Are Boston Terriers Good Apartment Dogs?

Boston Terriers make perfect apartment dogs.

Their size, demeanor, and exercise needs are a great match for living in apartments.

Boston Terriers are Compact, Active Dogs

No apartment complex will restrict Boston Terriers because of size limitations.

Even as adults, these outgoing but laid-back dogs weigh just 10 to 25 pounds (4.5 to 11.5 kg).

Boston Terriers get along with people and pets

Boston Terriers are kid-friendly.

They can muster the energy, say, to catch a Frisbee, but they don’t become agitated just because they don’t get a daily workout.

They can be charming entertainers for their families, for friends, and for strangers alike.

Boston Terriers don’t need a lot of outdoor exercises

Boston Terriers burn off excess energy with an activity many owners call Zoomie Time.

The Boston Terrier will race from one side of the apartment to the other maybe 20 or 30 times. Then your dog will call it a day and want to snuggle up next to you.

As long as you have made at least one room of your apartment into a dog-friendly zone, Boston Terriers will be perfectly happy getting their exercise by scampering around indoors.

You will just need to take them outside for potty time.

Is There a Downside to Keeping a Boston Terrier in an Apartment?

There are three issues that every owner of a Boston Terrier has to manage.

If you keep a Boston Terrier in your apartment, you will deal with them all the time.

These issues are snoring, slobbering, and flatulence.

Snoring and Snorting

In an apartment, your little friend is going to be with you all the time. You will hear snoring and snorting all the time.

You will have to learn how to sleep while your Boston Terrier snores, or invest in earplugs or noise-cancellation equipment.

The older your Boston Terrier gets, the louder the snoring will get.


Boston Terriers have short muzzles. In addition to powering snoring and snorting, the near proximity of their tongues to their lips means that a lot of saliva will escape.

Slobbering happens all the time, but especially around mealtime.


The third problem, flatulence, is also influenced by Boston Terrier anatomy. Boston Terriers swallow lots of air when they eat, and the air inevitably comes out the other end.

You can minimize the problem by feeding your Boston Terrier fresh foods rather than dry dog kibble, and encouraging smaller feedings at multiple mealtimes, up to four a day.

If you overfeed your Boston Terrier, however, multiple meals will only result in obesity and more flatulence, more snoring, more snorting, and more slobber.

Most Boston Terrier owners are able to deal with these problems. After all, the American Kennel Club ranks Boston Terriers as the 21st most popular dog in the United States.

Boston Terriers can win over the hearts of the people who care for them with their intelligence, their loyalty, and their good humor.

Getting Your Apartment Ready for a Boston Terrier

Whether you are getting a puppy or an adult Boston Terrier, you can’t just bring a dog home and give them free rein of your apartment without some prep work.

Your Boston Terrier is going to need a dedicated space, including a crate. The new canine addition to your family will need water bowls, food bowls, toys, and pee pads.

Your new Boston Terrier needs an exclusive domain, at least at first.

Your dog’s space should be gated so the dog cannot get out, and small children cannot get in.

You should not lock your dog in a small room. Boston Terriers need a line of sight so they can see you go about your business so they know they are not alone.


Getting the right crate is important for making your Boston Terrier feel comfortable and safe.

It’s important to understand from the beginning that a crate is not a puppy jail or a punishment for your dog. It is a place for your dog to feel enclosed and space.

Ideally, your dog’s crate should be expandable. That way, they can stay in the same crate as they mature, developing a lifelong sense of security in their crate.

Also, a crate is a great way to carry your Boston Terrier to the vet when she is a puppy.

Pee Pads

Your goal is to train your Boston Terrier to relieve himself outside, but there will be times that your dog just can’t hold it in. Pee pads save cleanup.

Always locate the pee pad as far away from the crate as possible.

Dogs tend to urinate in the same place over and over again, and you do not want to encourage a Boston Terrier puppy to urinate or defecate in her own crate.

If you are buying a Boston Terrier from a breeder, be sure to inquire about the progress your new dog has made with toilet training.

Other Items You Will Need Before You Bring Your Boston Terrier Home

In addition to a crate and pee pads, other items you will need to have on hand before you bring your Boston Terrier home for the first time include:

  • Dog food.
  • Plastic bags for curbing your dog when you go on walks.
  • A comfortable bed that fits inside the crate.
  • Collar.
  • Leash. A retractable leash is OK, but a short leash is better.
  • Tags.
  • Canine toothbrush and canine toothpaste. (Toothbrushes designed for people who won’t reach a dog’s back teeth, and toothpaste formulated for people contains chemicals like SLS that irritate a dog’s mouth. Toothpaste for dogs comes in flavors dogs like, such as the liver.)
  • Brush.
  • Toys.

Puppy Proofing Your Boston Terrier’s Space

Almost anything in your home that would be hazardous for your baby would also be hazardous for your puppy.

The difference is that a Boston Terrier will be both faster and more mobile than a child.

Your Boston Terrier can get into hazardous situations almost immediately if you do not properly prepare your home.

Have your vet’s emergency number posted on your fridge and in at least one other place in your house. Program your vet’s number into your phone.

Assume that your Boston Terrier is smart enough to get into almost anything his height permits, and plan accordingly.

  • In your kitchen, make sure all cleansers and poisons are out of reach, or behind locked cabinet doors. Secure the lids to your trash cans, or use trash cans that you open with a foot pedal. Make sure all electrical cords are off the floor. Make sure all human food is in the refrigerator or in a cabinet.
  • In your bathroom, make sure your toilet brush locks in its container, or keep it out of reach. Keep cabinets closed with child-proof locks. Make a habit of keeping the toilet lid closed when the toilet is not in use. Stop using automatic toilet cleaning products.
  • In your laundry room, make sure detergents, fabric softeners, and bleach are kept in closed containers out of reach of your dog. Keep your dirty clothes in a hamper or in a basket that is off the floor.
  • All around your home, make sure all houseplants are out of reach. (Many houseplants are poisonous to dogs.) Clear dangerous objects (such as glass, ceramics, pins, needles, smoking equipment, rubber bands, and scissors) off coffee tables. Cover your fireplace opening with something your Boston Terrier cannot knock over. Cordon off steps and stairs so your Boston Terrier cannot go up or down them. Make sure the floor of your Boston Terrier’s indoor exercise area is slip-proof.

Preparing Your Cat for Your Boston Terrier’s Arrival

Boston Terriers can become fast friends with house cats.

You will need to place your cat’s litter box, however, somewhere that your Boston Terrier cannot reach.

Since your cat will need time to get used to using the litter box in the new location, this is something you need to do before you bring your Boston Terrier home.

Be Sure to Have a Place for Play Time

One more consideration before you bring a Boston Terrier home to live with you in your apartment is making sure you have adequate room for play.

Most Boston Terriers love to play fetch. Terriers of all kinds like to retrieve things. You can help your dog burn off excess energy fast if you have a safe place to play fetch leash-free.

Indoor games of fetch are possible, but you need to make sure you have put up all of your breakables first.

Like all brachycephalic (short muzzle) dogs, Boston Terriers easily get overheated in the summer heat. However, they love to play in sprinklers. Twenty or thirty minutes in the sun should be a maximum on a hot summer day.

More ways to play include:

  • Having fun with a laser pointer. This is a fun activity for Boston Terriers the same way it is for cats.
  • Hunting for treats. Show your dog a treat, and let her watch you hide it. After you have played this game a few times, arrange a distraction for your dog and hide it when she is not looking. Let her have fun sniffing around for it.
  • Puzzle toys. Puzzle toys that your Boston Terrier unlocks to release the treat inside can keep your dog occupied for hours, especially when you have to leave them home alone for a few hours.

Frequently Asked Questions About Living with Boston Terriers in Apartments

How are Boston Terriers with cats?

Nearly all Boston Terriers get along well with cats. But a lot depends on the way you introduce them.

First, let your Boston Terrier get to know the scent of your cat, from a toy or a blanket.

When your dog knows your cat is non-threatening, then introduce them first at a distance, letting them see each other on either side of the puppy gate.

Finally, it’s OK to put them in the same space together. Just don’t force togetherness before they are ready.

How long can a Boston Terrier be left alone?

Boston Terriers that are used to their crates can be left alone for four to eight hours.

It is always best to visit them during the day if at all possible.

Where can I find a Boston Terrier rescue near me?

Because Boston Terriers are a popular breed, they are not unusual in pet shelters and pet adoption agencies.

Most states have at least one organization devoted to foster care and adoption for rescued Boston Terriers, and Mid-America Boston Terrier Pet Rescue operates in 13 states.

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