Dog in apartment 22 Jun, 2021

Dog in apartment: what the law says and care to keep your pet healthy

If you have or have thought about having a dog in an apartment, you need to be aware of some factors. Unlike the environment provided by a house, farm, farm and the like, where the animal has more space to run and play, raising a dog in an apartment is a task that requires dedication and some special care, both with the environment and with the well-being of the bug itself!

This is important because, as it is in a small space (even if the apartment is large, that is considered a restricted space for animals), it is necessary to think about ways to adapt its reality to that of the dog. But if you are a first-time pet owner, or if you already have a pet but have always lived at home, don’t worry: now we will go through some tips that will help you make this experience the best possible!

What does the apartment dog law say?

Before we get into the tips themselves more specifically, it is interesting that you understand your rights and duties as a guardian – that is, as an apartment dog owner! This knowledge will help you deal with possible questions from the condominium and create a healthier relationship with your neighbors.

What are your rights as a guardian? 

The first and most important right to understand is that you cannot be prohibited from having a dog in an apartment!  The Federal Constitution (Art. 5, XXII and Art. 170, II) guarantees the citizen the right to keep animals in a house or apartment, as long as their stay does not disturb or endanger the lives of other residents.

In addition, you have the right to walk your dog in common areas. Following the previous logic, if your pet does not represent a risk to the health, peace and security of the other residents of the condominium, it should not be restricted to the apartment and can, yes, move in areas such as the pilotis, reception and other areas common in the building. Preventing this access goes against the right to “come and go”, supported by Art. 5 of the Constitution.

Another point that goes against this, is the prohibition of animals in elevators – something quite common in cases of dogs in apartments. The same Art. 5 of the Federal Constitution guarantees the condominium owner or his visitors permission to use the elevator with his animal. That is, if your condominium has rules such as the mandatory use of stairs by residents who own animals, or even if it is necessary to take the animal on your lap in case of using the elevator, you should know that these situations apply to the topic of illegal constraint (Art. 146 of Decree-Law No. 2,848 / 40) and even ill-treatment (Art. 32 of Law No. 9,605 / 98 and art. 3, I of Decree No. 24,645 / 34).

Yet another requirement that condominiums cannot make is that their dog uses a muzzle, if it is not proven that it represents a danger to third parties, and this obligation is also framed in the crime of mistreatment.

Finally, in addition to illegal prohibitions, if there is any threat to your pet (such as poisoning), you have the right to open a police report at the nearest police station, alleging illegal constraint (Art. 146 of Decree-Law No. 2,848 / 40), threat (Art. 147 of Decree-Law No. 2,848 / 40) and/or ill-treatment   (Art. 32 of Law No. 9,605 / 98 and art. 3, I of Decree No. 24,645 / 34).

What are your duties as a tutor? 

However, it is clear that not only does a guardian live on rights: when deciding to have a dog in an apartment, you also have a list of duties that aim to create and maintain a good relationship between you and your neighbors. Let’s go through each one now!

As a guardian, you should always keep your dog close to the body, using a short guide, when you are in the common areas of the building, accompanied by other residents. This is important, as the safety of other residents is the responsibility (Art. 10 of Law No. 4,591 / 64 and Art. 1,277, Art. 1,335 and Art. 1,336, IV of Law No. 10,406 / 02). In the same sense, if your dog is large or exhibits some type of aggressive behavior, you should choose to use a muzzle (Art. 10 of Law No. 4,591 / 64 and Art. 1,277, Art. 1,335 and Art. 1,336, IV of Law No. 10.406 / 02).

Another important point when in common areas of the building is that it is your duty to clean all your dog’s waste. This is an extremely important behavior not only thinking about the discomfort of other tenants but also the fact that these wastes are potentially dangerous in the transmission of diseases (Art. 10 of Law No. 4,591 / 64 and Art.1.336, IV of Law No. 10,406 / 02).

It is always good to also remember about respecting others. Therefore, if you know of a neighbor who is afraid of animals, try to avoid entering the elevator at the same time as him, and always try to keep your dog on a short lead to avoid discomfort. Approach only with authorization and do not leave your dog alone in common areas of the building, especially in the presence of small children!

Still thinking about coexistence issues, when deciding to raise a dog in an apartment, you need to keep your environment always clean (avoiding odors), in addition to training your animal so that there are no barks and incessant noises, which can bother anyone who lives in the same building you and cause complaints.

The best breeds of dog for apartment

As you have already seen, having a puppy in your home, in addition to being very rewarding, is possible even for those who live in an apartment. They are great companions, bring several health benefits and for those with young children, it is a great way to develop responsibility and respect for animals.

However, having a pet in an apartment means ensuring that even with the small space it is possible to guarantee all the animals’ needs. In addition, the ideal is that your pet does not represent a nuisance to other residents of the condominium. Thus, it is important to know the best breeds of dogs for apartments.


The Shih-tzu is known for its long hair, and for its small size. It is precise because of its small size that it is among the best breeds of dog for apartments. However, its long coat requires frequent grooming and great care when cleaning to avoid a bad smell around the house.

They are also very quiet, barking little which avoids problems with neighbors. Another great advantage of the breed is that these animals are well alone, which is great for those who work outside all day. They are very docile and need little space.


This breed is very common in Brazilian homes. It is a small, playful, intelligent and companion dog. However, this is not a silent race. Yorkshires usually bark a lot and therefore require training. They are also a great option for allergic people because their coat is very similar to human hair.

English bulldog

The English Bulldog is well known for being a peaceful companion. Its coat is short and does not require brushing or grooming. In addition, he is a very affectionate and great animal for those who have children at home, since the breed gets along very well with them.

Unfortunately, the breed usually has some respiratory and eye problems. This is due to the shape of the animal’s skull. So, if you choose to have an English Bulldog at home get ready to pay close attention to your pet’s health and take him to the vet regularly.


The pug is also a breed known for demanding more health care, also due to eye and breathing problems. This is because the formation of the skull of this breed generates greater compression in these areas. Still, the pug is a great option for those who live in an apartment.

This breed is quite silent, in addition to being very sociable and affectionate. Families with young children should also consider having a pug as he is very friendly. However, it is a very dependent breed and requires a lot of attention. In addition, despite the short hair, it is important to remember that the pug tends to shed a lot of hair.

German Spitz

The spitz is a breed that draws a lot of attention because it is quite hairy. Although it is not necessary to shear your coat, it is important to implement a brushing routine to prevent hair from tangling. It is a very intelligent and also very agitated breed. It will also require dressage as it tends to bark a lot.

Dressage will also be important as the breed is known for its possessiveness. But do not be discouraged, the German spitz is a very faithful animal to the owner and therefore his difficulty in socializing with strangers.


The Maltese breed is also on the list of best apartment dog breeds. That’s because, they get along very well with small, closed environments. They have small size and love to play, being a great company for those who have children at home. Your coat requires care such as grooming and brushing. He is an affectionate companion and adapts well to the family’s routine. However, this breed has a personality that makes training a little difficult.

Tips for breeding dogs in apartments

Now that we understand better the most bureaucratic parts of raising a dog in an apartment, it is time to know more practical tips from day to day to maintain the well-being of your pet (and also your home!).

Think outside the apartment! 

It is true when we say that the size of your home is not the most relevant factor when deciding to have a dog in an apartment. However, you need to understand that even the largest apartments do not replace the need to go out with your dog a few times during the week.

Walking on the street with your dog is an activity that brings many benefits in addition to the energy expenditure of the animal. This exercise also helps in socializing the dog, for example, which can help you live with neighbors in common areas of your building and barking for visits, for example.

Don’t underestimate the myriad possibilities for play 

Still related to the topic of space, when having a dog in an apartment it is important that you provide several possibilities of play so that he spends his time in a productive and active way.

Although it seems basic, this point will benefit your pet’s well-being in several ways:

  • It supplies the fact of living in a restricted space: with several toys, the dog can more easily spend the energy he would spend running in a yard, for example;
  • It fills the time when the dog is alone: ​​it is common for a dog in an apartment to spend several hours without its owners. So, with several possibilities of playing alone, you can prevent him from feeling alone, bored and even depression;
  • Energy expenditure: with the reduced space, many times a dog in an apartment can become obese, due to the lack of activity. Thus, investing in environmental enrichment through toys and activities that encourage your intellectual capacity can help you to prevent this from occurring.

#TIP: often the simplest toys and activities are the ones that most entertain your puppy. Empty pet bottles, for example, are the biggest hit among dogs!

Educate and train your dog 

Living with a dog in an apartment means understanding that there is a new living being with needs living with you. This means that, as a new resident of the house, the dog is also entitled to enjoy the environment as much as possible.

It is important, therefore, that you invest in your dog’s education so that he knows exactly what he can or cannot do indoors. In addition to improving the relationship between you (after all, nobody wants to get home and find pee on the couch or gnawed flip-flops, for example), this training will be a way to prevent accidents such as the ingestion of toxic substances, pieces of furniture, among others.

A good tip is to bet on the reward strategy. Whenever your dog has any positive behavior within what you want to teach him, give a small prize, such as a piece of biscuit or another treat that is recommended by your veterinarian!

#TIP: It is super important that you have patience during this process. Yelling and fighting with your dog will only make him afraid of you and delay the real development of the training!

Create a special corner for your pet!

Despite knowing that your dog can also enjoy the environment of the apartment, as we mentioned, it is important that he has his own corner! This will be especially important when he is alone in the apartment, as it will help him to know exactly where to find his things and rest.

Attention to dog hygiene 

Another important point when it comes to a dog in an apartment is to pay attention to the pet’s hygiene. Without the possibility of an outdoor area, for example, it is important that you determine a space for the dog to do its needs, in order to prevent him from doing them around the house and preserving the cleanliness of the environment.

For this, you can use newspapers, washable synthetic rugs or disposable hygienic rugs, for example. Just remember to place the food and water containers away from this area!

In addition, it is important that you value the animal’s bath (which can be done biweekly or weekly, depending on the breed and age of the dog). This helps not only in the health of your partner, but also keeps the apartment pleasant for the residents and any visitors.

#TIP: Gaining the habit of brushing your dog daily can help you avoid hair loss around the house and avoid odors between baths!

Don’t forget the window screens!

Finally, don’t forget to ensure that your windows and balconies have screens! Even the smallest dogs can jump quite high and, without this protection, accidents can happen during moments of play or when your dog decides to chase an insect that has entered the house, for example!

Raising dogs in apartments can seem like a bigger challenge than it is in reality. And the best part is that, with research and commitment to adapting the environment to the animal’s well-being, there is no big or small apartment that separates your love for animals!

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