Living In The City With Your Dog: Pros, Cons, & Tips

Living in the city with your dog can be tricky but is always possible. Dogs need your company, more than they need acres of space. But of course there are pros and cons and James Shore from shares his thoughts and experiences…

Living in the city with your dog

City life can be exciting. There’s people, cars, cafes, and restaurants everywhere. It might even seem like the city is the best place for everyone to live, but can the same be said for your dog? 

Even if you love city life, that doesn’t necessarily mean that your dog or any dog you adopt will feel the same way. There are a lot of pros and cons to living in the city with your dog.

Three Pros

Your dog will reduce stress
Despite how fun cities can be, they can also be a very busy, stressful place. Having a dog to come home and play with away from the business can be the best stress medicine there is. Plus, I always feel safer when I have a dog at my side, even if they are small!

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You will meet a lot of people
Dogs are a great way to make friends (or find a date). When you have a dog in the city, you’re bound to have more social interactions simply because people will want to get to know your dog (and you). Not only will you talk to them, but you’ll make their day a little better, too!

Your dogs will learn a lot
In many cases, dogs misbehave because they have never been properly socialized with other humans, animals, or scenarios. When you live in a city, your dog must learn to adapt to their surroundings. Once they do, they will become more comfortable in a variety of other situations.

Three Cons

Getting around can be difficult
Depending on what city you live in, you may or may not be able to take your dog on public transportation. This means that getting from your home to the dog park for a nice walk can be a struggle, or that you might have to argue with the bus driver to let you on with your furry, four-legged friend.

If you’re going to be moving to a new city with a dog, always check the rules about public transportation and animals before attempting to ride with a dog.

Litter and garbage are dangerous
When walking your dog in the city, you’re bound to come across things like food and trash thrown on the street or sidewalk. If you have a curious dog who will try to eat everything, this can make the simple task of taking a walk dangerous. Not only are these trash items choking hazards, but they could also cause your dog to get sick.

Going outside for walks and potty breaks is frustrating
Whether you live in a two-story walk up or on the 12th floor of an apartment building, getting your dog outside to take a walk and use the bathroom can become very tedious. They need to go, and they need you to help them. It gets old very quickly.

Living in the city with your dog

Five Tips To Make It Easier

No matter what you are dealing with in life, there are always pros and cons. That doesn’t mean that you can’t keep going!

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If you really want to try city living with a dog, these five tips will help make the entire process easier. Trust me; you’ll want to try these tips out.

  1. Make friends with other dog owners so that you can get their advice about any city dog problems that you might have.
  2. If possible, move near a dog-friendly park or dog park where you can give your dog off-leash time every week.
  3. Hire a dog walker or dog sitter to play with your dog if you have a long commute or work long hours.
  4. Give your dog their own space in your apartment, no matter how small it is. Give your dog a high-quality dog food in this area, and make sure they always have fresh water. This is their sanctuary!
  5. Buy poop bags in bulk. If you don’t want to make a lot of enemies in the city, you should always remember to scoop the poop.

Find The Right Dog

With the right dog and the right kind of attention, you can find a balance that works to be able to own a pet while still living in the hustle and bustle of a city. Sure, it will definitely take a lot of commitment on your end as an owner to ensure your pet is happy and healthy, but it’s worth it in the end.

James Shore is a contributor for and has been training dogs for over 15 years. He lives in New York with his black lab, Max.

More reading
Tips for living with pets in apartments
Cats in small spaces: Studio, apartment, condo & small home enhancements for our feline friends
How to write a pet resume


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