Thinking about adopting a Westie, but live in an apartment? West Highland White Terriers are known for their big personalities and cute looks, but can they handle living in a small space?
In this article, I’ll discuss the advantages and challenges of owning a Westie in an apartment, and offer some practical tips to make apartment living a good experience for both you and your Westie.
But first, are Westies good apartment dogs?
Yes, Westies can make good apartment dogs. They are small, low-shedding, and adaptable to many living situations, but they do require regular exercise and training to be happy living in a small space.
Pros of Westies Living in an Apartment
Westies can make good apartment dogs as long as they are given the opportunity to get outside and exercise. While they may not have access to a yard, they can still go for walks, play in a dog park, or participate in other activities that allow them to burn off their energy.
Westies are highly adaptable to many different living situations, including apartments. They are known for their ability to adjust to new environments and routines, which makes them a good choice for people who move frequently or have unpredictable schedules.
West Highland Terriers are small dogs, which means they don’t require a lot of space to be comfortable. They can easily fit in a small apartment without feeling cramped or confined.
Westies are also hypoallergenic and low-shedding, which means they produce less dander and are less likely to trigger allergies. This is a great advantage for apartment dwellers who want a dog but have to consider their neighbors’ sensitivities.
While these factors can make Westies good apartment dogs, there are some challenges to keep in mind before adopting one and bringing them into your apartment.
Cons of Westies Living in an Apartment
Westies are high energy dogs that need regular exercise if you want them to be healthy and well behaved. While their small size makes getting in some exercise inside the apartment possible, they still need to get outside to burn off some energy. This takes much more of a commitment from Westie owners living in apartments.
Potty training a puppy in an apartment can be more difficult than in a house with a yard. While it’s possible to train a Westie to go on puppy training pads, it’s still important to train them to go outside as well. I can only imagine how difficult this is, especially if you live in a high-rise apartment with limited outdoor space.
Westies are known for their tendency to bark, which can be a problem for apartment living. However, in my experience, Westies tend to bark much more when they are outside with more things to grab their attention. Other than barking at the UPS man when he came to the door (which is not an issue in an apartment), my Westie would sleep quietly for most of the day.
These challenges don’t necessarily mean that Westies can’t be great apartment dogs, but they are definitely things to consider.
Find a Good Doggy Daycare
In my opinion, finding a good doggy daycare is essential to successfully adopting a Westie into an apartment. The benefits of being able to send your pup to doggy daycare are HUGE.
Attending doggy daycare is like going to a doggy spa for the day. Your dog gets to socialize, exercise, and have fun in a safe and supervised environment. Plus, they come home happy and tired, which is a real treat for both you and your Westie.
Another great thing about doggy daycare is how it helps dogs improve their social skills. By interacting with other dogs in a controlled setting, your pup can learn how to behave appropriately and make new friends.
Doggy daycare can also be a real lifesaver for busy pet owners who need to focus on work or other commitments. Instead of worrying about your Westie having an accident in your apartment, you focus on work knowing they’re having a blast at daycare.
Even just sending your Westie to doggy daycare once or twice a week will have a huge impact on their happiness and behavior. As they say, a tired dog is a happy dog.
I highly recommend the daycare where I personally send my dog. Camp Bow Wow has hundreds of locations throughout the U.S. and Canada. If there is not one in your area checkout the AKC’s tips for choosing the best doggy daycare.
Tips for Owning a Westie in an Apartment
Aside from sending your dog to daycare, there are some other things you can do to make living with a Westie in an apartment easier.
First and foremost, regular exercise is crucial for having a well behaved and content Westie, so be sure to provide opportunities for outdoor play and walks. If you don’t have easy access to outdoor space, consider using a dog park or scheduling regular playdates with other dogs.
Mental exercise is also important for preventing boredom and destructive behavior in Westies. Provide plenty of toys, puzzles, and games to keep your Westie engaged and entertained.
Consider enrolling your Westie in obedience classes or working with a professional dog trainer, particularly when it comes to potty training and barking.
For potty training, consider using puppy training pads or installing a dog door that leads to an outdoor space, if possible. Be consistent with your training and reward your Westie for good behavior.
If possible, work from home while your Westie is a puppy. Puppies need lots of attention and cannot hold their bladder for more than a few hours at a time. Working remotely is the best option, especially in the first few months after you bring your new Westie home.
I already went over why I think doggy daycare is important, but an alternative is hiring a dog walker. A professional dog walker can come to your apartment and take your dog out for a walk or to the dog park while you are at work. You can use a site like Rover.com to easily find dog walkers.
Finally, be a considerate neighbor by keeping your Westie’s barking under control. Teach your dog the “quiet” command and address barking behavior early on to prevent noise complaints from neighbors.
Westies in Apartments
I hope I have given you some things to think about as you consider whether a Westie would be a good fit for your apartment. From my experience, I believe that Westies can be good apartment dogs if you give them the right care and attention.
On the other hand, it’s important to be realistic about the challenges that come with owning a Westie in an apartment. Potty training and making sure they are consistently getting outside to exercise will pose some challenges.
Indoor play, puzzle games, and training pads are all great for Westies in apartments, but no dog wants to live their entire life inside. If you live in an apartment and adopt a Westie, make sure that they are given plenty of opportunities to get outside.
There’s no doubt that Westies can live in apartments. Ultimately, the decision is up to you whether you want to commit to what it takes to raise a Westie in an apartment setting. I know that being a Westie owner is a great experience, so if you’re up for the challenge, go for it!
FAQ’s About Dogs in Apartments
How can I find a dog-friendly apartment?
A good starting point to finding an apartment that accepts dogs is search online for pet-friendly listings, ask local animal shelters or rescue organizations for recommendations, or consult with a real estate agent who specializes in pet-friendly properties.
Note that some dog-friendly apartments will charge a one time or monthly pet fee. Be sure to check with the apartment before adopting a dog.
Are there any legal requirements or regulations for owning a dog in an apartment?
Yes, there may be legal requirements or regulations for owning a dog in an apartment depending on where you live. Common regulations include leash laws, licensing requirements, and breed restrictions. It’s important to check with your local government or apartment complex to ensure that you are following all applicable rules.
How can I make sure my dog gets enough socialization in an apartment setting?
To ensure that your dog gets enough socialization while living in an apartment, consider enrolling them in doggy daycare, scheduling playdates with other dogs, or taking them on regular walks in your neighborhood. You can also try organizing a dog-friendly meetup in your local park or community space.
What kind of indoor activities can I do with my dog in an apartment?
There are plenty of indoor activities you can do with your dog in an apartment, such as playing fetch, hide-and-seek, or tug-of-war. You can also try teaching them new tricks, practicing obedience training, or providing them with interactive toys and puzzles.
How can I keep my dog from getting bored in my apartment?
To keep your dog from getting bored in your apartment, try providing them with plenty of toys, puzzles, and interactive games. You can also schedule regular exercise and playtime, consider hiring a dog walker or pet sitter, and leave some background noise on when you’re not home.
How can I best prepare my dog for moving into an apartment setting?
To prepare your dog for moving into an apartment, try gradually getting them used to the new space by taking them for visits before the move, setting up a comfortable living area, and providing them with familiar items from your old home. You can also practice obedience training and provide regular exercise to help them adjust to the new routine.