For an animal that was originally bred for its hunting prowess, Akitas sure managed to adapt to city life. If that tells us anything, it’s that these resourceful dogs can learn and adjust themselves to just about any type of living. But how about apartment living?
Whether you live in a home or an apartment, Akitas know how to make do with whatever living quarters you offer them. From spacious homes to cramped flats, your energetic Akita won’t complain. However, you need to factor in the dog’s needs for exercise and outdoor activities to make their living in a confined space such as an apartment as convenient and comfortable as possible.
As you can see there’s more to owning an Akita than just offering it a good diet and taking it to the vet regularly. Akitas are notoriously hyperactive and yes, they can get boisterous and raise hell even. But that’s where good training, positive reinforcements, and plenty of exercises come in. This guide helps prepare you for your life as a proud Akita owner living in an apartment.
Akitas in Apartments: How to Make it Work?
As we all know, apartments have their limitations. No matter how big, it’s still a limited space with walls surrounding it. From the Akita’s point of view, it’s a place to sleep in, not live in. And you have to understand that point in order to make your apartment Akita-friendly.
Even if your Akita had its own room in the apartment, it’s still no substitute for a yard or the great outdoors. So how would you make your unit comfortable enough for your Akita? You can start by dedicating a place for the dog. It’s preferable to get an Akita puppy because that makes their adjustment to living in a flat so much easier.
As we will explain below, the Akita needs plenty of light and fresh air. Even if it’s living in a small apartment, make sure to have the Akita’s place near a large window where the puppy can get a good view of the sky if possible. The call of the wild is still loud in their veins, and this breed gets depressed if it doesn’t have a constant view of the blue skies.
Significant Factors for Akitas in Apartments
As we mentioned, the Akitas hunting genes propel them to see the outdoors and go chasing prey whenever they feel like it. Naturally, your apartment is not hunting grounds and there are no preys around to offer the Akitas an opportunity to enjoy their favorite pastime.
However, just because they can’t hunt and chase rabbits, doesn’t mean they can’t get enough sunlight and open air. If your apartment comes with a good view, make sure to pull the drapes and let the Akita feast on the view on the other side of the window.
Food and exercise are your best options to make up for the lack of adequate space. Without exercise, the Akita’s muscle structure will suffer and its outgoing nature will take a hit. A healthy diet full of protein, carbohydrates, and vegetables is essential for the overall health of the Akita. Especially one that doesn’t get to roam free in the land like its ancestors used to.
Apartment Features Suitable for Akitas
Not all apartments are good for the life of a healthy and vigorous Akita. The size of the apartment aside, you still need to consider other factors such as sunlight and fresh air. Does the sun come into your place? Do you have an uninterrupted view of the open skies? Is the air in your area fresh or is it polluted with car exhaust? Also is it quiet and peaceful there?
These are some of the questions you need to consider before bringing the Akita to your home. Akitas are hunting dogs that flourish in open spaces and both running and chasing are their favorite sports. So if you want to keep the Akita in an apartment, that unit should at least have both sunlight and fresh air to help the Akita thrive.
Besides the view, sun, and air, it would be good if the apartment was close to a park or some other open space. A garden on the roof of the building can also be useful if you want to exercise the dog but you don’t have time to take them to the park. Speaking of which.
Your Schedule with an Akita in Your Apartment
Having a limited space is hard enough on an Akita without having to go through long hours of neglect and lack of activity. This means you should spend as much time with the Akita as you possibly can every day.
Not just that, but you also need to fill that time with plenty of exercises, and fun things to do. The more time you spend with them the more you discover something new every day.
As smart animals, Akitas don’t like to be idle. They have an active brain that likes to be challenged and muscles aching to work out. Make sure you keep your Akita busy both inside your apartment and outside. Things you can do inside include playing fetch, playing hide and seek, and lots of grooming and petting.
Try to provide a comfortable and relaxing ambiance for the Akita. Sometimes the hunting genes flare up and the dog gets over-excited. Use aromatherapy and belly rubs to calm the Akita down and help it adjust to life indoors.
Potty Training Your Akita in Your Apartment
If your Akita puppy is not potty trained, then this is one of the first things you need to train it to do. It’s not easy at first because this is a wild dog at heart and rules and city life don’t come naturally to it. But with the right attitude and lots of patience, you’ll get it done.
One thing you should keep in mind is that you need to avoid scolding or losing your temper with the Akita. These sensitive dogs are not accustomed to being treated badly. They’re proud and will rebel if forced to do something.
Instead, you should use treats, your calming voice, and positive reinforcements to cajole the dog into learning how and where to use potty. If the Akita resists training, don’t lose heart. Keep at it and eventually, your dog will bond with you and learn to use the potty properly.
Living in Cramped Quarters – Health and Exercise
Without a backyard, for the Akita to run around all day and burn all those excess calories, your dog will feel restless and frustrated. It’s not its fault, of course. Like other breeds that first evolved to run and frolic in the wild, your cramped living quarters are bringing the dog down.
To compensate for the lack of space, you need to spend more time outdoors with your Akita. Exercise is the best cure for moodiness and cranky personalities. Frisbee tossing, fetch, and swimming are some of the workout routines your Akita will enjoy immensely.
In addition, make sure its diet is healthy and packed with nutrients. A lazy Akita that eats lots of carbohydrates will get fat and that would impact its health.
What Exercise Requirements Must You Adapt to?
Now that we know what kind of exercises your Akita loves, you should prepare yourself both physically and mentally to take part in those routines as well. The Akita will not be playing by itself. You need to be there, throwing the ball or frisbee and keeping up with its ever-energetic lifestyle.
So you need to be fit and have the type of stamina and endurance to hang around in the park or the great outdoors with the Akita without running out of breath or taking five every couple of minutes.
It’s true Akitas are physically demanding pets that like to be on the move. But look at the bright side, at least you will get fit in the process.
The Benefits of a Puppy in an Apartment
It’s true what they say, a puppy is the best companion in your home. But don’t let your partner hear you say that. Dogs are loyal and give unconditional love. An Akita or any other dog for that matter will turn your apartment into a warm home full of love and flowing energy.
- You can talk to your puppy and share your thoughts.
- Your puppy offers unconditional love.
- Your puppy will wait for you and welcome you home every single day.
- A puppy understands you and doesn’t talk back.
- Puppies are considerate, loyal, and extremely down to earth.
Even a cat person doesn’t deny that dogs have more personality than a cat and are better at showing love and gratitude.
Cons of Living in an Apartment with an Akita
We already hinted at some of the drawbacks that come with having an Akita living in an apartment. One of the most glaring issues is the lack of space. If you have a home with a backyard, your Akita would be spending most of its waking hours there.
But a cramped apartment doesn’t offer the same perks to the Akita. So the dog might get moody, start to bark a lot or just get in a howling fit. These are all common issues that Akita owners have. You just need to work harder to train your Akita and make its life more comfortable.
- Sedentary life doesn’t suit the Akita’s mood or general health.
- Living in an apartment might increase the chances of obesity.
- Fewer opportunities to bond on outdoor activities.
- A cramped place can impact the dog’s bone and muscle structures.
- Its barking might become worse in a small apartment.
I Work A Lot. Is It Okay For Me To Leave My Akita Alone?
To have an Akita and keep a full-time job can be challenging for many people. More than any other dog, the outdoors time for an Akita is almost as sacred as the ancient Japanese traditions. So how would you manage that and how can you juggle the demands of your professional life as well as those of the Akita?
In most cases, it’s OK to leave your Akita alone at home. Provided that such a home is spacious, airy, full of sunlight, and has plenty of things to keep the Akita occupied while you’re away from at work. Don’t forget to leave plenty of water and food for the dog. If you can install a camera at home to keep track of your dog that would be great too.
Things to Keep in Mind
Does My Apartment Complex Allow Pets?
This is usually the first question you ask yourself even before you decide on which pet to own. It’s no secret that certain building managements don’t allow pets of any kind including dogs, cats, or even an aquarium. So better check with the management first.
The reasons behind the pet ban vary. It could be health concerns or simply because pets tend to come with their own set of inconveniences. Some people are allergic to cats for example and passing in front of the door where your neighbor has a cat can trigger your allergies. Or it could be just about maintaining the peace which noisy pets might disturb.
Is My Apartment Big Enough for the Both of Us?
A regular question that most prospective pet owners ask themselves. If you have been living on your own for long, then inviting an Akita to share your place sounds like a major development in your social life. Which explains the anxiety that comes with owning that specific breed.
We already covered the space limitations topic. In summary, if your place is too small for your Akita, you can still compensate for that by taking the dog out more often and giving it space with a good view and plenty of fresh air.
Will My Dog Bark Too Much?
Akitas bark. It’s just what they do. Call it their nature, or maybe it’s the enclosed spaces that make them anxious. If the barking of Akitas will put you off or get on your nerves, then this is not the right breed for you.
Sometimes Akitas bark for a good reason. They might be feeling restless because they haven’t exercised much that day or maybe they’re hungry or trying to get your attention. These justified barking sessions are usually easy to sort out. As you get to know your Akita better, you’ll be able to bring the barkings to a minimum.
Is My Apartment Complex Dog-Friendly or is it in a Dog-Friendly Area?
Besides the No Pets Allowed sign that some residential buildings have, there are other rules which are species-specific. One of those is the infamous No Dogs Allowed. These buildings or areas are not dog-friendly and you need to be aware of them in advance.
Before you bring the Akita to your home for the first time, you need to explore your area to see which spots or buildings don’t welcome dogs. Doing that in advance helps minimize the embarrassment that comes from turning you and your Akita away.
What Must Be Done?
Knowing what and what not to do in certain situations as far as your Akita is concerned is your duty as a dog owner. There are emergencies to take care of and a certain level of basic knowledge is required.
As we have stated many times, Akitas are not a beginner’s choice. They are a handful and need plenty of experience to train them properly. So make sure you have all your bases covered before you take this important step.
What if I Can’t Provide This For My Dog?
Not all dogs are demanding by nature. Some are easy and accommodating while others just need more caring and attention than usual. While Akitas aren’t exactly the fussiest of dogs, they do require certain skills on the part of the owner.
But more importantly, it’s not what you can’t provide for your Akita that matters as much as how you’re willing to put in the hours, effort, and patience to offer your Akita a decent home that they feel comfortable and get to thrive in. As we all know, dogs need plenty of love and attention. And that’s what you should focus on as you start your journey with your Akita.