Skip to content
Previous article
Now Reading:
Do dogs need a backyard to be happy?

Do dogs need a backyard to be happy?

12 Ways to make your apartment dog happy

Whenever I talk to random friends or strangers about adopting a dog the most common thing I hear is:

"I would love to have a dog, but I can't, because I live in an apartment and
I don't have a backyard."

Today, I plan to dispel this myth so that apartment dwellers can finally rest assured that there is no problem with having a dog of almost any size in their apartment.

When I adopted my first dog Skai, I too believed that any medium-sized or larger dog should have a backyard to run in. So I was surprised to find that he didn't care much about being in the backyard except when I was working in the garden. Then it dawned on me — dogs are social creatures who love exploring and going on adventures, however their priority is also spending time with their human pack and enjoying a nice cozy den or enclosed space.

In other words, most canine friends can be very content and happy apartment dwellers as long as they are not spending the entire day alone, and get outside for a good walk at least twice daily.

If you live in an apartment with a dog or want to get a dog, I have put together 12 tips to help you keep your pup happy.

1. The size of the dog doesn't matter, because even large breeds are fine indoors if they get out for proper dog walks. It is more important to be aware of a tendency for some larger breeds to drool excessively. Some people do not mind having their places covered with slobber, but if you do, remember this before you get a Saint Bernard, Great Dane, Irish Wolfhound, Newfoundland, Bulldog, Bullmastiff, Bernese Mountain dog or similar larger breed.

2. Make sure that your dog has a comfortable and quiet space to rest. An open crate may be perfect for some dogs; others enjoy a space under a desk, on the sofa, or on a chair. Like my dog Pax, some dogs prefer to lay on tiles and cool surfaces. In any case, it is essential to ensure that your dog has a comfortable, non-toxic bed

Pax on his Healthy Dog Bed

3. A healthy, non-toxic bed
 is a new concept for many dog lovers, mainly because the market is flooded with synthetic-fill pillows and dog beds. Most countries don’t have any health regulations for such products, and as a result, dog beds often contain toxins and carcinogens. Considering the many hours an average dog spends on their bed, choosing the right bed is an integral part of your dog's health and longevity plan. Here is my favourite dog bed, which Pax sleeps on. It is made from organic natural latex foam covered with organic cotton.

4. When it comes to apartment living with dogs, the most concerning part is how much time your dog will spend alone. In general, I do not recommend leaving your dog alone for more than 6 hours on a regular basis, except on rare occasions. An extended period of a lonely existence is unnatural and detrimental to the well-being of your canine friend. Some people may object that their dog sleeps so it's fine to do, but I dare to say they are only sleeping because they have no other choice.

Pax on Healthy Dog Bed


Should you get a dog when you have a 9 - 5 job?  
The answer is YES if you apply any of the following suggestions:


5. Find a friend who loves dogs and can keep your dog company. There are plenty of people who would love to have a dog but can't do it on their own. Finding your dog an auntie or an uncle might be the perfect thing for you.

6. Many seniors would love to have a dog but worry about adopting one who may have 15 - 20 years of life ahead of them; hence finding a senior who would love to be your dog's grandparent can be a win-win arrangement.

7. Find a reliable dog walker who walks in small groups and gives dogs enough off-leash time. Large groups of dogs with one dog walker can be stressful, as well as a safety hazard if dogs pull or get tangled.  

8. Doggy daycares are another option, but you will need to decide whether your dog thrives in such environments. Some daycares are well managed and organized; others are pure chaos. If you choose to use a doggy daycare, drop in and spend some time observing your dog's behaviour to see if they are happy there.

If you can't find any company for your dog, and you work long hours, full-time dog parenting may not be for you. If you already have a dog and are in this situation, I suggest trying one of the options above. Dogs are social beings and, in my opinion, should not be left alone on their own for an extensive length of time.

If you are fortunate to have a large property or a fenced yard, it is certainly a bonus — but not a must. Dogs have evolved to patrol and care for their territory, but...

spending time in a yard does not replace
proper dog walks and socializing your dog with other dogs.


I observe apparent differences in countries and regions where dogs do not get ample off-leash social time with other dogs. As a result, they are much more likely to be anxious and fearful, which often results in aggression.

Is it okay to keep your dog outside year-round and not let them inside?


Even if dogs have a thick coat and can physically withstand winter temperatures, being alone away from their human pack is detrimental to their well-being. The old-fashioned idea that dogs should not be allowed in the house and should be tied up outside, or spend their life in a kennel separated from their people, is a form of solitary confinement prison. 

Hint: If a member of your household insists on keeping your dog outside, make sure that the dog house is large enough to fit a person.🤣

Simple solutions for common complaints about having a dog in your home:


9. If it is about fur, get them a good vacuum as a gift.

10. If it is about dirt and smell, dogs who are fed a high-quality natural diet generally do not smell more than the average human. If your dog has a strong odour here are some links to essential supplements and healthy dog food recipes. You should see a dramatic change in their coat quality and odour within 1-3 months.

11. If it is about allergies, people often stop being allergic to dogs if they eliminate allergens like dairy and junk food from their diet. I used to react to many allergens and switching to a plant-based and dairy-free diet has almost eliminated my allergies entirely.

12. If it is about a fear of dogs, you may need to find an alternative living arrangement. Your dog is worth it! ❤️


Wishing you happy times with your canine apartment dweller!


About the author

Dr. Peter Dobias, DVM is an Integrative veterinarian, nutritionist and creator of natural supplements for dogs and people. Helping you and your dog prevent disease, treat nutritional deficiencies, and enjoy happier, healthier, and longer lives together.

Most Popular

  • Flying with dogs
    In my article, I share the personal story of how I'm able to fly with my dog, Pax, thanks to overcoming challenges with sleepwalking and night terrors. This unique experience not only allowed me to travel with my service dog but also serves as a reminder that even difficult situations can have positive outcomes.
  • dog and pony
    Successful communication is essential for building healthier and more fulfilling relationships and happier lives. In this article, I'll share with you 8 communication hacks to help you avoid unnecessary drama, prioritize active listening and address conflicts effectively.
  • Dalmatian eating fruit
    Can dogs eat bananas, apples, strawberries and other fruit? What about grapes? Find out what fruits are safe, toxic, and healthy for dogs. Learn about the potential health benefits and risks of feeding fruit to your canine companion, and get tips on the ideal time to feed it.
  • Illustration of the anatomy of a heart
    As dog lovers, we all want our beloved pups to live long and healthy lives. Protecting your dog's heart from potential health issues is important, and in this blog Dr. Dobias shares some key points that you might not yet be aware of, read on to find out what you can do to keep your dog's heart safe. 

Dog Health

  • Husky lying on blanket with heart toy
    Dogs have our hearts and that is why we need to protect their heart. Dog’s as they age often face muscle problems and spinal misalignment and you might be surprised to know how that can hurt their heart. Learn how to protect your dog’s spine and by extension their heart.
  • The secret ingredient for a perfect No. 2
    Dogs and humans have evolved side-by-side but they are still quite different when it comes to their digestive tracts and dietary habits. We have studied their original environments such as the soils of the African savanna and consulted with top experts in the field of probiotics and microbiology to come up with a combination that reflects healthy bacterial flora of canines.
  • Man being pointed at
    Criticism can hurt a brand, but constructive feedback can help it grow. In this blog Dr. Dobias talks about the differences between these approaches, and how to handle the power of influence and opinion with care. 
  • Broccoli with vitamins and minerals
    Are you worried that your and your dog's diet is missing something? Maybe you're worried about toxin levels in food, the environment, or flea and tick products. Let's face it; we can't remove ourselves entirely from our toxin-filled world, but we can do things to reduce our exposure to harmful substances. 

Human health

  • Dr. Dobias with Pax
    How do you navigate the seas of life? How do you deal with disappointment? Whatever life throws at us, we can always rely on our dogs to bring joy into our days. In this blog I share my thoughts on the support our dogs provide during the difficult moments in life. 
  • Why 1 in 4 Americans suffer from non-alcoholic fatty liver disease (NAFLD)
    Learn more about the alarming prevalence of Non-Alcoholic Fatty Liver Disease (NAFLD) affecting 1 in 4 Americans. Discover its main risk factors, diagnosis methods, and treatment options to better manage or prevent this silent yet severe condition. 
  • A new perspective on brain health, memory loss, Alzheimer's Disease, and dementia in people and dogs
    The Science of DHA and the Brain: Omega-3 fatty acids, primarily DHA, are the unsung heroes of brain health. They play crucial roles in brain physiology and biological activities, with exciting links between Omega-3 levels and cognitive function. Higher DHA levels have been shown to preserve the integrity of the Blood-Brain Barrier (BBB), your brain's security system
  • Dr. Dobias and Pax
    It appears that most of the world is ready for change, but whenever I think about the solutions to any of the problems that plague our world, I can’t prevent myself from thinking that we humans are acting like little toddlers who have broken a toy and do not know how to fix it. Despite my generally optimistic attitude, I have had a hard time staying positive at times because I know how complex this all is. Read here for some tools that make me feel good about the world, which I would like to share with you.

News, stories and good life

  • Dr. Peter Dobias with his dog Pax on his lap
    Do you have trouble staying positive during difficult times? These days we are surrounded by a lot of negative messaging, and it's easy to let that get you down. Here are some of my tips for remaining positive, and don't forget to share your tips with me!
  • Man raising fist on a mountain
    Most of us have been exposed to panic-inducing information about the virus spread, however, I have noticed the general absence of one piece of information, how to make your immune system stronger and body more resilient. (It will definitely not happen by stockpiling toilet paper!) I have always loved immunology and the current situation has prompted me to put together two simple lists on how to increase your dog’s and your own immunity.
  • Man with dog wearing a collar
    Does your dog have ear problems, nasal or oral tumors, reverse sneezing or an  itchy head or hair loss on their head? Learn how you can address some of these problems and save thousands in vet care costs.
  • Terrier eating raw food
    Now there is no need to guess if there is something missing in your dogs diet.  The HairQ Test is a highly accurate test for mineral deficiencies, toxins and heavy metals in dogs to finely tune your dog’s diet and supplement schedule.

By clicking "Continue" or continuing to use our site, you acknowledge that you accept our Privacy Policy and Terms of Use. We also use cookies to provide you with the best possible experience on our website. You can find out more about the cookies we use and learn how to manage them here. Feel free to check out our policies anytime for more information.




Your cart is currently empty.

Start Shopping