It Costs What?! Six Tips for Renters Bringing Home A Puppy

We fell in love with Chimi the second we saw his picture online.

How could you not?!

Determined not to miss out, Peter and I got our rears in gear and brought him home IMMEDIATELY. Getting a puppy is a lot of work no matter the circumstance, but bringing a puppy home to an apartment can be really ruff rough. I’m not an expert by any means, but I do live in an apartment and work in property management. Here are six things to to keep in mind if you’re considering getting a puppy while you live in an apartment.

1. Talk To Your Landlord

If you’re renting and considering a dog (or any pet), talk to your landlord first. There maybe breed restrictions, weight limits or extra costs. While some may argue that it’s easier to plead ignorance and beg forgiveness, a lessor may disagree. If possible, sign any documents and pay any fees prior to bringing your puppy home.

2. Set Aside Extra Cash

Puppies are expensive. Forget about the adoption fee; between the vet, supplies and potential fees and deposits required by your building, it’s easy to get in over your head. Many pet stores will offer a coupon book to help you get set up with some of the puppy basics, but that’s just a drop in the bucket.
Before you bring your pup home, I definitely recommend setting aside an emergency fund. Your dog will get into things you can’t even imagine. Chimi was so low to the ground that he saw every piece of trash on walks, then tried to eat it. It cost me $200 to get this X-Ray and be told they didn’t know what those white specks were, but that it was probably okay.

Chimi X-Ray

3. Research The Breed You’re Interested In

You’ve wanted a Husky your whole life, and now you’re an independent adult. What’s to stop you?

Unless you’re committed to spending some SERIOUS time exercising your dog every day, a Husky in an apartment may not be for you. I’m not saying it can’t be done, but I am saying be honest with yourself. Different breeds have different needs. Some breeds are just better suited for apartment life. If you’re unsure of what makes a canine a “good apartment dog”, the American Kennel Club can help!

4. Have a Potty Plan

Puppies need frequent potty breaks. If you’re renting an apartment, there’s a good chance you have a job and won’t be home all day. You need a potty plan. We’re lucky; I can bring Chimi to work with me and on days when I don’t, we live close enough to my office that I can take him out at lunch.

Chimi at Work
He’s a desktop dog

However, if you are not able to take your dog to work, there are some other options. They are:

  • Go home on lunch.
  • Look into a dog walker, or use an on demand service like Wag!
  • Take your pup to doggy day care. Here in Milwaukee, we love Central Bark.
  • Invest in potty pads or a balcony grass patch.

Most importantly, remember that potty training may not happen over night! Even if you take Fluffy out regularly, accidents will happen. While your puppy is still learning and growing, be patient and buy lots of carpet cleaner.

5. Things Are Going to Get Messy

Speaking of carpet cleaner, be prepared for other messes your dog will make. Muddy paws, wet fur… All of this will be tracked into your apartment. While not a huge deal, you probably don’t want to ruin your rented floors. We keep baby wipes by the door to clean off Chimi when we get back from a walk, and vacuum frequently to keep pet hair out of our carpet. Grooming your dog regularly can also help combat the hair issue. Always attempt to treat any spills or accidents right away to avoid lingering stains or smells.

6. Be Courteous To Your Neighbors

Living in an apartment means close proximity to neighbors. When adding a puppy to the situation, a little courtesy can go a long way! Easy ways to be respectful of your neighbors and building are:

  • Always clean up after your pet. Carry bags, and pick up solid waste immediately. Don’t leave any puddles behind, either.
  • Keep your dog on a leash. It may not seem like it these days, but not everyone is an animal lover.
  • Be mindful of barking. If you’re receiving complaints, try to figure out the cause. Your vet or a trainer are good people to ask.
Chimi on Bed
Trouble maker.

So there you have it! If you’re thinking about bringing a puppy home to an apartment, you have a lot to consider. However, the good definitely outweighs the bad if you’re willing to do the work!