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Top tips for being a Dog owner in a City Centre
Monday March 13th 2017
There are some fundamental rules to owning a dog, like making sure they have enough outdoor space, get enough exercise and have a happy boredom-free life. Achieving this isn’t so easy when you’re a city dweller but there are ways to be the owner of a happy pooch, even in a city centre home…
WHEN BUYING A CITY DOG, YOU SHOULD CONSIDER....
It’s important your pup has enough space to live a happy life with room to wander. With that in mind, make sure your dog and your home are proportionate in size. A St Bernard in a one-bed flat is likely to be cramped and quite unhappy. And your flat probably won’t smell too good either...
Depending on whether a dog is a purebred or crossbred dog, the average pooch lives between 12 and 13 years, according to the RSPCA. The fact that they are a long-term commitment means it’s important to think of your lifestyle now and in the future when considering a dog.
If you’re a bit of a homebody then having a companion might be the right choice for you but if you’re out socialising a lot, travel with work or you’re rarely home then getting a dog could be tricky as they require regular walks and lots of affection.
It’s worth thinking about how your pup will fit into your future career plans and contemplating how your lifestyle changes with each season. Do you like to cuddle up in the winter but enjoy cocktails in the sunshine during the warmer months?
Keeping a pooch does not come cheap. But if you’re a city dweller and considering getting a dog then food, toys and vet bills aren’t the only thing you need to consider.
Without a garden, your pup is going to be trapped in a small space for most of the day with nowhere to go to the toilet.
This means that unless you have the luxury of living within walking distance to work, you’re probably going to have to call upon a dog walker or doggy daycare service which will be an added expense.
If you rent, or even if you own your own apartment in the city, the chances are there will be a clause that stops you from having a pet. Sometimes pets may be allowed but only under a certain size.
Before adopting or buying a new doggy make sure you’re aware of any restrictions in your building to save a lot of heartache further down the line, for both you and the pup.
Proximity to a vet
Hopefully your four-legged friend is in tip top condition, health-wise. But even if they are, you still need to make sure your dog is registered with a local vet and that you’ll be able to get there.
If you don’t drive and the only route to your nearest animal clinic is on a bus, then you may need to consider other – possibly more expensive – options, such as house calls or animal taxis.
SOME ESSENTIAL STEPS.…
Invest time in obedience
City living is perilous. There are typically more dangers around for your dog to sniff out and there is also the issue of traffic as city centres are renowned for being more congested.
Taking your dog to obedience classes will train your pet to stop at curbs rather than pulling into the busy main roads.
Getting your pup to respond well to commands is also important because if they ever get off their lead then you want to be able to stop them from running into cars, vans and delivery bikes as they hurtle through the inner-city streets.
Advertise on a dog borrowing site
If your schedule is unpredictable or if you’re likely to work a long day and unlikely to get home on your lunch to take your pooch out for a quick walk then you are definitely going to need a back-up plan.
Dog borrowing sites allow you to advertise your doggy and vet potential borrowers who can pick your dog up for walkies.
Having different people involved in your dog’s daily routine is also a good way to avoid separation anxiety as it gets them familiar with other people being around and not focused all on you.
Look into doggy day care
It’s important your pup is not left for long periods of time at home alone. To overcome this, you could consider doggy day care options.
These facilities can look after your pooch while you’re at work, make sure they get all the exercise they need and then you can pick them up at the end of the day and take home your happy hound.
Find the dog parks
As much as your pet probably loves a walk around on the lead, with all the sights, smells and sounds going on in the busy city, it also needs some space to have a run about.
A dog park is not just a great place for your pup to socialise but can also be a good space to burn off the excess energy they store up when living in a compact home with no garden.
Consider an apartment close to work
Being able to nip out on your lunch break and take your doggy for a walk is probably the ideal scenario for a city-dweller. If you’re on a shorter term tenancy, consider whether moving closer to the office is an option.