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Which Dog Breed Is Right For Small Apartments And Flats

by Lana Paws on October 17, 2022

Which Dog Breed Is Right For Small Apartments And Flats

A dog’s love is unconditional, and so should our care for them. Choosing a dog breed for your home should be based on a thorough research and must not be taken lightly. One must remember that a dog is a long-term commitment (at least 12-14 years or the whole natural life of the animal) and requires your time, attention and resources! 

Once you have decided to bring home a dog, it's highly recommended to do further research on which dog breed would be most suitable for your home and lifestyle. 

To know which dog you can care for best, get to know your surroundings well. Living in a country like India, where urban accommodations are not as spacious as some dogs would prefer, it is important to choose a dog who is easily adjusting and accommodates well to small spaces. Take this quiz to know 'which dog breed is right for me'! 

The theory of The Hierarchy of Dog Needs® is given by Australian veterinarian Dr. Katrina Ward. 

The Hierarchy of Dog Needs

As seen in the picture above, the foremost needs of any dog are physical needs of nutrition, hydration, safety, and well-being. The right fit between a dog and their home not only affects their physical needs for exercise and shelter but also their mental needs for stimulation and well-being.

Make sure you choose a breed that is comfortable with the climate of your home, the space you offer, and the mental and social interaction you provide. Keeping in mind the size of an average Indian flat, here are 10 breeds that are good for Indian apartments!


pug dog breed

A pug that lives up to 12- 15 years of age and is known for its loving and social nature. It is an amazing choice as a family dog and is known for its warmth and cuddles. Pugs are also considered good for homes with chidren due to their distinctly shaped mouths, which makes it difficult for them to bite. If you have a busy lifestyle, this may just be the right breed for you as they require as less as 30 minutes of exercise and outdoor activity each day and are considered low maintenance.

Indian Pariah/ Desi/ Indies

adopt Indian Pariah/ Desi/ Indies dogs

This native Indian breed is great for new dog owners as they are already accustomed to the Indian climate and have lesser allergies and health problems compared to foreign breeds. Their usual life span is 13-16 years and they like to keep their paws busy. They are highly active dogs who are also fiercely protective, loyal, and obedient. Indies would need at least 45-minutes to one hour of daily outdoor activity (walking/sniffing etc) in addition to play time (could include mental enrichment and other games as well).



This breed is easy to raise and loves staying indoors. Short walks or exercises are enough for bulldogs as they are rightly known for their laid-back and calm nature. Although less, they do require consistent exercise. Their life span is 8-10 years and they are amazing for apartment living as they rarely bark.

Golden/ Labrador Retrievers

golden retriever

Retrievers are positively a family favourite, with their average life span being around 10-12 years. They are amiable, social dogs and require high activity and fairly open spaces. They are known to be the quintessential gentle family dogs and love cuddling. 


poodle dogs

These dogs are easily adjusting, playful and friendly. They require less/ moderate exercise, usually 30 to 60-minute long walks or games. Their life expectancy is around 12-15 years and they make for great pets in smaller spaces.



These adorable sausage dogs known for their trademark short-legged look are very comfortable in apartments. They can be feisty and vocal sometimes, so engaging toys and activities are recommended for this breed. They live up to 12-16 years and need moderate daily exercise.


These are the cutest little fur balls you'll ever meet and are great companions if you have a busy schedule. They require low exercise and live up to 12-17 years. Their temperament is usally chirpy, playful, and friendly.

Cocker Spaniels

cocker spaniel dogs

The life span of these dogs is 12-15 years and they are very energetic and loving. They can be trained with ease and require moderate exercise. They have an adventurous, playful spirit and love exploring! Great companion dogs for travelers and outdoorsy people.


beagle dog

While Beagles can be vocal and energetic, they are very sporty and chirpy dogs. They fit right in with children and have a lifespan of about 12-15 years. They require high bouts of exercise and love playing around with almost anything they can find!

Shih Tzus

shih tzu dog

Due to their tiny size, these dogs can thrive in low exercise routines, and make for loyal and loving furry companions. Their life span is about 13-15 years and they love to cuddle and spend time with their paw parents. They make for amazing family dogs and adjust quite well to small spaces.

Tips & Pet products to make smaller spaces more comfortable for your dog

Tips & Pet products to make smaller spaces more comfortable for your dog

Mental Enrichment

Investing in toys and games is the key to keeping your furry friend mentally engaged, a side of dogs many people often overlook. This include rope toys, chew toys, plush toys with a squeaker inside as well as interactive toys such as, frisbees, boomerangs, balls among others. In addition, puzzles and sniffing games can be a lot of fun and mentally enriching for your dog.

If you're on a budget, get creative! Make a doggy ball pit from extra balls you have lying around, play treasure hunt with treats scattered around the house or inside e-commerce cartons with rolled up papers, hide and seek, fetch, or sniffing games! For more ideas, visit the following links:

How to provide mental enrichment to your dog

DIY dog toys

How to make safe toys at home


Set Routine

Dogs love a good routine like humans do, it gives them a sense of security and discipline. A routine makes them look forward to their day and encourages better house habits. The predictability of daily life (and a healthy balance of adventure too) helps in the mental growth and stability in your dog’s life. Since your communication with your pet is primarily through actions and not words, providing them with a calm and stable environment can help express your love for them.

The bare minimum for a dog’s favourite part of the day can be a walk for at least 30-45 minutes everyday, which can be divided into 2-3 walks per day, say after meals. This correlation of meals and walks will strengthen the habit, a stellar use of Ivan Pavlov’s classical conditioning.

Building habits that stem from a previous action is an excellent way to ease your pooch into the flow of life, to know more about habit building, check out atomic habits by James Clear and you’d be surprised as to how easy it can be to build an easy routine for yourself and your dog!

A structured routine has to be balanced with free flow time, where you can just allow your pet to do the opposite- anything spontaneous! This can be exploring new places together, going on new walk paths, or simply sniffing around and maintaining healthy curiosity.

Automatic feeders and app-enabled toys

Here, technology is your best friend indeed. When away from your pooch or if looking to engage them for a while, try phone-controlled feeders and toys. You can operate these from a distance and keep your pet stimulated and fed at the same time! Lick mats, ball throwing toys, remote-controlled cars, the possibilities are endless! Buy toys your dog feels the most interested in, and keep them happy and playful.

Manage storage

For apartment living, make sure you incorporate hidden storage spaces for your pet’s things. It can be a cabinet under a table or bed, an inbuilt closet, or a drawer under the sink- make sure you store everything in a hygienic place and allot a “doggie corner” for your pet’s toys, mats, feeders, etc to keep everything organised and tidy.

Grooming essentials

Dogs in India can be more prone to carrying in dust, dirt, germs, and muddy pawprints, so buy dog mats, brushes, etc that help maintain your pet’s (and home’s) cleanliness.

Create a comfortable corner

Even though space might be limited, it’s important to create a comfortable, dedicated space for your dog for them to rest, sleep and lounge in. Invest in a cosy dog bed or a dog mat. Dogs typically tend to move around the house and rest at multiple locations based on the temperature, comfort and activity levels. Laying multiple dog mats or rugs around the house will provide options to your dog while keeping them comfortable.

Security camera

If you live in an apartment and are away at work, you may consider installing an interactive camera to monitor your pet, check up on them, take a few sly screenshots of them looking adorable ;) and talk to them every now and then!

Soothing music

Some dogs like listening to soothing ambient sounds when left alone at home. You can YouTube dog friendly music and play it at a low volume to keep them company in your absence

Balcony & Terrace

Make use of balcony and terrace spaces by providing a safe corder to your dog to relieve herself in case of any emergencies and delay in their walk timing. In high rise buildings and apartment living, it may not be feasible to take your pet out multiple times a day, and we definitely do not want our best friend to hold her pee or poo for too long regularly, as it will result in infections and diseases. Some pet parents also allow their dog to use a bathroom which can be cleaned up easily immediately.

Prioritizing well-being in Indian conditions

In a fast-living country like ours, it is important to undertake the responsibility of the well-being of a dog only after knowing all their needs. Living in smaller apartments and working should not keep you from having a dog but always make sure to prioritize their exercise, mental health, and nutritional well-being. Set aside time for your pet, engage in walks and games, give them love and shower them with hugs. The diverse climate also leads to seasonal health changes like infections, water intake fluctuations, and health variations. Make sure to always keep an eye on anything that may seem out of the blue and visit your vet for regular checkups.

Before You Adopt/Bring a Dog Home

Choosing to bring a dog home can be a wonderful life changing experience for most of us, provided we’re fully ready to make this commitment. At Lana Paws, we highly recommend adopting your dog instead of buying from an unauthorized dog breeder. Unfortunately, in India, most breeders are unregistered, unregulated and do not follow the science of animal breeding. This results in painful genetic conditions in dogs who suffer for the most part of their lives. Mother and father dogs are bred non-stop for money and are kept in cruel, unhygienic conditions. This is well hidden from the prospective buyers who are only shown cute puppies and fabricated living conditions of the dogs. Be a responsible dog parent and give a better life to a dog who truly needs to be rescued. You can choose to adopt an indie dog or a breed dog that suits your lifestyle from your local animal shelter.

Though a dog of any age would take a few weeks to a month’s time to adjust in his new territory i.e. your home, puppies require a lot more work and time commitment, at least for the first 4-6 months, as compared to adult dogs. While some adult dogs could come from a place of bias due to their bad experience with humans earlier and may require more patience and a ton of TLC to make them feel loved and cared for again.

Indian homes have an incomparable warmth, so do not shy away from getting a furry friend, but do decide after considering your house and lifestyle for the dog! We hope this article helped in your quest to find the right dog for your home!


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