Life’s not always easy for a big city dog.
Country canines often have the choice to run free, while city dogs rely on their busy owners, or dog walkers, to get the stimulation and exercise that they need.
Dogs are extremely sociable and curious animals by nature so the hustle and bustle of the city provides plenty of new and exciting opportunities. Trouble is, many aspects of urban living can also present problems for them.
Whether you’re heading off to live in a sprawling metropolis sometime soon, or you’re already there, check out these top tips for a happy and healthy life in the big city with your canine companion:
1. Tag your dog’s collar with an updated name, phone number and email - Losing your dog in the big city is a terrifying experience. Add your contact details to his collar to provide the best chance of finding him.
2. Get active with your dog - Finding an activity where your dog can run around and blow off steam is critical for their overall health and well being. City dwelling dogs are much happier and function a lot better, both physically and psychologically, when they enjoy an active lifestyle. From jogging to swimming, there are plenty of ways to workout with your buddy.
3. Socialize with other dogs – Dog socialization is key to helping your dog become comfortable in new situations. If you’ve got friends that also have pooches, arrange a meet up and walk your dogs together. Even if you don’t know anyone, you can always head to the local dog lover haunts so he’ll get the chance to mingle with his own kind.
4. Let them smell - Dogs get easily distracted with all the smells that the big city presents, and while they’re merrily sniffing the latest pee on the sidewalk, we have a tendency to tug them away. What we should do is let them sniff. Dogs rely on their sense of smell to interpret their world and we need to respect that.
5. Build relationships with dog walkers, kennels and doggy day care - You never know when you might need to call on their services, so do your best to facilitate a relationship so you feel comfortable leaving your furry friend in their care when the time comes.
6. Be mindful of what he puts in his mouth - The city streets are chock full of enticing things for your dog to taste. Be sure to keep your eyes peeled for what your dog is sampling off of the pavement, and if necessary give him a chew toy to keep him occupied.
7. Check his paws regularly - Urban areas can prove rough for your doggy’s delicate feet. Be on the lookout for broken glass or any other nasty street trash that could tear or puncture your pup’s paws and aim to give them a quick once over after each outing.
8. Give them something to do all day – If you’re out all day at work and your pooch is stuck at home, don’t expect him to entertain himself. Dogs need mental stimulation. One of the best ways to keep him busy is to hide his food around the house. As well as tiring him out, this exercise will also help build confidence and agility.
9. Choose the right leash – Depending on your dog’s personality, your choice of leash and collar can be a vital tool to keep your dog safely by your side and out of harm’s way. With so many options available it can be overwhelming. Take the time to understand how each different type can be utilized to your advantage allowing you to be in control of the walk.
10. Take a trip to the countryside – Just like humans, dogs needs to disconnect from city life and reconnect with the natural world. Try to make an effort to take your pup on a day trip away from the city at least once a month where he can roam free and experience the joys of the nature (and you can too).