pads will be a game changer. They’re sure to eliminate (or at least really, really cut back on) accidents while your pup potty trains and are easy to use and easy to dispose of. Don’t get too upset if your pup has a few accidents at first – they are trying their best!
2. Pick wires and other chewables up off the floor.
If there’s a universal trait for all puppies (besides being heartbreakingly adorable) it’s that they are monsters who will chew everything in sight: your hand, your hair, your valuables, your shoes. They don’t discriminate. While it’s almost a given that your new pup will chew up something at some point, make sure that wires and chargers are picked up off the floor and are not left plugged in to avoid an expensive and possibly dangerous chewing situation.
3. Get a doggie bed or crate.
While some people love having their pooch snuggle up in bed with them, others are greedy hoarders of their sleep space (and don’t want that infamous dog breath in their faces all night). Especially if you’re living in a small space (like a typical condo) you may want to establish that the dog does not sleep in the bed. Having a designated alternative will help them to feel safe and comfortable in their new home and will hopefully allow you both to starfish without interruption all night long.
4. Survey your neighbours to see if your new pup is barking/whining/howling excessively while you’re out.
Nobody wants to be an inconsiderate neighbour or pet owner, and making sure your dog isn’t disturbing your fellow condo dwellers is key. Knock on some doors after work and ask if anyone has heard anything that’s bothered them (remember that in most cities, excessive noise from pets is not permitted at any time of the day). Don’t despair if your pup is having trouble being alone – doggie daycare while you’re at work, a dog walker for part of the day, or some simple training are all possible solutions.
5. Stock up on chew toys, bones, and ropes.
Chew toys and bones will satisfy your new BFF’s incessant need to chomp on everything, while ropes for tug-of-war can provide some fun, energy-burning play in a small space. Of course, your pup will need some outdoor time every day but don’t be surprised if they’re still eager to play at home – puppies can have an ungodly amount of energy. While many cities offer boutique stores for your bougie pooch, ordering toys and supplies off Amazon can be a much cheaper alternative.
6. Do a quick check of your plants to make sure none of them are poisonous to dogs.
While some plants are A-OK for dogs to munch on, others can range from mildly to very toxic and it’s good to know what you have in your home (or on the balcony) if you’re about to introduce a new doggie to your space. Putting potentially or mildly toxic plants out of reach could be a simple solution but remember to call a vet or animal help hotline if you suspect your pup has eaten something (not just a plant!) that is making them ill. For a list of plants that may cause you problems, check the ASPCA’s website.