It may be the idyllic canine lifestyle to roam free on a 20,000-acre farm, mingling with the sheep and cows, howling at the full moon. The fact of the matter is that most dogs are lucky to have a house with a fenced-in yard. Many of them don’t even have that; in urban settings, owners have no choice but to take their dogs for walks in hopes of getting them some exercise and breaking the monotony of their daily routine.
Be Fair (Meaning, Choose Wisely)
When choosing their dog in the first place, pet owners have to be realistic, particularly with regard to their own living situations. Comedian Chris Rock said it best: When you see a homeless person living under a bridge with a dog, which one do you feel sorry for? It simply isn’t fair to put an active, robust breed into an apartment situation. The anxiety that the dog feels, due to confinement in close quarters, could manifest itself in ways you’ll wish it hadn’t (read: Chewing on your shoes).
Watch the Bias Melt Away
There are dog breeds that will do quite well in a small dwelling, obviously the smaller ones, which most apartment complexes are happy to oblige. Many people have a bias against “ankle-biters”, but that sort of bravado only lasts until one some cute little thing snuggles up against them as they’re going to sleep – then they’re hooked. But even the most loving of dog owners owes it to their pet not to coop them up during an 8-hour workday (plus commute). If family members won’t be present to care for the dog during the daylight hours, hire a dog-walker to stop by.
The benefits of pet ownership are well-known by now. Hypertension, stress and blood pressure (all of which can exacerbate more serious problems) are alleviated by the presence of a pet in the household. Small dogs, which are stereotyped as being barkers, will serve to alert its masters when anything happens to alarm it. But those are utilitarian aspects compared to the companionship, affection and love that create the bond between dog and owner that will bring joy to life no matter where you choose to live it.