It's becoming more and more common for dogs to live in urban areas and of course, this presents its own unique challenges. Find out how to make dogs in the city comfortable with our guide.
City living is more and more common these days – and not just for people, but for dogs, too. Caring for a dog in the city – whether you live there or are just visiting – presents its own unique challenges. We all love our dogs and want them to be as happy and comfortable as possible when we’re exploring the urban landscape. Read on to find out our tips for making sure you and your pup are feeling on tip top form when you’re out walking through the city.
Every dog owner (especially ones that have trained a puppy) knows that when it comes to getting your pup used to things, it’s best to start as young as possible. If you’re a puppy owner, it’s a logical conclusion that a happy puppy in the city means a happy future dog in the city. Good socialisation is paramount; when you live in an urban environment, it’s especially important to get your puppy used to the unique sounds, smells and sights of the city.
Even if you can’t start young, good socialisation is equally important; get out and about with your dog to get them used to the city.
Training a dog in the city
Training is important for any dog, but if you have a dog in the city, it’s arguably especially so. Any dog who is regularly out and about in the city should know at least a few key commands. We recommend familiarising your pup with the following:
- Sit: A classic, it’s a great command for any dog in the city to master. If you want your dog to be able to wait quietly for you, or travel safely on public transport, it’s good to teach them how to ‘sit’.
- Wait: Following on from ‘sit’, ‘wait’ is a key command for your pup to learn. With more road traffic and foot traffic in the city, it’s especially important for your dog to know how to ‘wait’. This way, you can halt them if they look to be in any danger of wandering into harm’s way.
- Leave: If you have a dog in the city, you never know what they could find on the pavement. City streets have the unfortunate tendency to collect litter, food remnants, and the like. ‘Leave’ is the star command here – if you have it well-practiced, and your dog picks up anything that looks unsafe, it’s easy to tell them to drop it. Be sure to give them a well-deserved treat to tell them how good they’ve been!
- ‘Curbing’: This term means encouraging your dog to do their ‘business’ on the curb of the pavement, rather than in the middle, where people tend to be walking. To do this, when you see your pup sniffing for a place to go, gently lead them towards the curb. If you’ve worked on encouraging them to pee or poop with a particular word, say this as you do so. After a while, they should get the idea!
Keeping dogs in the city cool
When it comes to exploring the city with your dog in summer, there is an all-important consideration: the heat. Cities in summer tend to be even warmer than the country, with city pollution increasing the heat.
With that in mind, it’s important to keep in mind that your pup may be feeling the heat. Keep tabs on if they seem thirsty and have water on hand for if they need it.
Doggy gadgets such as a ‘cool coat’ (a fabric coat to soak in water to help lower your pet’s temperature) may also prove useful here. Of course, the best thing to do may be to keep an eye out for air-conditioned pet-friendly places.
Things to have on hand for a dog in the city
Every little helps, and there are quite simply some helpful things to have on hand for your dog in the city.
- Water bottle: We’ve covered how important it is to keep your pet hydrated in the heat (or even when it doesn’t seem so hot out!), and a water bottle is a sure-fire way of making sure that you have water on hand.
- Travel water bowl: A travel water bowl makes it more comfortable for your pet to drink, and there are many collapsible, easily portable options.
- Ball/toy: Great to have on hand for if you come across any green spaces, toys can also be an ideal motivator for many dogs – helpful for encouraging them to get comfy or obey commands.
- Treats: Another great motivator, we recommend having your pup’s favourite Purina® treats with you for whenever they’re necessary. Yum!
- Doggy poo bags: When your dog needs to ‘go’, you’ll need a poo bag on hand…
With a little caring and common sense, it’s relatively easy to keep your dog calm and comfortable as you explore the city streets. If you’re tired of walking, and feel like taking public transport, why not check out our article on taking the tube or train with your dog?