Many people believe owning a dog in larger cities is cruel, but that’s a common misconception. You may assume that city dogs spend more time cramped in an apartment than outside exploring, but that doesn’t have to be a reality. In fact, a dog’s lifestyle is up to the owner, and you can decide how much or how little time your pup spends inside your apartment. Whether you’re thinking about adopting a puppy or preparing to bring yours home, take a few minutes to contemplate these 10 things to consider when getting a dog in the city.
Choose a Breed That Suits Apartment Life
It’s no secret that city living usually consists of apartments, and this factor alone may keep you from adopting a dog. Today, many apartment buildings allow their tenants to have pets. However, you may have to abide by several rules and regulations regarding the size and breed of your dog. For instance, some property owners may not allow their tenants to have larger breeds, such as German shepherds, Labrador retrievers, or golden retrievers.
If you live in an apartment and want to adopt a dog, you may have to consider one of the smaller, more relaxed breeds to get permission from your landlord. Furthermore, a small apartment may not be enough space for a larger dog to move around.
Avoid Hot Pavement
As you already know, big cities tend to have fewer grassy areas than rural or suburban locations. As a result, you may have to test the pavement heat frequently before taking your dog outside. Hot pavement is one of the hazards dog owners tend to overlook, but it can be very harmful and uncomfortable for your four-legged friend. Practice the five-second rule—if you can’t leave your hand on the cement without burning or discomfort for five seconds, it’s much too hot for your dog to walk on.
If you must walk them on incredibly hot days, consider investing in dog booties to protect their feet from hot pavement and other dangers.
Potty Training May Be More Challenging
It may take some dogs much longer to become potty trained in the city. Unless your apartment building has a grassy area, you may have to work a little bit harder to let your dog adapt to going potty on the pavement. They may also not know how to tell you they have to go right away; therefore, city dogs may have more frequent accidents. Consider getting indoor potty pads or a doggy litter box to make the process go smoothly for your pup.
Keep Your Pup on a Leash
Even if you feel comfortable walking your dog without a leash, it may be against laws and regulations in your city or state. Additionally, keeping them on a leash is a good practice to ensure they steer clear of hazards on the streets. Leashes work well to keep your pup from running into traffic, getting into an unnecessary encounter with another dog or person, or eating something they shouldn’t. Whether you train your dog to walk off-leash or not, using one is proper dog owner etiquette that your neighbors will appreciate.
Crate Training Is a Must
You probably won’t be home all day. Therefore, you must crate-train your puppy. Otherwise, you may come home to some unfortunate messes, chewed-up shoes, and broken items. You may have to start with smaller time increments spent and gradually increase the length of time spent in the crate to help them adjust.
Aside from the actual training, you must ensure the crate is the appropriate size for your dog. Keep in mind that you may have to change crate sizes a few times before they’re fully grown. You may be able to start using a soft-sided dog kennel for a puppy to keep them safe and secure while you’re out. Their permanent crate should be big enough for them to stand up, turn around, and lie down. That said, it shouldn’t be so large that they can go potty on one side and lie down on the other.
Stick to Soft Toys in the Apartment
It’s no secret that dogs love to play with toys, dogs, and people, but you may have to be a bit more thoughtful about playing when you live in an apartment. Because you likely have neighbors below you, you should stick to soft toys for your pup. Hard plastic toys will probably warrant noise complaints from those surrounding you.
Connect With Other Dog Owners
Dog parks are an excellent place to meet and chat with other dog owners and for your pop to socialize with others. As you probably know, socialization is crucial for puppies and their development. It can’t hurt to make a few friends who also own dogs; it’s an easy way to make puppy playdates for your four-legged friends. Furthermore, having others to talk to about dog topics can help you feel less isolated on those frustrating puppy-raising days.
Stay on Top of Their Health
Because city dogs may be less likely to get their necessary daily exercise, you should be diligent about staying on top of their health. You’ll need to bring them in for regular vet appointments, feed them a healthy diet, and take them out for proper exercise when possible. If you notice your pup starting to gain unnecessary weight, it’s always a good idea to check with your vet before making any changes to their daily routine.
Always Pick Up After Them
As a dog owner, you want your pup to go potty outdoors; however, you must pick up after them. Leaving your dog’s feces on the street or sidewalk is improper etiquette and may lead to someone stepping in it or another dog eating it. Unfortunately, dogs can get very sick from consuming waste from another dog. Save your neighbors some hassle and pick up after your furry friend!
Take Them With You Whenever Possible
As previously mentioned, city dogs don’t have as much space to play in your apartment as they might in a yard. You should consider taking them with you whenever possible to get their exercise in. Believe it or not, many restaurants and stores in bigger cities are dog-friendly, making it much easier to run errands and walk your dog simultaneously.
Considering these 10 things when getting a dog in the city will help you make the most of your dog-owning experience. Adopting a puppy is always exciting, but you must be diligent about giving your new friend the life they deserve.