You Have to Read This Before Purchasing a Dog in the City

Child and dog photo via Pixabay

By Jessica Brody

Life in the big city can be lonely and stressful for many, and a four-legged companion can make the hustle and bustle less mentally taxing. However, living in a large city while owning a dog entails a unique set of considerations and issues. Picking the right breed, preparing an apartment for the new resident, and locating the dog park are just a few of the tasks required of new dog owners in an urban environment.

(Photo via Pixabay)

Breed: A Dog for a Small Space
Some breeds of dogs were simply born to roam. City slickers tend to live in apartments, which by nature are, on average, much smaller than houses and typically lack the backyard afforded to those in the suburbs. Choosing a dog that can find happiness living in the confines of an apartment is imperative.

There are many lists of dogs, both big and small, which can thrive under the conditions of apartment living. There are several breeds of spaniels, bulldogs, and terriers and others which are suited to apartment parameters. They are fine being a bit lazy, tend not to bark excessively, and will not make a racket when walking around.

Pre-Arrival Prep
Once you have chosen a breed, it’s time to plan the routine that will come to define you and your dog’s days. From food to exercise, the small details must not be overlooked.

A bit of research will allow you to figure out which brand of food you will initially feed your pup. Order enough to feed the dog for the immediate future, but not so much that, should your dog balk at that brand, you are left footing the bill for unused food.

Those who don’t want to see their shoes mangled and their wood siding destroyed would be wise to employ a bit of dog-proofing. In addition, purchasing the essentials – chew toys, food and water bowls, a leash, collar, etc. – should be done before the dog arrives.

Conceptualizing and writing down a schedule that revolves around your own weekly routine and work schedule serves as a greater benefit to time management than one might expect. Should you work long hours, hiring a dog walker may be worth the money. Considering that dogs have less room to roam in an apartment than a home, this is especially prescient for those living in a city.

Locating the nearest dog parks and checking them out to consider the foot and dog traffic, extent of open spaces, and quality of sites will help you decide which will be your regular fetch spot. Taking advantage of the open spaces which often seem like oases in an urban jungle is one of the most important means to your dog’s happiness.

Socialize, Socialize, Socialize
One aspect of city life is the constant contact with strangers and their pets. Often, finding an open space for your dog will not be an option. Walks down the streets will inevitably mean your dog coming into close quarters with humans and other dogs, so establishing this reality early will help to familiarize your canine and quell the anxieties that can initially overwhelm a dog in the city.

According to the American Humane Society, the age range between 3 weeks and 16-20 weeks is when dogs establish their sense of long-term comfort. It is recommended that dogs be handled early and often by several different people to reduce any uncertainty that comes with human interaction. For city dogs, the pitfalls of improper socialization can be dire.

Millennials are increasingly making the choice to live in the city, and they also buy animals– especially dogs – at a rate greater than Baby Boomers. So, it is only proper that these young urban-dwellers do the whole pet ownership thing the right way. From hiring a dog walker to locating the ideal dog park, there are certain requirements of city-living dog owners that must be fulfilled so as to be considered a responsible owner.