Pet Tips

Perks of Raising Dogs in the City

August 2, 2022

Kitsune, and to some extent Fenrir too, grew up as city dogs.  Kitsune joined our pack in March of 2009.  From then until late 2019, we lived in a third floor  walk up apartment just outside of NYC.  Fenrir joined us in September of 2015.  Although he didn’t live in the city as long as Kitsune did, his formative first years of  life were spent there.  I didn’t like living in the city, and neither did Fenrir!  I very much prefer our new, quiet country life.  But I have to concede that there were some benefits to raising dogs in the city.

  • Friends: There’s no lack of people, or dogs, in the city.  It can be awesome if you have a particularly social dog, like my Kitsune.  Even if you need to be selective about what types of people/dogs your dog spends time with, there’s so many people around that you’re likely to find at least a few compatible friends.  This is one thing that I, surprisingly, miss now that we moved away from the city.  Kitsune, the social butterfly that he is, was so well known by everyone who lived around our old apartment.  He had dog friends who he loved to visit and play with.  A few people in local shops kept a stash of treats on the ready for Kit’s visits.  Where we live now, we almost never run into other people or dogs during our daily walks.

raising dogs city

  • Staying Active: People who live in apartments, without access to a fenced in yard, sometimes catch flak in the dog world.  But when we lived in our apartment, even going out for a simple bathroom break would entail gearing up, trekking through our building, then walking around outside.  On a normal  day I was walking around 5 times a day, sometimes more with my dogs.  Yes, having a yard is easier.  It also makes it much more tempting to just let your dog go out in the yard for a bathroom break, verses actually walking them.
  • Fun Things to Do:  In the city, there’s always something going on!  Many events are dog friendly.  Kitsune used to love attending local events, such as festivals.  The city we lived in had a few restaurants and stores that allowed dogs inside too.  It was easier to find dog themed events without having to travel very far.  We used to have a park within walking distance from our house.  My dogs both loved walking to the park.  They liked to play in the fields, or walk on the boardwalk to the beach.
  • Convenience: Living in the city, I never had to worry much about where to buy Kit’s specificity food, or finding a vet that was open.  Pretty much everything you could ever need is close by.  There were 3 separate pet stores in my city, even more if you travel a bit outside of the city.  Kit and Fen’s vet was close enough that we could walk there in about 10 minutes.  Their vet was also staffed 24/7.  I never had to stress about where I would take them during an off hours emergency.  Now, their vet is around a 20 minute drive away.  They aren’t open evenings or weekends, and the emergency vet is even further away.  We don’t have a single pet store in our new town either.
  • Lots and lots of Training Opportunities: I often wonder what Fen would have been like if we didn’t live in the city while he was a puppy.  Fenrir has always been a dog that gets stressed easily.  In the city, I pretty much had no choice but to expose him to lots of other people and animals.  I worked hard on training him so that the hustle and bustle of the city was something he could cope with.  I think, perhaps, if I had raised Fen in a less populated area it would have been much easier for me to just ignore some of his fear issues.  In some ways that may have made my life easier.  But I think it’s been for the best that I was able to expose my dogs to lots of different people, animals, places, things, etc.  I think they’re better dogs for it, and I a better trainer.

raising dogs city

If you’re also a city dweller with pets, what other pros can you think of?  If you live in a more rural area, what challenges and perks has living in that type of environment presented you with? 

raising dogs city

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  • Reply Hindy Pearson August 30, 2019 at 3:21 pm

    Good luck with the move, I can relate to how stressful it can be. I’ve always lived in big cities, but now live in a smaller town, although not as small as your new home. There are pros and cons like with anything. It’s definitely a challenge finding a lot of the basics I’m used to which I find frustrating, but we live 5 minutes from parks, forests and the beach. My dog Jack is definitely happier surrounded by nature.

    • Reply Michelle & The Paw Pack August 30, 2019 at 4:12 pm

      Thank you! I’m actually not as stressed as I thought I would be, I think mostly because I’m SO excited. Packing has been a lot of work but we’re making it as fun as possible. I grew up in a more rural town, it’s only the last 10 years that I’ve lived in the big city, and although I’ve tried to make the best of my time here I can’t wait to move.

  • Reply Kamira August 30, 2019 at 9:29 pm

    I don’t have a dog, however do have friends that own dogs in the Big Apple. Although space is always a concern, those that have the space have it and those that don’t , don’t really need it as their dogs are so tiny. You are so right about “making friends”. There are a few dog parks and also I’ve heard walking your dog can make an introvert more sociable. I suppose that’s a great way to snag a date! In 2019 there are so many more establishments that are catering towards being more pet friendly and I love that. I’ve personally come across more restaurants, and hotels that are more pet friendly than in years past. Good luck with the move!

    • Reply Michelle & The Paw Pack August 31, 2019 at 8:45 am

      Thank you! Walking my dogs in the city totally helped me be more sociable. I’m the definition of an introvert, but got a lot more used to talking to people after I got my dogs. My dogs are small, 11 and 18 lbs, but they are also VERY high energy. A lot of people think small dogs are easier in apartments, because they don’t take up as much space, but there are actually some larger breeds who can make awesome apartment pets because they’re generally more chill breeds. My boys don’t physically take up a lot of space, but they need a lot of exercise and mental stimulation, so the more space we have for them the better! I know we’re all going to love all the additional space we’ll have after the move.

  • Reply Ruth Epstein August 30, 2019 at 10:24 pm

    Good luck with the move and am jealous. We live in the city but I dream of moving to a quieter place with a bit of a yard although that means more work. The pros with living in the city is what you stated in your post, the pet stores, vets, the different events and doggy meet ups in the different parks, plus the different dog parks so I can alternate with her to keep it interesting. Plus I love our morning walks or should I say sniffs, it keeps us both healthy with exercise.

    Cannot wait to hear more about your move, have a wonderful long weekend.

    • Reply Michelle & The Paw Pack August 31, 2019 at 8:50 am

      Thank you! I can’t wait to have a yard of our own for my boys to play in. I honestly don’t mind the work, I’ve always enjoyed spending time outside and don’t mind doing yard work. We’ll still be taking lots of walks, they will just be around the forest instead of the city! I hope you and Layla have an awesome long weekend too!

  • Reply Dorothy "FiveSibesMom" August 31, 2019 at 9:48 pm

    Congrats on the new home and good luck with the move! I’ll be watching and listening closely as you know I’m not too far behind you! I’ve lived in both with dogs and have to say, there are perks to both. Cons in the rural area is wildlife that we do not get in the city. And snakes. Those are a concern. Especially with Huskies and their high prey drive. We, too, are leaving the city behind for a smaller rural community (there’s a horse farm around the corner)! Here, the convenience is if I suddenly run out of food or treats, I have so many places so close to go to! I will miss that convenience. I won’t miss the crazy fireworks-at-any-time that seem to happen in the city, and the city skunks. Oye, they have no manners and always invite themselves into our yard, resulting in a fast dash to get all the dogs in before they spot it! Of course, skunks are in the country as well! I think there are pros and cons to both…but I wish you much happiness and joy and lots of doggie walks in your new place! Looking forward to your posts about how it all goes! Happy Moving!

    • Reply Michelle & The Paw Pack September 2, 2019 at 8:13 pm

      Thank you! Yeah I think all the wildlife will be a new struggle for sure. I’m going to LOVE seeing wildlife but I’m going to have to keep a close eye on the dogs. I don’t let them go outside unattended anyways, so I’m not super concerned. Although I have a feeling they’re going to bark a lot when they see critters in the yard which will be a new thing I’ll have to train them out of. I hear ya on the convenience. Kit has a super sensative stomach so there’s not a lot of foods/treats I can feed him. It’s been easy in the city to track down brands of things he can have, but I’m worried it won’t be as easy out where we’re moving. Overall we’re super excited though! I’ve never been much of a city person. I’ve adapted pretty well to living here but I’ve been daydreaming for years about leaving!

  • Reply Sandy Kubillus September 2, 2019 at 8:46 am

    Moving can be very stressful and exhausting, so I hope the transition goes well. My husband and I vowed never to move again – which we haven’t in 24 years.

    I live in a small city close to Chicago. I’ve found that I enjoy it as it has become more developed with amenities like a dog park, bike trails, and dog-friendly areas. Where to walk my dogs has always been my first thought when I move. Although I live in a city, I have a large yard, which is very convenient.

    A small town may have its advantages too with more open space and peace and quiet. Good luck on the move – think of it as an adventure!

    • Reply Michelle & The Paw Pack September 2, 2019 at 8:21 pm

      I’m weird – I actually kind of like moving. It’s exciting and a chance to start fresh somewhere new. Packing has been a LOT of work but we’ve been making it fun, really taking time to go through everything and only keep the things we really want in the new place with us.

      Our city has a lot of amenities for pet owners but I’ve found we haven’t been able to utilize them as much as I’d like thanks to irresponsible dog owners. I don’t feel comfortable taking my boys to our local dog park and the bike trails etc that should be nice areas for walks can be stressful too. There’s just too many people and other dogs, many of them unleashed and rude even though they are supposed to be kept on leash.

      Our yard here in the city is SUPER small, and is shared between all the families in the building we live in so it’s not really anything to brag about. The yard we’ll have in the new place isn’t huge but it’s much bigger than what we have now and private.

      Where we’re going we’ll have access to a state park/forest with hiking trails very close by. There’s a lot less people so I don’t think I’ll have to worry as much about running into rude off leash dogs.

  • Reply Jana Rade September 2, 2019 at 8:34 pm

    I would agree that the main perk of raising a dog in the city is access to veterinary care and other luxuries that can be hard to come by in rural areas.

    I had my concerns when we were moving up north but I am very impressed that we were able to find mostly everything up here, including a great veterinarian, physical therapy place including underwater treadmill, TCVM vet, chiropractor and there is even a clinic close enough where they specialize in cutting edge surgery.

    • Reply Michelle & The Paw Pack September 3, 2019 at 5:48 pm

      That’s awesome! Yeah I’ve already been scoping out vets that are close to our new place. The one I’m hoping works out is still close enough to our house that I can walk to it if I had too. The town we’re moving too seems very dog friendly, which I’m really excited about. The only thing is we’d have to drive further to get to an emergency clinic, but it’s not too far away. I guess these days you can live almost anywhere but still be within driving distance to a city where it’s easier to find modern conveniences.

  • Reply Sweet Purrfections September 8, 2019 at 10:10 pm

    I wish you the best on your move. I’ve never been a city girl. I love living in the suburbs. I’m close enough to the city to enjoy the events, but far enough away to be away for all of the hustle and bustle.

    • Reply Michelle & The Paw Pack September 10, 2019 at 10:27 am

      I hear ya! I’m so not a city person, although they can be fun to visit. We’ll be around an hour or so outside of a city in our new place. I figure that’s close enough that we can drive in to any events we want to attend.

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