If you live in a big city, such as New York, Chicago, Houston or any of the other major metro areas in the U.S., you may wonder if it’s even possible to have a dog. Whether you’re relocating to a big city and you want to bring your current dog along, or you already live in an urban area, but you’d like to have a dog, there are certain things to consider, but it can certainly be possible.
The following are some tips that can make it easier to have a dog in a big city.
Use a Dog-Walking Service
First and foremost, if you live in a suburban or rural area, it’s very likely that you have an outdoor space that’s fenced in and can contain your dog. Many people in the suburbs make it so that their pet can come and go as they please throughout the day.
However, if you live in an apartment or condo in an urban area, this probably isn’t an option. You can now hire on-demand dog walkers with services like Wag!, and they can take your pup out for exercise during the day when you aren’t home.
This can be a valuable service to make your life easier, and also make big city life more conducive to having a dog.
Socialization and Training
When your dog lives in a big city, socialization and training are extremely important. Your dog is likely going to be coming in contact with other people and pets all the time in a big city. You live close to other people and their pets, and you aren’t going to do well if you have a dog who isn’t comfortable in these situations. For example, if your dog is lunging every time you get in your building’s elevator, it can be a problem.
If possible, start with puppy classes. Even if your dog is no longer a puppy, you can still do training. It’s a good idea to focus training on the basics of obedience, but also how to walk well on a leash. You should also socialize your dog so that they’re comfortable with being around other pets on sidewalks, trails and in parks.
If you have a new puppy, housetraining in a big city can be difficult, especially if you live in an apartment. You’re not likely going to be able to make it all the way to the ground floor each time your puppy needs to relieve itself.
You may find that it’s best to designate a spot in the house where your dog can go potty if making it outside isn’t an option. Housetraining pads can work, and some pet owners even use the shower to train their puppy.
Finally, try to make sure you choose the right neighborhood if you’re making a move. In any big city, some neighborhoods are going to be more pet-friendly than others. You want to look for a neighborhood where there seem to be a lot of other dogs, and dog-friendly facilities including parks and restaurants with dog-friendly patios.