Living in an upstairs apartment with a dog is vastly different from living in a large house with a yard. Still, you can make it work. Read on for more information.
Part of having a home with a white picket fence and rose bushes is having a big backyard where your dog can run around freely. There’s also the lush green lawn these houses (especially in the suburbs) offer their residents.
But what if you live in the city? In an apartment no less. It's quite different. It's one of the considerations people make before getting a dog – Space – where to keep it.
If you live in an upstairs apartment with stairs and a balcony, you can still get a dog. You just need to make a few changes to make your apartment more dog-friendly.
The first thing to consider is the dog in question.
Having the Right Dog
This is for people who are in the market (or shelter) for a new dog. It's easier this way as you get to choose the right breed for your living conditions.
Most people think size is all that matters. They may think a 22lb dog would be easier to manage in a small apartment than a 90 pounder. However, breed matters as well.
Large, slow breeds are especially suited for apartments. These dogs often spend their time resting. For instance, greyhounds are massive but they make rather great apartment dogs. They are tolerant and don't need a lot of exercises. 
Heck, some greyhound owners say if you overdo it with them in terms of exercising or walking, they would just flop down and refuse to move! That's perfect.
Just walk it twice a day on the sidewalks of your block or go over to a dog park for some playtime and you're good.
You might want to hold off on getting a German shepherd, golden retriever, or any of those very active dog breeds for now.
Beyond the breed, the dog’s personality matters A LOT. You're better off having a dog with a relaxed and gentle personality than a hyperactive dog.
Make sure your new dog is friendly and relatively quiet. You don't want your neighbors complaining about it barking up a storm in the middle of the night.
Besides, they may often find themselves in close quarters with strangers. An easygoing dog will make apartment living a breeze for you and other people.
Here are a Few Things to Consider in Apartment Living with Your Dog –
Ø The Dreaded “No Pets Allowed” Sign
The photo of a dog or paw circled with the red mark can be heartbreaking for any dog owner. If you've got a dog, keep an eye out for this before you rent a new apartment.
Check with your landlord or real estate agents to be sure. If you get a go-ahead, then do just that, go ahead and move in with your dog.
Ø Figure Out the Toilet Situation
It's rather unfortunate that there’ll likely be no yard outside for them to use as a bathroom. Your neighbors certainly don’t deserve to see a surprise package every time they step outside.
As for you, coming home after a hard day’s work to the mess is no fun. Fortunately, dogs are pretty smart.
You can try “balcony potty training”, where you keep potty patches on the balcony to get them used to the idea of “going” in small spaces.
You could also use pee pads or even put a grass patch on your terrace. Either way, be sure to get them on a schedule and train them adequately. 
Don’t forget to attach balcony guards to keep them safe – dogs jump pretty high, you know.
Ø Be Sure Your New Neighborhood is Pet-Friendly
This neighborhood should have dog parks close by. You shouldn't have to enter the bus or take the subway just to get to the park.
Choose an apartment that has got a park close to it. Also, there should be sidewalks to keep them safe from vehicles.
Ø Find Ways to Mentally Stimulate Your Dog
Dogs that live in apartments don't have the luxury of going downstairs to chase squirrels and such. The boredom could translate to unruly behavior. But you can prevent this by finding ways to keep them occupied.
You should put in the right effort to take care of more than just your dog’s physical health. Healthy mental stimulation is very important in canine development. It also reduces their stress levels and helps them handle their anxiety when you leave the apartment.
A great way to do this would be to get them some new toys – the right toys, not just some chew toys. An interactive toy that can keep them entertained for hours is the best option.
Ø Protect Your Apartment
By “apartment”, we mostly mean furniture, food, and snacks. This is one of the times having a cat is better. You could easily get them a scratch post and your furniture will be free of claw marks.
As for dogs, you would have to worry about their teeth more. They could just chew up the apartment for fun. They could also find their way into the pantry and make a big mess.
To keep your furniture safe, you could use a pet-friendly crate or a designated room (if you have the extra space) to keep them calm. Despite what people may think, your puppy doesn't mind. If you train them right, they won't damage your furniture.
And the food? Just keep them out of the dog's reach. Don't forget to hide your trash can if you've got a scavenger on your hands.
Ø Hire a Walker
Unless you're a remote worker with a home office, you’ll need to leave the house for work. Fortunately, dog walking is a lucrative job in most cities.
You could just use a dog walking app to find someone close to you. The best part? You're sure of trained, highly qualified walkers to take care of your dog.
In our opinion, it's worth the extra dollar to keep your dog safe and happy.
Ø Dog Proof Your Home
We already mentioned the balcony guard to keep them safe, don't forget the windows and loose wiring around the house. Always keep your front door locked.
You can't have a dog door like in the suburbs for him to go and come as he pleases. He could really get hurt out on these “mean streets" if you're not careful. So, be careful.
Also, keep your apartment tidy. A well-organized apartment is necessary for you and your dog to live a happy, normal life.
Ø Noise Control
Here's the thing, dogs bark – but you already knew this. There's no need to have your neighbors hate you because your dog just won't let them rest.
To reduce your dog's noise, try to keep the triggers to a minimum. Close the blinds so they don't look out and see things that could get them hyper. Also, keep treats around the house to keep them busy when you go out.
Ultimately, where you live shouldn't prevent you from getting a canine companion if you are a dog lover. It might be a bit tough figuring out the situation, but with some effort, you’ll get it right.
And on the plus side, there are some perks of living in an upstairs apartment in the city with your dog. For one, there are lots of other dogs around they could play with. Also, pet stores, vets, and dog parks abound.
Turns out, the grass could also be green on this side…you just have to water it with a bit more effort.