How do you care for a large breed dog in a small spaces?

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Answered by: Val , An Expert in the Care for Dogs and Puppies Category
Just like people, dogs come in all shapes, sizes, and colors. And when you find yourself the parent of a large breed dog such as a Great Pyrenees or St. Bernard, you may not realize the amount of challenges that come with their size — especially if you live in an apartment or small home. But do not fret! Your four-legged friend can happily live in tight quarters as long as you follow a few simple steps.

1. Walk your dog daily. It's imperative that dogs of all sizes get exercise, but if you have a large breed dog living in a small area, you'll want to get them out as much as possible so they can exert their energy, and then happily rest inside. Dogs are not meant to live like a fish in a bowl, day in and day out, so the more you can take them outside, the better. If you don't do this, they'll focus their restless behavior in places you won't want them to.

2. Provide them with stimulus. Dogs all have their own personal preferences as to what they like to do in their spare time. Some prefer rawhides to chew on, others want to disembowel squeaky toys. Whatever healthy indoor activity your large dog loves to keep them occupied, be sure you provide this for them. Don't overdo it though. It's not necessary to have twenty different toys on the floor at a time filled with peanut butter. One will do just fine.

3. Give them their own space. Having a large dog in small home means that you may not have a coffee table, or get to put that vanity in your bedroom. Yes, we dog lovers all make sacrifices for our pups. You'll want to get a bed that is appropriate for their size, and allow them a few empty corners they can relax in. This way, they have a bed to retrieve to and a couple of different places to lay if the mood strikes them.

4. Keep food off of the counters. Big dogs can get to places you don't think about until you turn around, and they're licking the remains off of your leftover meatball dinner plate that you thought was safe on your counter. Your home is going to have to be tidy and food will have to be put away and disposed of immediately, no matter how lazy you're feeling. And trust me, after a big dinner, we all feel a little lazy, but it's just what you have to do.

5. Give them an elevated water bowl. Large dogs love to drink from the toilet because it's just their height. Add the attractive sound of running water when the toilet flushes (that all dogs happen to love), and you may have a situation on your hands. Giving your dog a water bowl that their mouth reaches easily will help with future arthritic injuries that can be caused from continually leaning down, as well as making it a little easier to clean up after their dining experience.

6. Give them plenty of love. Large dogs are a joy to have, no matter what size your home. They are gentle giants that make life more meaningful and can have some of the best dispositions when treated with love and respect. Don't forget that even though they can be your size or bigger, they are still puppies at heart and need to be pet and held just as much as little dogs.

Follow these steps and there should be plenty of room for the both of you.

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