Having a dog at an apartment (Need Tips) - VeggieBoards
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#1 Old 10-02-2011, 04:12 PM
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At the beginning of next year, I'll be moving into an apartment. We've lived in an apartment before (Sweet Pea and I), but I wasn't working at the time, so it was easy. Now, I sometimes work 10 hour shifts and although I will be living with my bf, sometimes we work the same shifts. I need help coming up with idea for Sweet Pea. Both for bathroom trips and keeping her entertained without being destructive.

I don't have an apartment picked out yet, but I have a few in mind. I came up with an idea, but I don't know how to orchestrate it. I was thinking about buying one of those sliding door dog doors and putting either sod or fake grass in the patio area for her to go to the bathroom when I'm gone. The problem is safety. I need a way to block the patio from any and everyone without doing anything permanent. The taller fenced patios will be easier, but what if I get one with a smaller wall? Here are 2 examples:







With both, how can I keep Sweet Pea in and others out? I was thinking spikes on the top of the taller patio fence, but I would have to build something big with the others.

As far as entertainment goes, I can give her a frozen kong, but that won't last that long. I'll probably put locks on the food cabinets.



Suggestions are welcome. Thank you
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#2 Old 10-02-2011, 04:31 PM
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I have a sliding door dog door but for the first days, maybe even weeks, it'll probably still take some learning as you go along to see how much anxiety she might have being left alone
and how destructive she gets. With Lady, we've had her for months and she still destroys the house when we leave. She gets into trash cans, recycling, eats shoes, gets into pantries and cupboards, climbs on the table, etc. I don't know how tall Sweet Pea is, but if Lady was any taller I'm sure she'd also be climbing on counters and things. We have childlocks on our cupboards but she gets in, so now I put a chair with a weighted box on it and block the pantry. I tuck the chairs in on the dining room table (she can't reach it without a low hair to use as a step), and I just have to close all the doors to all the rooms to the rest of the house, and put the garbage and recycling in one of the rooms and close the door, and we make sure she can reach nothing else in the house or she'll get anything she finds, take it through the doggy door, and completely shred it. When we first got her, though, she'd just shriek and whine when we left the house and get sick everywhere, even if it was just to the store really quick, and after about a week she began to start to not get sick but just get destructive. We've stepped out to get the mail and when we come back five minutes later she'll already be destroying everything now. Toys and treats and things don't help, she just gets set on destroying. I think because she used to be a stray she just is pushing her limits and is used to being able to go through garbage, and since she's afraid we'll leave her since she went throug many fosters then she has the bad separation anxiety.

So you'll probably just have to figure out how Sweet Pea will act when you start leaving her home and just keep trying to figure out how to accomadate her and stop anything she might do. She might be able to be distracted and e retrained by toys and kongs and things like that. We have a kong-like toy for lady called an Occupi. It has a main hole for a stick treat to put in it, and then it has a rim indentation on the outside to fill with peanut butter or other spreads, and then it also has little holes to put small treats in it, like cat food sized treats or sticks. It's made so there's different behaviors to target and entertain, and different ways to get each treat out. Lady is slowly starting to become more interested in hers, but Sweet Pea might be more toy and fold driven where it could be used to distract her right away, depending on how her separation anxiety might be. Does she do anything right now when you leave her alone that might escalate when you leave her for longer hours?
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#3 Old 10-02-2011, 04:36 PM
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Also, I should mention that I don't live in an apartment but for two years my whole family lived in only one room, including Frank, before we got Lady, and Frank had no separation issues. He'd bark a bit when we left, but as long as he was walked and let out before we left then he was fine, but then again he sleeps all day, too, so if she is more hyper and might have separation issues then you might need to get her some toys and work around what she might do, but if she's more mellow then she should be fine, especially if she can get outside and has a few toys out to play with
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#4 Old 10-02-2011, 05:33 PM
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To be honest, there's no way I would let my dog go where she might either get loose or, more likely, someone could get to her. I figure, if it's bad, and it can happen, it WILL happen, sooner or later. I simply won't do it. Since I started my new job, Winkie can't go to work with me, so she has to stay in all day. She's learned very quickly to hold it til I get home. I take her out just before I leave and make sure she goes. One time she actually went 14-hours without an accident. Winkie has a strong constitution, and I realize not all dogs would be able to do this. Some might say I'm being cruel, but she seems to take pride in being a good girl and is as happy as she's ever been. Needless to say, when I get home, she makes a bee-line for the door, and letting her out is my first priority. It isn't the ideal situation, but the alternative, potentially losing her, just isn't an option.

Looking at the pics you posted, I wouldn't be able to satisfy my own insecurity without violating some sort of apartment rule. I'd want a very secure, human-proof chain-link fence arrangement, running from the existing fence, right up to the balcony above, and I'd still be worried while I was away.

The only thing I can suggest is a doggie litter-box for her to use while she's alone indoors.

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#5 Old 10-02-2011, 05:38 PM
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P.S.- You might consider leaving a radio playing softly for Sweet Pea while you're gone.

"There is more wisdom in the song of a bird, than in the speech of a philosopher...." -Oahspe
"The thing is, you cannot judge a race. Any man who judges by the group is a pea-wit. You take men one at a time." -Buster Kilrain, The Killer Angels -Michael Shaara
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#6 Old 10-02-2011, 05:52 PM
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P.S.- You might consider leaving a radio playing softly for Sweet Pea while you're gone.

That's exactly what I was thinking about doing

(Will reply to the rest in a bit)
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#7 Old 10-02-2011, 06:30 PM
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P.S.- You might consider leaving a radio playing softly for Sweet Pea while you're gone.

That's a great idea! Frank likes watching tv, but my dad used to have a dog that would quiet and calm down when listening to a tape recorder play him talkin on a loop. The dog was a stray he saved and snuck home and his parents didn't know at the time so to stop him from crying in the morning outside, my dad played the tape recorded recording he made of himself telling the dog, "It's okay puppy, go to sleep" and things like that so he'd calm down.
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#8 Old 10-02-2011, 06:43 PM
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#9 Old 10-02-2011, 10:23 PM
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We don't live in apartment anymore but tile floors are our friend. When we leave the house we put all the animals on the tile part and have a babygate that prevents them from getting to the carpet. If they have an accident we just clean it up no prob. But we usually never leave the house for more than four hours at a time. Making dogs hold it longer than that is cruel.

Have you thought about hiring a dogwalker or using doggy daycare? If you budget for it you might be able to afford it. Or barter with a friend or neighbor for help letting the dogs out to pee.

About apartments and dogs: barking. That's probably the biggest issue. If you can, find a place where all your neighbors have dogs. They'll be less likely to complain about yours barking if they have digs of their own. And they might be willing to help you out with dogwalking in the middle of the day.
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#10 Old 10-03-2011, 12:27 PM
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I have a sliding door dog door but for the first days, maybe even weeks, it'll probably still take some learning as you go along to see how much anxiety she might have being left alone
and how destructive she gets. With Lady, we've had her for months and she still destroys the house when we leave. She gets into trash cans, recycling, eats shoes, gets into pantries and cupboards, climbs on the table, etc. I don't know how tall Sweet Pea is, but if Lady was any taller I'm sure she'd also be climbing on counters and things. We have childlocks on our cupboards but she gets in, so now I put a chair with a weighted box on it and block the pantry. I tuck the chairs in on the dining room table (she can't reach it without a low hair to use as a step), and I just have to close all the doors to all the rooms to the rest of the house, and put the garbage and recycling in one of the rooms and close the door, and we make sure she can reach nothing else in the house or she'll get anything she finds, take it through the doggy door, and completely shred it. When we first got her, though, she'd just shriek and whine when we left the house and get sick everywhere, even if it was just to the store really quick, and after about a week she began to start to not get sick but just get destructive. We've stepped out to get the mail and when we come back five minutes later she'll already be destroying everything now. Toys and treats and things don't help, she just gets set on destroying. I think because she used to be a stray she just is pushing her limits and is used to being able to go through garbage, and since she's afraid we'll leave her since she went throug many fosters then she has the bad separation anxiety.

So you'll probably just have to figure out how Sweet Pea will act when you start leaving her home and just keep trying to figure out how to accomadate her and stop anything she might do. She might be able to be distracted and e retrained by toys and kongs and things like that. We have a kong-like toy for lady called an Occupi. It has a main hole for a stick treat to put in it, and then it has a rim indentation on the outside to fill with peanut butter or other spreads, and then it also has little holes to put small treats in it, like cat food sized treats or sticks. It's made so there's different behaviors to target and entertain, and different ways to get each treat out. Lady is slowly starting to become more interested in hers, but Sweet Pea might be more toy and fold driven where it could be used to distract her right away, depending on how her separation anxiety might be. Does she do anything right now when you leave her alone that might escalate when you leave her for longer hours?

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Also, I should mention that I don't live in an apartment but for two years my whole family lived in only one room, including Frank, before we got Lady, and Frank had no separation issues. He'd bark a bit when we left, but as long as he was walked and let out before we left then he was fine, but then again he sleeps all day, too, so if she is more hyper and might have separation issues then you might need to get her some toys and work around what she might do, but if she's more mellow then she should be fine, especially if she can get outside and has a few toys out to play with

Luckily, in my experience, Sweet Pea is too lazy to jump on counters She's not really destructive, although she's gotten a hold of a few things she wasn't supposed to have. Poor Lady She would cry at the door at the beginning of living in an apartment, but got used to our short trips to the beach, grocery store, Sonic (when I lived with my ex). I hope the crying doesn't disturb the neighbors, that's what I'm worried about.
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#11 Old 10-03-2011, 12:31 PM
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To be honest, there's no way I would let my dog go where she might either get loose or, more likely, someone could get to her. I figure, if it's bad, and it can happen, it WILL happen, sooner or later. I simply won't do it. Since I started my new job, Winkie can't go to work with me, so she has to stay in all day. She's learned very quickly to hold it til I get home. I take her out just before I leave and make sure she goes. One time she actually went 14-hours without an accident. Winkie has a strong constitution, and I realize not all dogs would be able to do this. Some might say I'm being cruel, but she seems to take pride in being a good girl and is as happy as she's ever been. Needless to say, when I get home, she makes a bee-line for the door, and letting her out is my first priority. It isn't the ideal situation, but the alternative, potentially losing her, just isn't an option.

Looking at the pics you posted, I wouldn't be able to satisfy my own insecurity without violating some sort of apartment rule. I'd want a very secure, human-proof chain-link fence arrangement, running from the existing fence, right up to the balcony above, and I'd still be worried while I was away.

The only thing I can suggest is a doggie litter-box for her to use while she's alone indoors.

I don't think it would be too hard to set something up so she couldn't get loose. My man works at Home Depot, we can build something that's not permanent and not an eye sore. She lives in the backyard now, she's used to going outside and laying out in the sun. Bf and I typically don't work the same hours, so this won't be an everyday thing.
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#12 Old 10-03-2011, 01:19 PM
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This is what my mom did for our dog when I was growing up. Additionally, we had a baby gate and would close our dog in the kitchen while we were at work/school all day. The kitchen had linoleum floors, so that if our dog had an accident during the day, she didn't ruin the carpet. Accidents were rare, but did occasionally happen. The kitchen area was large enough that restricting her to that area was not a hardship for her in any way. (I've had people admonish me that it was cruel to keep her in one room, but really it was fine. Her food/water dishes were in there, and it's not like she was in a tiny closet or something.) We let her out (on a chain, the yard wasn't fenced) first thing in the morning, and she stayed out for quite a while most days. The first thing we did when we got home was to let her out again.

I will note that our dog had no issues with anxiety at being left alone all day. She had a few chew toys that we made sure were in the kitchen for her, and she was not destructive.

Our dog adjusted very quickly, as we had previously all lived at my grandparent's house, where someone was always home during the day to let her out whenever she wanted, even when my mom and I weren't there.

Tried that (baby gate), the hamasaur (one of many nicknames) would get over it or knock it over She did better when she had access to the main part of the apartment. She only had a handful of accident, but I bought a steam cleaner and that fixed the problem. I hope to get hardwood or tile in the apartment, but I know it's more expensive. It's seriously going to be over $1,000 to move in just for Sweet Pea alone (dog deposit, monthly pet rent, sliding door dog door, building something on the patio).

I was thinking about transferring to a different location (same restaurant) and living near my parents, that way I could drop Pea off on my way, but I don't really want to live in this area anymore. I don't feel safe, even though it's a good area.
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#13 Old 10-03-2011, 02:20 PM
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We don't live in apartment anymore but tile floors are our friend. When we leave the house we put all the animals on the tile part and have a babygate that prevents them from getting to the carpet. If they have an accident we just clean it up no prob. But we usually never leave the house for more than four hours at a time. Making dogs hold it longer than that is cruel.

Have you thought about hiring a dogwalker or using doggy daycare? If you budget for it you might be able to afford it. Or barter with a friend or neighbor for help letting the dogs out to pee.

About apartments and dogs: barking. That's probably the biggest issue. If you can, find a place where all your neighbors have dogs. They'll be less likely to complain about yours barking if they have digs of their own. And they might be willing to help you out with dogwalking in the middle of the day.

I definitely want hardwood or tile, going to try to get it if it's not too expensive.

Unfortunately, I've thought about it, and it's just not doable finance wise to hire someone. Plus, I don't trust anyone to come into my house and care for my critters. I did it once 2 years ago during Christmas when I lived in Texas, left my small animals with a neighbor friend, and I was anxious the entire time. An entire week straight. I'm really hoping I can meet someone I can trust and have them help out maybe a few times a month, that's doable. I've been on the hunt for a small house or a duplex with a backyard, but nothing is in my price range in a safe area. I'm hoping the dog door to the patio will help with the barking.
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#14 Old 10-03-2011, 03:25 PM
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She'll need to get plenty of exercise and attention when you are home - daily long walks, trips to the dog park, play dates with other dogs, trips in the car, etc. Another idea is to get another dog to keep her company.

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#15 Old 10-03-2011, 03:37 PM
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Of course One of the apartments I'm looking at has 3 dogs park in it! They're small, but it will give her time off her leash and she can socialize. I love taking Pea places. When I lived in Texas, I used to take her to Sonic with me She LOVED it.
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#16 Old 10-03-2011, 04:10 PM
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I love taking my dogs to Sonic, too. they love going anywhere, really. Every place I live always has to have a Starbucks walking distance from me, because Ive always walked Frank there to sit in the outdoor seating. We used to live by an in and out, too, and he loved that because he got food when we walked there. I think as long as you walk her she should be fine. The doggy door panels are lifesavers, I've always had one for my cats but we finally just bought a slightly wider one because Frank couldn't fit his shoulders through the other one anymore. They love going outside, though, the only problem with mine is they take a lot of their toys and bones outside to hide and forget them there so if I dont find them all before it rains they get muddy, and when we first moved in the dogs kept falling into the pond, getting wet, rolling in the dirt to dry off, then rolling inside and getting everything muddy but as long as the door is closed in the rain, or the patio doesnt get wet, then it should be fine since she sounds pretty mellow
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#17 Old 10-03-2011, 04:31 PM
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It's great because you can sit in your car with your dog at Sonic. There aren't any around here, so I haven't taken Pea to one in a while. When you sit outside of Starbucks, do you usually get a drink there and have someone get it for you? I'd be afraid to leave the dog outside, someone might steal Frank.... and it might be ME! *Stalks Jessica's FB page, waits for her to go to Starbucks*
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#18 Old 10-03-2011, 04:35 PM
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I definitely want hardwood or tile, going to try to get it if it's not too expensive.

Hardwood and dog pee do not mix well. Go for tile if you are concerned about that.
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#19 Old 10-03-2011, 04:37 PM
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It's great because you can sit in your car with your dog at Sonic. There aren't any around here, so I haven't taken Pea to one in a while. When you sit outside of Starbucks, do you usually get a drink there and have someone get it for you? I'd be afraid to leave the dog outside, someone might steal Frank.... and it might be ME! *Stalks Jessica's FB page, waits for her to go to Starbucks*

Lol yes my mom goes in and gets it for me while the dogs sit at the table with me. The only Sonic I've been to with Frank and Lady is the one by Disneyland with no rollerskaters, and they live it, but I'm curious now to see how they'd react to seeing the rollerskaters at the more old fashioned Sonics. I wonder if they'd think of it like the pizza man and bark in hope of getting food in return?
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#20 Old 10-04-2011, 11:10 AM
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Hardwood and dog pee do not mix well. Go for tile if you are concerned about that.

What if they hardwood is finished? Tile most likely won't be an option, carpet or hardwood?

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Lol yes my mom goes in and gets it for me while the dogs sit at the table with me. The only Sonic I've been to with Frank and Lady is the one by Disneyland with no rollerskaters, and they live it, but I'm curious now to see how they'd react to seeing the rollerskaters at the more old fashioned Sonics. I wonder if they'd think of it like the pizza man and bark in hope of getting food in return?

Crust stealers!
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#21 Old 10-04-2011, 12:51 PM
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Have you considered laminate flooring? You can get it with a hardwood look, but it's much cheaper.

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#22 Old 10-04-2011, 12:51 PM
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It's not a house I own, I'll be in an apartment.
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#23 Old 10-04-2011, 01:26 PM
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Ah, I had just wondered, what with all the talk about flooring going on.

Hopefully everything with the apartment works out great for you and your doggy.

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#24 Old 10-04-2011, 02:28 PM
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The apartment I like most gives you the option of hardwood, but it's more per month. I don't think I've ever seen tile in an apartment. That would be very nice though!

Thanks Hammy can't wait for me to get an apartment, then she's an indoor dog again.
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#26 Old 10-04-2011, 11:10 PM
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I'll ask if the apartment has real hardwood or the fake ones. If it's sealed, I'm pretty sure it's supposed to protect it from water damage like a pee spot, real or not. I think most apartments are too cheap for real hardwood anyway. I'm a big fan of laminate, it's so much easier to maintain.

I got a steam cleaner 2 years ago, I love it. It has saved my butt quite a few times (pee and throw up).
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#27 Old 10-05-2011, 07:53 AM
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To be honest, there's no way I would let my dog go where she might either get loose or, more likely, someone could get to her. I figure, if it's bad, and it can happen, it WILL happen, sooner or later. I simply won't do it. Since I started my new job, Winkie can't go to work with me, so she has to stay in all day. She's learned very quickly to hold it til I get home. I take her out just before I leave and make sure she goes. One time she actually went 14-hours without an accident. Winkie has a strong constitution, and I realize not all dogs would be able to do this. Some might say I'm being cruel, but she seems to take pride in being a good girl and is as happy as she's ever been. Needless to say, when I get home, she makes a bee-line for the door, and letting her out is my first priority. It isn't the ideal situation, but the alternative, potentially losing her, just isn't an option.

Looking at the pics you posted, I wouldn't be able to satisfy my own insecurity without violating some sort of apartment rule. I'd want a very secure, human-proof chain-link fence arrangement, running from the existing fence, right up to the balcony above, and I'd still be worried while I was away.

The only thing I can suggest is a doggie litter-box for her to use while she's alone indoors.

I highly doubt she is proud of her pee-holding abilities, just too well trained to go when she needs to. I can't imagine the pain of holding it in for 14 hours
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