Living With a Dog

Have you decided to have a four-legged roommate for the first time? Then exciting times begin. In this article, we look at how a dog changes your living environment and your daily routine.

Is living with the dog allowed in the rented apartment?

If you are not a homeowner, the first question to ask is whether you are even allowed to keep a dog in your apartment. There is no blanket answer to this: It depends on the specific rental agreement. This stipulates whether and in what form animal husbandry is permitted.

There are leases that generally allow keeping animals. Ultimately, the decisive factor is whether the dog can be integrated into the social structure of the apartment building. In the case of well-behaved, “normal” dogs, this is usually not a problem. However, particularly large dogs or dogs that are conspicuous due to their aggressiveness may require individual decisions.

If there is no explicit provision in the rental agreement, it depends on whether keeping a dog in the apartment corresponds to the normal usage contract: this is usually not a problem with smaller dogs, but with a mastiff in a one-room apartment it will certainly be more problematic in the interpretation. Even if the dog becomes conspicuous as a permanent barker or acts aggressively, the landlord can prohibit the dog ownership. In legal terms, this is referred to as a “balancing of interests”.

If another tenant in the same house already has a dog, the landlord cannot prohibit a new tenant from owning a dog without reason. Another variant that is widespread in rental agreements is that keeping a dog requires the individual consent of the landlord.

A general ban on keeping pets via a contractual clause is ineffective: the above-mentioned “balancing of interests” between dog owners, landlords, and other tenants must be clarified here. Unfortunately, some dog owners make the experience that it is not so easy to find an apartment with a dog. Sometimes a little persuasion is required.

Dog-friendly apartment

The dog doesn’t care whether you live in an old building or a bungalow or what the living area looks like.

Decisive for the suitable apartment is rather very practical criteria:

  • Living space: The apartment is, so to speak, an enlarged basket. Large dog breeds, such as wolfhounds, naturally need more space than smaller ones. But in the end, every dog ​​that is out of the boor and young dog phase spends most of its time in the apartment sleeping. Larger, heavier dogs are even more likely to have less urge to move than small, agile animals.
  • Outdoor area: It is ideal if the dog has access to an outdoor area next to the apartment. Of course, the bull’s eye would be a large garden. However, it cannot and should not replace the walks and joint outdoor activities. However, the expansion of the territory outside is a big plus for the dog. In a large garden, you can also set up a kennel that offers the dog an additional retreat. But even if you don’t have your own garden, housing is no problem for the sleuth, as long as there is still enough space to run around.
  • Floor: Contrary to popular belief, climbing stairs does not generally harm dogs. Exceptions are special breeds with short legs and long backs, such as dachshunds or basset hounds. And of course, animals that have health problems with bones or joints, which often affect the elderly. You should also carry puppies up and down initially, as they are still growing.
    As a tenant with a dog, you don’t necessarily have to move into an apartment on the ground floor. However, on steep or slippery stairs you should make sure that the dog learns to negotiate the steps safely, i.e. not to run wildly, slip and fall.
  • Floor space: In a household with a dog, you should make sure that as few free-standing objects as possible (floor vases, floor lamps, etc.) are placed in the rooms and that the furniture is grouped in such a way that free space remains in the room. The dog should not have to constantly weave its way between furniture when moving and run the risk of knocking things over. In particular, low tables are predestined for weaving from medium-sized dogs.
  • Noise emissions: As a dog owner, you should be considerate of other residents, especially in apartment buildings. Occasional, situation-related barking is not the problem, but constant barking is definitely annoying. Also, take a look at the flooring: unlike cats, dogs cannot retract their claws. Corresponding stepping noises on laminate or parquet floors cannot be avoided in buildings with poor sound insulation. Carpet or runners are a good solution. Especially since the dogs often prefer them because they don’t slip on them.

What furniture does my dog ​​need?

A dog’s demands on its inventory are clear.

Your four-legged friend only needs the following as spatially fixed equipment:

  • Sleeping place:  Depending on the size, breed, and individual preferences, this can be a dog bed, a  sleeping mat, a real basket, or a dog cave. It is important that the sleeping place is a safe retreat with a comfortable lying surface that has its fixed place and is well placed within the apartment.
  • Feeding bowls: What the dining table is to humans, the feeding place is to the dog. Hygienic bowls made of ceramic or metal on a base are sufficient.

How does the dog influence the daily routine when living together?

The presence of the dog brings a new time structure and new obligations into your daily routine: feeding times and several walks and walks with the animal are part of the program from now on.

In return, the dog quickly learns to adapt to your rhythm. However, some dogs become active at night, getting out of the basket and wandering around. The attentive four-legged friend may react to subtle noises and take over the “guard” for his sleeping pack. Be careful though, as his behavior could escalate into undesirable behavior. It is particularly common in older dogs. Then have your darling checked out by the vet to rule out pain or other symptoms as the cause.

Dog and cat: living together

Contrary to popular belief, cats and dogs don’t hate each other per se. A lot depends on socialization during puppyhood (both animals) and how the owners deal with it. It is important: Both animals should have retreat areas where they are “safe” from the other. The third dimension is particularly suitable for cats: high up on shelves and window sills they find a lookout and rest.

Slowly introduce the animals to each other and give the processing time. Give both enough attention and pay attention to the subtle signals that the animals send out. Is the cat showing signs of stress? Does the dog not want to go into the apartment after the walk? Then the situation is not ideal. If in doubt, get help from an expert, e.g. a behavioral veterinarian or a qualified dog trainer.

However, it is possible that even with great effort, the dog and cat will not find each other. Then, in the interest of the animals, a separation from one of the two should be considered. In any case, constant stress from the other animal is very stressful and should not be accepted.



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