If you live in a major city and are interested in buying or adopting a new dog, there are a few considerations that you should keep in mind. It’s especially important to choose the right breed, no matter if you are buying a new puppy or adopting a dog. Thanks to my dog, Ringo, I have a few tips that will help you decide what type of dog would best fit your urban living situation.
Consider your living space and activity level
It’s the top two considerations for having a dog in a city: how big is your living space, and what is your activity level? Are you an active person that is always out and about, and if not, do you have the funds for a dog walker? Even if you live in a small space and have a large, active dog, they can still be cared for if he/she is able to expend energy in dog parks or as a running partner. Some large dogs are relatively inactive, such as Great Danes, and can be good apartment dogs if you are comfortable with that size. For me, having a small relatively inactive dog has been fitting for my lifestyle.
No backyard means more walks
Many people in major cities do not have access to a backyard, so unfortunately taking out a dog is not as easy as letting him/her out the back door. Consider how many flights you have to go down (if you live in a high rise) to walk your dog, or how many steps you have to go down if you are in a walk-up. Having a small dog (~10 pounds) that is pad trained has been one of the best decisions that we made. We don’t have to go out in inclement weather or late at night if he has the pad as an option, so it’s something I would highly recommend if you have a small dog (unfortunately pads won’t work too well for big dogs).
Also, one other tip when you walk a dog in a city: always watch the ground. Sniffing can quickly evolve to eating and your dog might get into something that isn’t safe (or at the very least, clean).
Consider your home location and public transit
If you live in a major city with car access, this might not apply to you. However, if you live in Manhattan or an area that is highly reliant on public transit you should consider your location. How close are you to a vet, to a groomer, to a pet resort? How would you get there with your dog – is it small enough to take on public transit? We have been lucky enough to have a small dog that we can easily take on the subway, and also live within walking distance of major dog businesses.