Should you keep a dog when you live in a flat?

Many flats don’t allow dogs, but if you are lucky enough to live in one where you’re allowed to keep a dog, then there’s no reason why you shouldn’t providing you can make sure you can look after the dog properly and keep him happy. There are a few simple criteria that will ensure that your dog’s life is a happy one:

The size and weight of your dog
A large dog will generally need too much exercise for a flat, so you’ll probably need a smaller dog more suited to the space. However, smaller dogs may tire running up and down the stairs, and he needs to enjoy a good walk, so consider how far up the stairs you live. If you live on the 5th floor of a block of flats and you need to carry your dog down stairs or in the lift several times each day, you need to choose a dog who doesn’t mind being picked up – and who you can comfortably carry.

The dog’s temperament
Your dog needs to fit in with you; some dogs are calm and relaxed, others a lot more boisterous and energetic. Go to the dog breeder to see the parents of the puppy that you are going to adopt, as their temperament may well be reflected in the puppies. Are the parents docile, calm and quiet, or playful and full of mischief?

Socialising with other animals
In a flat, it is much more difficult for your animals to maintain their own separate territories, so if you are the proud owner of another dog, a cat, or any other creature, your chosen dog must be able to get on with them. Terriers are the product of many generations of hunters, and you beloved cat might not take too kindly to being constantly chased by an excited Scottish terrier, for example.

Available space
All dogs need a space to call their own, so you’ll need to find a space for his own dog basket where he can retreat if he likes.

If these few simple rules are observed, then there’s no reason why your dog won’t have a very happy life in his new home – flat or not.