Australia is globally recognised for its unique wildlife and zoological celebrities such as the Irwin family, so it's little surprise that we're a nation of animal lovers.
A national survey found that 62 per cent of our population own pets, meaning we have the third-highest proportion of pet owners in the world, according to Animal Medicines Australia. However, the connection goes deeper than just ownership – the same survey showed that Australians are increasingly considering their pets to be members of the family.
A common roadblock to including a fuzzy fellow in ones family is space – especially for would-be dog owners. With over 80 per cent of Surfer's Paradise homes being apartments, according to the ABS, many residents may be wondering how they can introduce a dog to their smaller living space.
Fortunately, the right dogs can live in apartments where tenancy or strata agreements allow it.
The breed of dog you have – or would like to have – can play a massive part in determining how well your furry friend will thrive in a small apartment. Size is something worth considering, but it's more the energy levels and activity needs of your dog that will affect how it handles smaller space.
A large, low energy dog may be perfectly happy in an apartment as it won't require as much room to move most of the time. Meanwhile, a smaller party animal like most terriers might not be happy without plenty of space to explore and play. If you're leaving your dog in an apartment each day, make sure you've selected a breed which is comfortable spending a fair amount of time alone.
Your four-legged buddy will find it much easier to relax and feel at home when it has its own familiar space. Dedicate a corner of your apartment to your dog – set up a bed, some toys, and food and water bowls in a place where it can retreat to when need be.
Without constant access to the outdoors, your dog needs a toilet which it can access at all times. Keep this as clean as possible, and consider placing it somewhere your dog can see easily, but still offers some privacy.
Owning a dog can be a full-time job. You'll need to make sure you have time in each day to give your dog the attention and exercise it needs. This will depend again on breed, but all dogs need some level of activity.
Feeding and exercising your dog at the same time each day can help build a healthy routine and maintain morale.
Ultimately, the best thing you can do to ensure your dog is happy, respectful and doesn't damage your property is to have it professionally trained. When your dog understands the rules of the house, it won't be confused every time it gets in trouble and you'll both be happier for it.
Not every apartment will provide positive spaces for dogs. For assistance in finding your own dog-friendly apartment on the Gold Coast, get in touch with the team at Ray White Surfer's Paradise today.