Being a dog owner in a big city means you have to deal with certain needs and issues that are unique to the city, such as finding an appropriate place to potty on a crowded sidewalk, or controlling excessive barking in the shared living quarters of a high-rise apartment.
Check out three tips for making sure you and your dog have the best experience possible in an urban setting.
Keeping your pet clean and well-groomed can be a challenge in the city, what with the frequent exposure to dirt, debris, and chemicals often found on busy city sidewalks. Giving your dog a quick brush and wiping off any dirt or grime on fur or paws after each walk helps your pet stay fresh longer in between professional groomings.
Make sure your urban dog’s paws and nails are kept clean and protected. Hot sidewalks in the summer and winter ice and salt can cause irritation and dryness. Applying protective balm and keeping its nails short with a trimmer or Barx Buddy nail grinder can help keep your dog’s paws in good shape. Dog boots can also protect your pooch in inclement weather.
Living in the city often means more time indoors and less space for exercise, which means an increased risk for obesity and other health issues. Seek out regular opportunities for exercise, such as walking around the block and taking your dog along with you on short errands.
If you have an uncarpeted floor, softer (and less loud) dog toys can help prevent neighbors below you from complaining about the noise. You can also find brain games made for dogs available for purchase, or food dispensing toys that keep your dog moving and engaged when you aren’t home.
If you have access to a local dog park, it can give your dog the chance to get exercise and to socialize with different animals A place where your dog can run leash-free is ideal.
Doggy daycare businesses and dog walkers are also common in the city and a good way to provide exercise when you aren’t able to.
Good manners are especially important for an urban dog that is in close vicinity to many different people each day. Basic commands like sit, come, leave it, and stay are essential. The earlier you start training, the easier it is for your dog to catch on quickly.
Be aware that not every dog you meet on the street is going to be friendly, and could even have an aggression issue like biting. Always make sure you ask the owner before you let your dog meet another dog along a walk or in another public place.
Housetraining is another area that can be more difficult for a city dog unless you happen to live in a ground-level apartment with a patio. Some apartment buildings have a designated built-in area for dogs to do their business. Another option to consider is an in-house solution like an indoor potty box or pad.
Making sure your dog has enough exercise, and being mindful of the circumstances and surroundings unique to cities can make life for you and your dog more enjoyable. Ask your vet and chat with other dog owners for additional tips and services available in your area.
Image Credits: Richard Lavoie