One of the increasingly common amenities offered in high rises is a dog relief area. The concept is one of convenience, yet sadly, the reality is something slightly more disturbing. I’ve rarely visited one that didn’t resemble an outhouse. Flies buzzing. The stench crawling up the walls. Feeling the need to secure everything to your person before entering the area, lest it get dropped onto the ground (which is a step up from losing it down the pit for good!).
But when you need to take your dog out for a quick bathroom break, it can feel like a blessing to have the option. Here are some possible scenarios when that might occur:
- The weather is raining ‘cats and dogs’
- You are from out-of-town and the idea of taking a stroll around the block in your comfy pajamas, per your norm, isn’t an option
- You’ve got an important conference call that snuck up on you and you don’t want to be watching the clock wondering if your best friend can make it to the sign off
Whatever the reason, once you’ve made the decision to venture into your buildings dog relief area, go in prepared. Here are a few tips to make the experience a little more tolerable.
Check the scene. Anyone trained in basic CPR and First Aid knows that step number one is to review the scene for safety before offering assistance. In our scenario, we want to check for a few things.
- How many dogs are in the relief area?
Too many dogs make for close quarters and the probability of your pooch getting bothered while their trying to do their business increases. Your dog also might be easily distracted by the other dogs and think it’s time for socializing instead of seeking relief. You know your dog best. If they perform better with fewer dogs about, hang back in the lobby or hallway until the dog relief area thins out.
“You know your dog best. If they perform better with fewer dogs about, hang back in the lobby or hallway until the dog relief area thins out.”
- Are the lights working?
If you don’t have proper lightening you might take home more than you left behind on your shoes. Worse, you or your pup might walk into something and get hurt. I recommend always carrying a flashlight (a small one clipped to the leash) for any dark corners or poorly lit sections.
- Is it flooded?
It’s not uncommon for indoor dog relief stations to use a watering system to dilute the liquid waste. The last thing you want is for you or your pup to be soaking in other dog’s business. Also, check the sprinkler schedule to make sure you both don’t get dowsed unexpectedly.
Bring a waste bag. Yes, your building might provide them, but they also might be out. Maintenance may not have had a chance to refill the bags. Or, if you’re visiting a friend, it may be just one more unnecessary complication to figure out where the waste bag station is at the crack of dawn. Imagine having to go all the way back to your apartment while your pup is desperate for relief. Just bring an extra bag.
Breathe through your mouth. Let’s be real. Relief areas are smelly. You’re not walking through a rose garden, it’s a pee patch. Remember to use short, shallow breathes through your mouth. Spare your nose as much as you can.
Don’t linger. Get in and get out. You don’t linger in a porta potty, treat the dog relief area in your building the same way. Consider training your pup to recognize that this is the place where efficiency is key and is rewarded.
If you enjoyed this post, you should read “How The Army Craw Can Keep Your Puppy Safe” here.
Do you live in an apartment complex? How have you handled sharing a pet-relief area? Share below!