5 Tips For Dog Parents Living In The Big Apple 

People who live in the suburbs and more rural areas might have difficulty imagining what it’s like to live with a dog in New York City. Of course, suburban dogs have big backyards to run around in and a great deal of wide-open spaces on everyday walks to spread out and explore.

However, if you already live in the tightly packed city with your dog, you know firsthand about the common misconception that dogs can’t be happy living in an urban environment. The truth of the matter is dogs can be just as healthy, content and fun to live with in a high-rise apartment as they can in a suburban house with a huge backyard.

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As inherently social animals, dogs whose owners are New York City residents can not only adjust to urban environments but also fully thrive in them. Nowadays, the city offers a great host of enviable activities for dogs whether we’re speaking about meet-ups, agility classes, swimming, and even doga to go along with all the parks, dog runs, pack walks, and daycare facilities that are commonplace around New York.

All you need is a slightly different approach and getting creative when it comes to their daily routines. Besides that, you also have the responsibility of being respectful of your neighbors, so there are some definite dos and don’ts regarding dog parenting in The Big Apple.

It doesn’t matter if you already have a canine companion living with you or you’re thinking about adding a pup to your already busy city life. We’ve compiled this article full of useful tips to help you elevate the urban partnership with your dog. Without further ado, here’s how to make it easier for you and your four-legged companion if you’re living in the City of New York.

Find A Local Veterinarian  

One of the first, if not the first thing you should do, is to find an experienced local veterinarian near the place you live so that you can react quickly if your pup experiences an unwanted situation. 

Besides that, make sure to take your dog to the vet at least once a year for routine wellness checkups and vaccinations which are incredibly important and can save your dog’s life when living in urban areas like New York.

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Speaking of vaccinations, in NYC, all dogs need to receive the rabies vaccine after they’re four months old, and many groomers, playgroups, and dog runs will ask for proof of this vaccine, so make sure to get it done in order to enjoy a good life with your pup in NYC.

Also, keep in mind that vet fees in New York City are considered higher than vet costs in typical rural areas. For that reason, we recommend you consider finding the best pet insurance in NYC suited to your needs and ensure that your pet continually receives the care they need.

Get Your Dog Registered 

One obligation that urban dog owners often overlook is registration. Dog registration is an integral part of New York City living, so register your dog with the city government and get them licensed.

All dogs in NYC must have licenses, and the licenses must be attached to their collars while in public. Failing to license your pet can get you in trouble with the law, and you may be fined for violating this requirement. 

You can purchase a license that’s valid for up to five years, and the cost of the license hugely depends on its length and if the dog is neutered.

Use A Short Leash That’s No Longer Than Six Feet 

There’s no place for retractable leashes in New York City. In specific situations, your dog can react unpredictably, and if you give them an extended radius of mayhem with a retractable leash, they might get into trouble. 

Also, NYC leash law requires dogs to be on a leash no more than six feet long, and you need to keep your dog on it at all times, so make sure that you’re following your local area’s leash law. If not, you may get charged with a fine, which can damage your comfortable life with your dog.

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Taking your dog for a walk is an interactive experience for both dog and owner and is a fantastic occasion to bond. Think of the leash as the connection tool through which communication takes place, and once you’re in sync with your four-legged companion, life in New York gets a whole lot easier and smaller.

Nevertheless, if you want to let your dog run free for a while, some parks have off-leash hours (9 PM to 9 AM) or participate in one of the dog runs in the nearest park.

Track Down The Pet-Friendly Taxis 

New York City’s famous yellow taxis will probably see your dog standing right next to you when you’re hauling them down, so drivers will make a personal decision whether to stop and transport you and your dog. 

Lyft and Uber drivers are independent contractors, so whether or not they’ll be okay with pets is entirely up to them. It’s best to notify the driver about your dog before they arrive to ensure that they’re okay with your pup riding along. Emotional support and service dogs are always allowed. 

If you don’t want to risk anything, track down the pet-friendly taxi companies in New York that specifically exist to transport dog owners and their pets. Naturally, your dog should be well-behaved and not make any mess in the taxi. 

If you have a smaller dog, it’s generally a good idea to keep them in a carrier because drivers are more likely to accept your ride request if your pet is in a carrier.

Avoid New York’s Hot Pavement 

As a dog owner, you’re solely responsible for helping your pet steer away from various hazards around the city. One of these hazards is hot pavement, a danger that many dog parents often overlook. New York’s pavement can get incredibly hot during the summer months, making it painful for your puppy to walk on. 

When going out for a walk, put your hand on the pavement to quickly check the temperature. If it’s too hot for you to keep your hand on, it’s too hot for your dog to walk on. 

To avoid damage to your dog’s paws, consider buying a dog stroller or dog booties. Always try to walk your dog during the cooler parts of the day, like early morning and evening, and try to walk them in shady areas.

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Final Words 

New York City dogs can live rich and fulfilling lives that are just as good if not better than their suburban counterparts. With a little know-how of the scene and a pinch of creativity, you can ensure that your dog falls in love with the city just as much as you do. It really doesn’t matter if you’re living in a spacious upper-story flat or a tiny studio; owning a dog in NYC is a matter of following the local laws, hard training, and collaboration more than anything else. 


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