Whether it’s because you’re waiting to have a family, adding to the family you already have, or you’re flying solo and eager for a little companionship–as far as good company goes, it’s awfully hard to beat our canine friends. But when it comes to indoor living, not all paws are created equal. Some dogs need more exercise and open space than others, so if your version of green space is a window flower box, you need to choose wisely. Here’s a quick roundup of a few breeds well suited to living indoors, as well as the best places in Vancouver to let them loose.
MY TOP 5 CHOICES FOR HOUSE DOGS
After some serious digging, together with advice from my fellow dog-owners, I found that certain Terriers and Bulldogs come high on the list of indoor-friendly pets. Boston Terriers in particular have a reputation for being easy to train, loyal, and their small size makes them ideal for apartments. While Yorkshire Terriers are a good choice for the same reasons, and highly adaptable both to people and other pets; they’re also known for being hypoallergenic and better for those who suffer from allergies. Bulldogs are another fantastic indoor dog as they’re gentle and, generally speaking, lazy as they come. French Bulldogs have many of the same characteristics of their bigger brethren, and are known as indoor dogs that require minimal exercise and grooming. Rounding out my top 5 choices for indoor dogs would have to be the Pug. Infamous for being a couch potato, this little beast is a great foot warmer and requires little in the way of daily physical exertion.
VANCOUVER’S BEST DOG PARKS
Even here in Vancouver it can be hard to find an off-leash park for your companion. Among the best (and most well-known) include Spanish Banks Beach Park and Stanley Park, though there are many slightly lesser-known and dog-friendly gems like Strathcona Park and Hadden Park as well. For a listing of dog parks in Vancouver I recommend the City of Vancouver’s website; it’s a great resource and lists all parks by name, location and amenities.
If you’re thinking about a four-legged addition, one of the best references available is the World Atlas of Dog Breeds. Generally considered the most comprehensive listing of dog breeds available, the book covers over 400 different types of canines and is a treasure trove of information. The Dog’s Mind is another excellent source of information for anyone wishing to better understand their furry best friend.
TIPS FOR HELPING YOUR DOG THRIVE INDOORS
According to a great article on Dogster, some of the best tips for living indoors with a dog include being mindful of storage in order to create as much floor space as possible. And the addition of a bench beside the window can delight your four-legged companion, who loves to watch what’s happening out there as much as you do. As always, although Vancouver is known as a pet-friendly city, it’s important to keep your pet status in mind when seeking a place to live. Exercise, grooming, and bladder relief will always be part of the equation when you’re a pet owner and the more you know about the breed beforehand, the better prepared you will be to raise a happy and healthy pup.