Despite the fact that nearly half of all American households also contain a canine cohabitant, your neighbors may not be as enthusiastic about your pet as you are. Keep reading for a few tips on how to keep the peace when you have pets.
Ensure your dog has specific boundaries. Your dog looks at the world as a stage. But your neighbors won’t appreciate his antics when they take place on their lawn. Before bringing home a new dog, ensure there are specific boundaries Spot can’t pass. The best way to do this is to install a fence to keep him from inadvertently crossing the property line. According to HomeAdvisor, this costs anywhere from $1,643 - $3,857.
Keep noise to a minimum. One of the biggest issues that annoyed neighbors have is the excess noise that comes along with an ill-tempered animal next door. If you want to be a good neighbor, you’ll need to keep noise to a minimum, especially at night. Barking becomes a problem when it interferes with your neighbor’s quality of life and enjoyment of their own property.
Invest time into training. Your dog should be taught manners from puppyhood. Spot should respond to common commands including sit, stay, and no. Train your dog on proper ways to greet others, which includes not jumping or invading personal space. The American Kennel Club offers classes through the Canine Good Citizen program that can teach your pet how to be a good dog and a great member of the community. If you’re north of the border, check out the similar Canine Good Neighbour Program offered by the Canadian Kennel Club.
Clean up after your pet. No matter where you let your pet relieve himself, always clean up his mess. DogTrainingBasics.com notes that you should always pick up your dog’s excrement when he uses another person’s property as his personal potty. But even if he has access to a fenced yard for bathroom breaks, you should still clean up feces to avoid offensive odors from infiltrating your neighbor’s outdoor entertainment area.
Give him plenty of exercise. Exercising your pup not only enhances his or her physical health, but also gives them the opportunity to exert pent-up energy. Depending on your breed, your dog may need up to an hour of guided activity each day. Another benefit of exercising your dog is that it will help build a relationship and establish proper pack order.
Know and respect local laws. No matter where you live, there are laws that govern the number and kind of animals you can have -- while dogs are almost always fine, other pets may be a problem. Check local ordinances by contacting your nearest animal shelter or animal control agency. You will also need to stay abreast of policies that dictate when your dog must be kept on a leash and when and if he can roam free on public property. Many neighborhoods also have restrictions on breed outlined in HOA bylaws.
If all of this sounds like a lot of work, it is. Owning a dog is not a hands-off commitment. It takes planning, perseverance, and plenty of preemptive measures to keep both your dog and your neighbors safe and sound. However, having a pet is a labor of love that will bring years of joy into your life if you care for him responsibly.
BarkPost.com offers more information on how to help your dog to be a good neighbor.