One perk of apartment living is the community feel many buildings offer. There are opportunities to get to know your neighbors while passing through common areas or enjoying amenity spaces. It’ll be easier to turn neighbors into friends if you treat them respectfully, especially when there’s only a wall between living spaces.
Being considerate of your neighbors is even more important when you live with a dog. Pets are wonderful additions to our lives, but they can also make a lot of noise and cause accidents. Embracing proper dog owner etiquette will help you be a considerate neighbor and keep the peace in your apartment community. This guide will discuss steps for appropriate etiquette and when it’s time to get professional help.
Dog Owner Etiquette: How to Be a Considerate Neighbor
Taking proper care of your dog as an apartment dweller will go a long way in making sure you and your neighbors have a positive experience. You’ll want to keep your dog in line within the apartment building as well as on surrounding grounds and even city sidewalks. Follow these tips on dog owner etiquette, and your neighbors and fellow city dwellers will thank you.
1. Pick Up After Your Dog
It’s crucial to clean up after your four-legged friend. Always bring plastic bags on dog walks so you can dispose of pet waste in a sanitary manner. Picking up after your dog will keep your apartment community clean – and your city sidewalks as well.
2. Keep Them on a Leash
You should have your dog on a leash in hallways and common areas and on city sidewalks. Not only is this considerate of your fellow apartment dwellers and city pedestrians, but it can also help protect your dog. You don’t want your dog running into traffic or antagonizing another animal that could potentially hurt them. Some buildings may even require you to keep your dog on a leash or carry them while in the lobby or other common areas. Keeping your dog leashed is the best way to keep everyone safe, and it reduces the chances of your dog bothering anyone.
3. Control the Barking
Dogs bark – it’s a fact. When it happens too often or at untimely hours, though, it can be a problem for you and your neighbors. Dogs can bark when they’re bored, in need of exercise, or stimulated by noises such as street traffic or shuffling in the hallway. You can reduce noise by keeping windows shut and making sure your dog stays in the quietest area of the apartment.
4. Elevator Dos and Don’ts
Some buildings require dogs to use the service elevator, so be sure to abide by your building’s rules. Keep your dog on a short lease when using the same elevator as other tenants, or, if possible, consider carrying your dog while in a small space. Use extra caution when in an elevator with small children or other pets.
5. Make Sure They Get Enough Exercise
Ensuring that your dog gets regular exercise is an integral part of keeping them healthy. Your dog is more likely to remain calm when inside your apartment building if it gets enough exercise, which is a win for you and your neighbors. Consider hiring a dog walker who can take your dog out for a stroll if you work outside your home for long hours at a time. If you live in D.C., there are some great dog parks in the area.
6. Don’t Bring Them to a Swimming Pool
Refrain from bringing your dog to the swimming pool if your apartment community has one. If your dog swims in a community pool, it could cause a sanitation issue as well as present opportunities for your dog to bother your neighbors. It’s best to leave your dog at home when lounging by the pool.
7. Stick to a Routine
Dogs respond well to a set schedule, not unlike some humans. Try to go for walks at the same time every day and feed them on the same schedule throughout the week. Your dog will appreciate the consistency and might be better behaved as a result.
8. Get Professional Help if Needed
Taking good care of your dog will help them be on their best behavior both at home and out in the world. Taking your dog for daily walks, making sure they are exercising enough, and having regular checkups with your vet are all important when it comes to the health of your pet. There are times when professional help is your best bet, such as the following:
- Some rare health disorders can cause a dog to bark, so if training doesn’t fix a barking issue, consult with a veterinarian. Ask for referrals from friends if you don’t have a vet for your dog. If you live in the D.C. area, check out our guide to veterinarians in the city.
- If you’re still having problems after following the above steps, you might consider hiring a professional trainer. A good dog trainer can determine what is causing your dog to bark or perform any other unacceptable behaviors, and will have some ideas on training to fix those issues. Sometimes dogs need extra boundaries, and a trainer can provide added discipline.
An unruly dog can make life difficult, plus cause significant consequences — such as upset neighbors and even eviction — in an apartment setting. Enlisting professionals in the care and treatment of your dog when needed is another tenet of good dog owner etiquette. It can help your pet adjust to apartment living, which will make things easier for you and your neighbors.
Pet-Friendly Apartments in D.C.
Even tenants who exhibit good dog owner etiquette can struggle to find the right place to live. We have several communities across Washington, D.C. that welcome pets with open arms. We have a range of floor plans and apartments in many of D.C.’s most coveted neighborhoods, and we have a pet policy that is clear and easy to follow.
Contact us to speak with a leasing expert and find your new D.C. area apartment home.