Cities offer many opportunities for dogs if you know where to look.
Making The Most Of City Opportunities
As we've discussed, cities can present numerous dangers for dogs, but they also have more resources to help your pup. There are many opportunities for enrichment as well as professional pet services, including dog walkers, pet sitters, trainers, and veterinarians.
Dog parks provide much needed space for your pup to to run, and they allow your dog to both exercise and socialize. With responsible supervision, dog parks can be great fun for both you and your pup.
Professional Trainers are numerous in cities and can help with basic training as well as more advanced needs. You will find trainers who can come to you and just about anything you can throw at them.
Expanded Pet Care is also available, and the level of service is being elevated from basic care to 5 star services for your pet from daycares, dog walkers, and more. In choosing any type of care, you want to be sure to find a business you can trust to be there when you need them and to provide safe, professional services. Check out our Guide To Choosing a Dog Walker--the considerations listed here would be applicable for any type of pet business.
Most cities require you to have a dog license, and they also regulate various aspects of pet life. You most likely are required to have certain vaccinations, clean up after your pet in public spaces, keep your dog on a leash (usually 6 feet or shorter), and have a license for your dog.
Other Forms of Socialization
Just by having a dog you are likely to make new friends just out on your regular walks! Walking a dog is often taken as an invitation for other people to say hi--if you're dog isn't friendly or you ever feel uncomfortable with someone, you will need to get comfortable firmly asking people to keep their distance. You'll be surprised how often your first request will be ignored ("Oh, it's ok....").
Beyond that, joining a community of dog owners in your city can mean a social life for you and your dog. Sometimes this comes in the form of etiquette or training classes, which are a great way to bond with and train your dog. Other times, finding a niche for you and your dog is a matter of tracking down pet-friendly establishments in your city or becoming an active participant with a local dog park.
If you're lucky, your city's government or visitors' website will have a page dedicated to all the pet-friendly places in the area. All it takes is a little bit of searching to find them. Otherwise, it might be a matter of calling ahead or visiting individual establishments' websites.
Pet Friendly Apartments
Luckily, apartment developers have caught on to the fact that pets are family. Many apartments don't just allow pets; many now cater to them specifically, provide amenities including private dog parks, self-use bathing facilities, on-site pet services, and more.
Before you sign the lease, make sure you understand the building's pet policies, any restrictions--areas that are off limits, elevator use, common areas, breed/size/weight restrictions, and anything else that would be important to your living situation. For many cities, we have compiled a list of our favorite buildings and highlight some of their pet-focused amenities.
Getting Out of the City
City life is great, but once in a while it's nice to get away with you pup. Hiking and camping trips are even more fun with a pup along, and it's great to see them getting to run a bit more free. Check out our guide for camping resources and tips.