Leah has recently changed the way that she and her partner live in their small-medium sized flat. Then they got a (large but wonderful) dog. This has changed the way they live…she’s put together some tips for those considering embarking on such an adventure.
Proximity to green space
This goes without saying really, but the importance of it cannot be understated. When our dog first came into our lives, I thought we might be some of the few people in London living in a flat, and taking on a large dog, but I was completely wrong. As we came to know other large dog owners in the nearby park, we found most people were in a similar situation, and had also found that as long as you’re near a park, you’ll be fine, as large dogs generally sleep for most of the day anyway.
Dogs can be messy eaters and drinkers; we’ve found that larger dogs are particularly messy. The way they drink (lapping water up and catching to swallow it) means water tends to get everywhere, so it’s important to be protect against damage to the surrounding walls, floors and skirting. We purchased large food trays to go under, and behind, the bowls, which is working really well, and looks relatively stylish (given that it’s a dog food area that needs surrounding coverage).
Investing in several blankets (so they can be frequently rotated) is one of the best initial things we did to help protect our sofa. We have a fairly clean dog, but inevitably the blankets get covered in hair + mess – the sofa is the first place he wants to be after his walk, bringing his muddy paws with him. We bought several Turkish towels online, which work well as they look great, wash and dry quickly, are breathable cotton, and are nice and cool to lie on. Darker colours are best to hide our dog hair, but this is dependent on the colour of your dog.
Dog things being in proximity to the front door
Owning a dog in a flat means that you will often need to dash downstairs with little-to-no notice, so having items like the dog lead, mess bags and treats stored near the front door is vital. We luckily have a utility cupboard right next to the front door, so have a dedicated tub for our dog’s things now, easy to grab on the way out.
Being strict with where they can and can’t go
Living in a flat can be difficult enough when it comes to finding your own space and not feeling cramped, so I recommend being firm with where your dog is allowed to go and keep certain areas (such as office/work areas for example) free from big-dog-distraction. It’s a personal/dog preference, but we got a large cage for our dog, so he has his own space to spend time in if needed too.
Lack of small/breakable things at tail height
Ensuring that you style items in your flat so they are not at tail (or face) height for the dog is crucial if you don’t want precious items to be broken. Our dog’s large tail and easily excited personality mean that he is often unintentionally hitting/knocking items, and we have learned the hard way to ensure that anything breakable (vases, a wine glass etc) be kept out of his way.
If you need help with your renovation in London or Brighton (with or without a pet), get in touch here!