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How To Keep Your Puppy Happy In A Small Apartment

At A Glance

Discover tips for providing adequate exercise, mental stimulation, and a comfortable living environment to ensure your furry friend's well-being and happiness.

  • Create a designated space for your pup where they feel safe and comfortable. Provide them plenty of toys so they are amply entertained and do not chew up things they aren't supposed to.
  • Maintain a schedule for meal time, potty time, and other activities. Most importantly, shower your pup with plenty of love and affection!

Last Updated on: Jun 13, 2023

Puppies are one of life’s great joys and probably the cutest things on the planet. Baby humans may come close! But as anyone who’s had one knows, pups can be a lot of work.

Puppies require a lot of attention and patience, but luckily, depending on the breed and temperament, they may not need a ton of room to be comfortable. This is a good option, especially if you’re a renter.

If you’ve decided to take up the responsibility of keeping your puppy happy in a small apartment, read on!

We’ve got some tips to help save your sanity and your carpets!

Keep reading to discover more!

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Create A Designated Space For Your Puppy

Designate a specific area or room for your puppy to play, sleep, and eat. This will give your puppy a sense of security and routine.

Since apartments in Los Angeles, NYC, and other leading cities don’t have huge apartments, experts suggest crating your puppy as the best option for sleepy time, downtime, and while you’re away.

Crating provides pups a safe, secure place to sleep and a cozy escape if they feel anxious (puppies get separation anxiety) or overwhelmed.

Include clean blankies or a doggie bed and plenty of toys in your pup’s crate. Be sure to leave out food and water bowls or puppy pads to keep the crate as clean as possible.

Also, crating is a great way to facilitate potty training, and keeping their puppy pads there will send mixed signals.

You can train your pup to get comfortable in their crate using treats or positive reinforcement.

Note: Dogs should associate a crate with safety, not as punishment, so never send your dog to the crate for “naughty” behavior. Also, dogs shouldn’t be locked in a crate for longer than two or three hours at a time. Leave the door open at all times, unless you need to keep them closed in it while you leave the house or use it for transport.

When crate shopping, look for quality. Poor-quality crates tend to be less sturdy and may fold in when your puppy chews or paws at them.

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Provide Plenty Of Toys

Give them plenty of toys to keep them busy and happy.

Finding the kinds of toys your puppy prefers may take a little trial and error; some like plushies, some like squeaky toys, and some like a combo of both.

But, whatever you do, don’t pass on the chewy toys! Chew toys help puppies understand what is and isn’t okay to chew on.

This can be a great help, especially if you’re renting with your puppy. It also helps soothe sore gums during the roughly two to three months while they’re teething.

Puzzle toys in which you can hide treats (like a Kong) are also an excellent option. They do double duty as chew toys while providing hours of mental stimulation to help keep your puppy entertained while you’re away.

Regardless of what toys you choose, consult the packaging to ensure it’s suitable for your puppy’s size and age.

As your pup ages, inspect the toys regularly for chunks they’ve chewed that can easily be torn off or swallowed.

When they’re at the end of their lifespan, throw them out and replace them with new ones.

Also, supervise your puppy during playtime. Like human babies, dog babies are susceptible to choking hazards.

Maintain A Schedule For Everything

When they aren’t sleeping, puppies play pretty much all the time, so trying to schedule playtime will be an exercise in futility.

But you can put them on a set schedule for sleep, meals, training exercises, and walks.

Puppies and adult dogs alike need the consistency of a routine to feel confident and secure.

Routines are also a great way to stimulate them mentally and establish great behavioral habits. Perhaps most importantly, it helps establish a strong bond between you and your puppy.

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Give Plenty Of Love And Attention

It probably goes without saying, but above all, your puppy needs plenty of love and attention to be happy, and a happy puppy is a well-trained puppy.

Make sure to spend lots of quality time with your puppy every day and show them lots of love and affection.

And don’t forget abundant amounts of praise when they are on good behavior or learn something new, as puppies thrive on positive reinforcement!

There’s no doubt that it’ll take time and patience to get your pup acclimated and keep it happy in your small apartment, but most dog lovers would agree it’s well worth it!

We hope these pointers will help you prepare so you can spend less time working on keeping them out of trouble and more time playing, snuggling, and enjoying puppy kisses!


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I am a full-time mum of two kids and a beautiful golden retriever. Writing is my passion: from food journalism to pets, parenting tips, etc. I can write on just about everything under the sun. I have been writing for the past 7 years and during that time, I have been a regular contributor to several blogs and pet magazines. I have also written feature articles, POV pieces, and dabbled in a few different formats of writing over the years.