This won’t be the first time that you hear owning a pet is a big responsibility, and it certainly won’t be the last. If you’re living alone in an apartment for the first time, you may debate making a furry friend your honorary roommate.
If you already have a dog that you care deeply about and are used to taking care of, I say it’s an easy yes (complex permitting) to bring them along on your solo adventure. You already have a routine in place, they’re potty/walk trained, and you absolutely cannot leave your best friend behind.
However, if you don’t already have a pet and you’re thinking about adopting a dog, there’s some things you should consider first.
If you’re a workaholic that lives alone, you should not adopt a dog. According to the American Kennel Club, any dog older than 6 months should not be left alone for more than 4-6 hours at a time. The absolute maximum time for them to be left alone is 8 hours, assuming they have the ability to go outside for a bathroom break. If you live in an apartment, this makes it a hard rule. Plus, the longer they are left alone, the more likely you’ll have to deal with a “domestic disaster” like chewed furniture and accidents to clean up.
There are, however, few exceptions to this rule: If you can afford a dog walker, are able to stop home during lunch, or have an extremely reliable friend/significant other, you may be able to work around it. If you work a hybrid or remote schedule, a dog may be great for you. Just remember that dogs crave human interaction. They are happiest with the people they love and can get lonely just like humans!
Getting a dog is not just a commitment for this current lease, it’s a commitment for the next 10-13 years. This also means being aware of the limited freedom you may have going forward. If you want to spend a weekend away or take some much needed PTO, you either need to be able to transport your furry friend in the car with you, or pay for doggy day care. If you’re a relocator and don’t know many people in the area, it can be hard to find someone to trust looking after them in an emergency. Commitment also means responsibility. If you find it difficult to schedule doctor’s appointments for yourself, you may find it difficult to ensure your pet gets to the vet as often as they should.
Getting a dog should be more than just thinking that they’re cute or thinking that they’ll solve your boredom. You need to ask yourself why you want a dog. They deserve and require a lot of attention, love, and affection so adoption should not be taken lightly. Adopting a dog may not solve all of your problems, but it sure can help. Dogs can make living alone easier and fill your home with warmth.
Dogs are great companions that can make living alone less lonely. Adopting is also a great way to take on more responsibility because you will no longer be making decisions for only yourself. Organize your belongings and create a schedule for the two of you. They’ll encourage you to stay active and get you some much needed time outside. Try your best to walk them at the same time and feed them at the same time – they enjoy routine just as much as humans do.
Be sure to do your research before selecting a breed, supplies you’ll need, and your apartment complex policies. Paperwork, pet rent, and breed restrictions can put a dent in your adoption plans and your wallet. Sometimes waiting to settle in first before you bring in a new buddy is best for you both. If you’re stressed out, your dog will be too.
If you don’t think you can commit to having a dog in your apartment, you can have a trial run. Fostering dogs from your local animal shelter is an excellent stepping stone to becoming a full-time dog parent. Most fostering programs are for a couple weeks to a couple months at a time. This way you can also learn what breed you like and would be best for your lifestyle. The bonus is that if you fall in love with one of them, you could possibly adopt them yourself. Research your local dog shelter and inquire about their fostering program – most shelters are overwhelmed and would love a helping hand.
If you want opinions on what it’s like to own a dog in your specific complex (details of leasing office policies, personal opinions etc.), you can get a little sneaky. Take a walk near your complex’s closest green space or sit by the dog run with a good book. You can strike up a conversation with someone that's been through it, while also meeting other pet parents you can become friends with. If you can establish good relationships with your neighbors or other people in your complex, you’ll have a helpful, watchful eye for you and your pet.
Your pets become part of your family. That means finding a home that welcomes all of you.
We’re in over 30 cities across the country in perfect locations for dining, bars, entertainment, and your fur baby. You can get 1-bedroom living for the price of a studio with stellar amenities for you AND your dog.