Having a dog in the city is not so different from owning a dog anywhere else. However, the city presents certain challenges that are unique. Urban dwellers are not likely to have big backyards for their pooches to play. They are also often busy people with busy lives.
Sometimes, people claim that having a dog in a city environment is unkind. But, the reality is that a well-socialized, active dog will thrive in the city just as well as he or she would have in the countryside. It may require just a bit of creative thinking on your part.
What Special Considerations Do Pet Parents Need To Make In The City?
There are plenty of unique factors about an urban environment which can make raising a dog a bit different. Here are some to consider:
- Homes are typically smaller
- Higher level apartment dwellers may face walking up and down stairs often for potty breaks – particularly when the pup is young
- Yards are rare so frequent and regular walks are essential
- Not all buildings allow pets and knowing your building’s policy is vital
- Barking or noisiness may bother neighbors in close proximity
- There are lots of unique smells and sounds that can be exciting, enticing or scary – depending on your dog
On the upside, dogs are great for keeping frightening people at a distance and are wonderful companions in the city where it can be tough to make friends quickly. Dogs can make a city environment feel less intimidating if you are new to an urban lifestyle.
Summary: Dogs are great companions for the city but there are some hurdles to overcome.
Socialization Ideas For Dogs In The City
Dogs should be socialized with other dogs regularly. Think of the dog as a human child who needs play dates and socialization to become mature and to develop important skills. Your pooch needs to be able to handle meeting new dogs and people and know how to behave. The better he or she can handle new situations, the better for both of you.
Here are some ways to socialize your pup:
- Head to the dog park for some fun in the outdoors and allow your dog to sniff, play, run wild and enjoy being a dog.
- Bring your dog to visit friends with dogs. Getting he or she off his own turf is a great way to teach them how to behave in unique environments.
- Join a dog-walking group.
- Hire a dog-walker who will likely be walking multiple dogs at a time and who will also be a new face for your dog.
On the flipside of that coin, do not force your dog into situations. Dogs have great instincts and if your pup simply wants nothing to do with the poodle next door, there may be a reason.
Summary: Dogs should be socialized as much as possible and there are many ways to incorporate this into your dogs routine in the city.
Toilet Training Tips For Dogs In The City
Toilet training a puppy in an urban area can seem difficult. You are trying to get a dog to “go” while surrounded by distractions like people, sounds, smells, cars and more. It’s not an easy task.
One way that is often successful is to break it down. First, teach the dog to use the restroom on an indoor pad of some sort and then outside. You can start with training outside immediately, but you will have to take your dog out about 8 times a day – if not more.
Either way, meals and water should be set out at specific times so you can monitor their intake and then be prepared to predict when they will need to go out. In between meals and play sessions, the pup should be crated. The use of a short-term confinement area will lessen the likelihood of accidents as the pup learns.
Choose a potty spot of about ten feet wide and bring your dog to it, while keeping the pup moving about the area. If the pooch doesn’t go potty in about 5 minutes, bring them back in, wait 15 minutes and try again.
Do not allow your dog to get in the habit of searching for the perfect spot to use the restroom. This is unsuitable for urban living and a difficult habit to break.
Most pups, if started young, will learn this pattern in a couple of days. The younger they are, the easier this will be. Also, consistency on the part of the owner is essential. However, toilet training a dog in the city is far from impossible.
Summary: Toilet training in the city will require a lot of work but – as along as you are consistent – a dog should pick up the “drill” within a few days.
What Are The Advantages Of Boarding For Dogs In The City?
Leaving a dog alone for long periods is never advisable. Some dogs with separation anxiety chew on or destroy household objects and this can result in self-injury, such as broken teeth and damaged nails. They also might try to escape by digging and chewing through doors or windows. When left alone or separated from their guardians, some dogs will even eliminate waste and then eat their excrement.
So, what does a busy owner do? Some people choose dog-walkers or pet-sitters, but they are unreliable and rarely trained or certified. If you need a safe, quality, long-term solution in the city, a boarding facility is likely to be your best choice.
Selecting a facility can feel daunting. No one wants to leave their dog anywhere unsafe and we all want our pooches to be treated kindly. Look for kennels that have certifications from local and/or national organizations and ask them about their:
- Responsibility for the wellbeing of the animals
- Relationships with local vets
- Past client testimonials
But don’t sign up at the first one you see. Tour around a few kennels and find one that is sanitary, clean and tidy. It will smell like animals, of course, but it should not stink. It should be at a reasonable temperature and the animals should look happy and comfortable. Kennel staff should seem to genuinely enjoy animals.
- How much exercise and playtime do dogs get?
- What is the feeding schedule?
- How is veterinary care given in the event of an emergency?
- Can the pup bring toys, bedding, and/or food?
- How do they handle puppies that are having anxiety or difficulty adjusting?
Quality facilities will ask that all of their canine guests are up to date on all of their vaccinations and will want proof from a vet. They also won’t allow dogs into the facility who have parasites or contagious diseases.
Summary: A quality dog boarding facility is an essential resource for many urban dog owners.
Pet Boarding Doesn’t Have To Be Stressful!
Raising a city pooch is fun in many ways and your dog will become a part of your urban family home in no time but the city does present challenges for dog ownership. A dog that is well-socialized and cared for will flourish if their owner is willing to do the extra work. If you are interested in finding a safe and reliable kennel for your dog, call us to learn more about our doggie daycare and our dog and cat boarding facility: (310) 320-8799. We have also partnered with The Hair of the Dog Pet Spa, who offer dog grooming services. Be sure to reach out to them at: (323)710-0472
For more tips and information about pet boarding, follow us on Facebook.