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Caring for a dog in limited living spaces

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 Caring for a dog in limited living spaces (Photo: iStock)

Do you want to adopt a dog but cannot figure out your living space? Many dog enthusiasts struggle with the challenge of pet ownership within the confines of apartments or homes with limited space.

While space may be at a premium, the love and care you provide your furry companion can flourish with thoughtful consideration and a few strategic adjustments.

Embrace the concept of active living indoors. Engage your pup with interactive toys, puzzle feeders or a gentle game of tug-of-war. This not only addresses their physical needs but also stimulates their mental faculties.

Make the most of outdoor excursions even if you are in the concrete jungle. For instance, if you live in a gated community, there is more than enough space to take your dog around. If not, seek out nearby parks like if you live near Karura Forest or the Arboretum or even outside the estate for daily walks and playtime. These outings offer your canine friend a change of scenery and the opportunity to expend super-important energy.

Transform limited spaces into designated play zones. Utilise corners or nooks for a cosy bed, toys and a water bowl. This creates a defined area where your dog can feel secure and entertained.

Enrich your dog's environment with mentally stimulating activities. This may sound like a lot of work but do not forget you chose to have a pet. Invest in puzzle toys, hide some treats around the house for them to discover or incorporate training sessions that engage their intellect and keep boredom at bay.

Dogs thrive on routine and predictability. Establish a consistent daily schedule for walks, playtime, meals and bathroom breaks. Predictability helps prevent stress or anxiety even when you’re not home because they know where everything is.

Capitalise on vertical spaces to maximise available room. Install shelves or provide a designated perch near a window for your dog to observe the outside world. Vertical elements not only save floor space but also cater to your dog's curiosity.

Introduce your dog to positive social interactions considering their comfort level and temperament. Arrange playdates with other dogs, visit dog-friendly spaces or enrol in training classes to ensure they receive the socialisation essential for a well-rounded canine companion. This will be beneficial when you have to take them with you or when you have visitors around.

Enhance your dog's comfort with familiar items. This may sound unnecessary but a clean dry bed, toys, a soft blanket etc. can create a sense of familiarity regardless of the available square footage. Use that to your advantage.

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