With May being National Pet Month, what better time is there to learn how to keep a dog happy in an apartment? By selecting the right breed, establishing a routine, setting apart space, and investing in training, you can ensure you and your dog are both happy and healthy at home.

Choose the right breed.

If you are still in the early stages of buying a dog, make sure you do your research before committing to one. Not all breeds are allowed in every complex, so check with management about what breeds make the cut. Even then, some breeds are more suited to apartment living than others. For example, though labradors are icons of the American family, their high energy means that a small space isn’t great for their development. Bulldogs, on the other hand, are low-energy and love to lounge—perfect when space is limited. Consult lists of breeds to find the one best for your space—and best for your heart!

Get your dog on a routine. 

When you have your own yard, giving your dog outside time is a simple matter of opening a back door. When you live in an apartment, though, you need to put a little more thought into establishing a routine. Start by setting a specific time for feeding your dog, then times for walks. If your dog knows to expect a walk in the morning and a walk at night, he’ll be more likely to wait for these times to make waste.

Give your dog space.

With the current epidemic, you’re likely spending more time at home than you did before. Your dog may be loving this—or be just as over it as you are. Whichever the case may be, your dog will benefit from having some space of his own, especially when the space you already share is an apartment. Dogs are better able to relax when they have a space that is their own—be it a crate, a corner, or a patio/balcony. Wherever it is, set this space aside for your dog with a bed, some toys, and food and water bowls. If your dog ever gets worked up or needs some time alone, this becomes the perfect place to do just that.

Invest in training.

In an apartment complex, your neighbors are much closer to you than they would be on a residential street. For their sake and your own, invest in training for your dog. A dog that’s barking at all hours of the day and night is a quick way to noise complaints dirty looks. Likewise, your dog needs to learn how to deal with the frequent sound of footsteps in the hallway or even other dogs barking from across the complex. Training will help your dog process this stimulation and learn to relax.

We all want our pets to feel at home with us, no matter where that home may be. You can take the right steps by selecting the right breed, establishing a routine, setting apart space, and investing in training. You’ll find having a dog in an apartment much more enjoyable and manageable than you might have thought.