Your tips on having a dog in a flat

(37 Posts)
Burpalot Wed 22-Apr-20 18:20:20

DP and I would dearly love a dog but are not in a position to move home at the moment. He had dogs throughout childhood as his family still have them. My parents have a dog (so we're not completely naive).

We live in a good size two bed modern flat. Open plan living area. No garden but a large balcony. DP WFH full time, and I imagine I'll be WFH more once this is over.

Theres a canal path right outside the flat and a park 10 mins walk away. Big country parks and national trust places a short drive.

I'm looking for tips really if you've had a dog in a flat/apartment. What works? What doesn't? What should we bear in mind that we perhaps may not have thought of? Thank you

OP’s posts: |
HappyHammy Wed 22-Apr-20 18:24:33

Will you be looking for a dog that is happy to live in an apartment. Some prefer it.

PanamaPattie Wed 22-Apr-20 18:24:56

What size dog are you thinking of having?

Burpalot Wed 22-Apr-20 18:25:35

Open minded on the dog. Of course we will look for a breed that would be happy

OP’s posts: |
Tulipvase Wed 22-Apr-20 18:26:11

It didn’t stop us having a cat but most flats won’t let you have pets, might be worth considering.

CatTangle Wed 22-Apr-20 18:28:13

Warn your neighbours in advance if sound travels/you have any shared outside or entry spaces.

Burpalot Wed 22-Apr-20 18:29:38

There's a communal entrance to the flat. We live down one corridor with one other flat. I own if that makes any difference. I sincerely doubt the leaseholder gives a shit about pets but neighbours are a consideration of course.

OP’s posts: |


Burpalot Wed 22-Apr-20 18:30:19

Not leaseholder - freeholder. People that 'own' the building. I think they're in Cayman counting their Money

OP’s posts: |
Ragwort Wed 22-Apr-20 18:31:33

Suggest you check the terms of the lease, my friend lives in a flat and the lease specifically says ‘no dogs’, she got one anyway and the neighbours are really not happy.

Butterer Wed 22-Apr-20 18:34:41

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

Tulipvase Wed 22-Apr-20 18:34:53

I also own our flat, makes no odds if there is a clause in the lease or from the management company.

Ours was in the rules from the management company so I was happy to ignore that - we are ground floor with our own garden.

The only issue is If a neighbour complains. Unless there is no clause of course.

Eeyoresstickhouse Wed 22-Apr-20 18:35:16

As freeholder (who really isnt in the Caymans counting my money! I live in the block) please make sure you check your lease and if you can have dogs with permission ask for permission. You do not want to have to get rid of the dog because you didn't get permission. We don't allow dogs in the block for noise reasons. Before we took over the freehold there were apparently nightmare legal situations with dogs so we carried that rule on now.

ParisInTheSpringtime Wed 22-Apr-20 18:38:01

We have a dog in our flat. As long as you exercise them enough it makes no difference in that respect.

It’s a pain having to take her downstairs for her toilets, but a lot easier now she is not a puppy and can hold it to a certain extent, and let us know she wants to go out.

I lived in a flat when she was tiny and I was forever running up and down stairs for toilet trips.

ParisInTheSpringtime Wed 22-Apr-20 18:38:45

By the way, we are allowed dogs on the lease and there are another couple of dogs in our block of six flats.

Potterspotter Wed 22-Apr-20 18:38:51

I'd go for a rescue that was potty trained rather than a puppy for a flat - we had a dog in a flat but we moved when he was grown. I've got friends who've effectively litter trained their dogs but you can avoid all of that by going for an older dog. I'd think about the noise and tolerance of your neighbours too, mine were fine but some people do really hate dogs and good to know that beforehand - whether anxiety or allergies etc. Check out the dogs on leads threads on mumsnet!

Tulipvase Wed 22-Apr-20 18:39:47

Also, from my understanding, blanket bans on pets aren’t allowed and they (Freeholder/management company) should consider any requests and offer reasons as to why the request is refused. Consumer Act 2015 I think.

My experience of management companies/freeholders is a mixture of laziness and greed!

Veterinari Wed 22-Apr-20 18:45:17


Not really much different to owning a dog in a house except they tend to get more walks!

I'd recommend not getting a puppy as toilet training will be challenging. You can use the balcony of course but once the dog learns to go there you risk it being a lifetime habit and if you enjoy your balcony you might not want it smelling like a dog toilet.

Older dogs are easier to train in this respect than puppies, so that's something to consider. I'd suggest a rescue but sadly lots of shelters have weird ideas about dogs in flats so that might not work, but might be worth investigating rehoming an adult dog. Try many tears rescue.

Re noise and neighbours, if your flat is decently constructed this is not much different to living in a terrace

Have a think about nearby walks and safe nighttime toilet spots - do you have somewhere nearby? Also be prepared for dog walks in all weather.

I'd suggest something like a greyhound. Big dogs but they curl up small, are quiet, are happy to potter about and with shortish walks

I'd avoid breeds prone to reactivity or bred for guarding just because you don't want a dog that barks at every noise. My dog quickly learned the neighbours noises and only barks if there's a stranger in the communal stair, not a neighbour.

Where I live dogs in flats are quite normal and no one bats an eye or asks permission

AwrightDoreenTakeAFuckinDayOff Wed 22-Apr-20 18:45:40

Just a quick thing about your balcony. Please make it safe.

The dog I care for jumped a 5ft fence yesterday without a blink. In all the years I’ve walked her she has walked round a stick rather than hop over it.

I have never known her jump. Ever.

So expect the worst balcony wise.

tabulahrasa Wed 22-Apr-20 18:47:35

Get a housetrained one, housetraining a puppy without being able to just go out into the garden is a pain...and usually takes a lot longer.

Will you actually have free time to take it out if you’re WFH? Because it’d need more walks than a dog with a garden, not for exercise so much as toileting.

tabulahrasa Wed 22-Apr-20 18:50:03

Oh and I assume you’re upstairs? If so... I’d suggest a size you can carry, because otherwise you’re kind of limiting life expectancy to how well they can get up and down stairs.

ouch321 Wed 22-Apr-20 18:55:22

Nothing helpful to add but I've always wanted a golden retriever. Am 3rd floor flat, no balcony or garden.

My boss is saying people can WFH a bit more when things go back as it's worked out ok during Corona.

So I was thinking day care for 3 days and work at home 2 days.

Anyone had a golden in a similar situation?

Is it at all feasible?

Potterspotter Wed 22-Apr-20 18:55:37

the carrying size is spot on too - we had a big dog, we had a sling but it was a struggle towards the end with arthritis. DDog died of an unrelated condition after making it to an amazing age but the last year or so would've been nicer if we could've carried him up and down stairs.

Potterspotter Wed 22-Apr-20 18:57:30

I had a retriever @ouch321 in a flat - the doggy day care is vital, as long as you're fully signed up to the cost of that, they're wonderful dogs. I miss mine terribly. I'm hoping you've got a lift - an old arthritic retriever and 3 floors would be too difficult. It's easy to say I could've PTS my retriever a year before he did go but that's easier to say at the outset than when you've had them for N years.

HunterAngel Wed 22-Apr-20 19:02:45

I’ve had a greyhound in my ground floor flat for five years now. No garden but a park right outside the front door.

Definitely check the lease, there will be a clause in there about pets. Mine says pets allowed unless causing nuisance to neighbouring flats.

Do think carefully about the breed, larger dogs tend to need more exercise. I definitely wouldn’t recommend a working breed. Greyhounds are pretty easy to take care off (yes I’m biased!). They actually only require about twenty minutes exercise a day and are quite clean. I housetrained my girl in one day.

Downside is they do chase. Squirrels, cats, birds, small fluffy dogs. And they are strong. A greyhound can go from 0 to 40 in about three strides so be sure you have the strength to hold them back, they don’t have great homing sense so get lost easily. And they can get over a 6foot fence if sufficiently motivated so a secure balcony is a must!

twinboymumma Wed 22-Apr-20 19:05:36

I live in a 2 bed flat with two cavalier spaniels. Plenty of room for us all. The only tricky part was when they were puppies and not being able to just let them out in the garden while toilet training. Ideally get dogs that don't need too much exercise as they can't run around outside like others that have garden space.

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