With a bit of planning, a large dog can live happily and successfully in a small apartment. Help create a positive living experience for you and your large dog with these helpful tips.

Look for the Right Neighborhood

In your search for a rental property, know that some neighborhoods are more welcoming to dogs than others. You should look for a neighborhood that has plenty to offer both you and your canine companion. There needs to be grass nearby, for your dog to relieve himself. There should be places to go on a walk, and perhaps a dog park that isn’t too far away.

When scoping out nearby parks, keep in mind that your dog will need to be kept on a leash at all times. However, if your dog is well-behaved enough to be off the leash, there are off-leash parks available in some locations.

In some neighborhoods, there are dog-friendly places where you can take your dog along with you. Looking for ideas? Some outdoor restaurants allow dogs. If all else fails, most pet supply stores welcome dogs to come along with their owners. Through pet stores, you may find pet classes you can sign up for. This is a great way to meet up with other like-minded individuals.

Finding the Right Apartment

Unfortunately, it is very common to have difficulty finding an apartment that is truly pet-friendly. Now, imagine how hard it might be if you have a 70 pound breed, instead of a little terrier. Having a large dog often makes finding a pet-friendly apartment an even larger challenge. In your search, you will find that many apartment communities have restrictions based on breed, weight and size of the dog.

If you have a large dog, don’t give up! Niccole Schreck of offers the following suggestion. Create a resume of sorts for your dog. On paper, describe the personality of your dog, and mention any obedience training completed. Provide proof of vaccinations and overall health. If you can include a recommendation from a prior landlord this may be helpful. Don’t forget to include the most precious photo you can find of your furry friend. She also suggests setting up a meeting with your dog and your landlord, so that they can see how your big dog shouldn’t be seen as threatening. Need an extra boost? Consider getting renter’s insurance to put your landlord’s mind at ease.

Creating a Routine

Dogs are intelligent creatures, and most can adapt to living in an apartment. Creating a routine and sticking to it will help make this easier on your dog. Establish set times for potty breaks, playing, walking and feeding. This routine will help your dog feel more comfortable, and will also help messy accidents from happening in your home.

Importance of Exercise

Although all dogs need exercise, large dogs especially need plenty if they are living in a small apartment. Although a simple daily walk is a good start, your large dog needs more vigorous exercise to get his or her heart really pumping. This is why having a dog park nearby is such a good thing. It is important to make sure your dog is getting enough exercise. For recommendations, be certain to speak with your veterinarian.