I love having dogs in the city. I love city dogs so much, I dedicated my job to them. Having a dog in the city is sometimes HARD and is not for the faint hearted. However, most of the times we make sacrifices as city pet owners that are totally worth it for the pleasure (and honor) of owning a dog.
Before you decide on getting a dog (especially a dog in the city), its important that you think long and hard about why you want a dog and also the pros and cons of having a dog in an urban environment.
As many of your long time readers may know, my city dogs have lived in Scotland, America (NYC and Orlando) and are currently residing with me in London, UK. We have many unique tales of the joys of having a city dog but also the miseries of city dog ownership. This isn’t going to be a sugar coated view on city life with city dogs but serves as a guide written by some of the most famous and adorable dogs on social media. Our expertise range from big dogs, to small dogs. From herding dogs to lap dogs. Every city dog and every city dog owner is unique with a unique set of circumstances and locations.
The best and worst things about having a city dog are two sides of the same coin. This is specific to London as that’s where I live. The city centre is not the ideal place for a dog; too much noise and stress. But people love to see them, it brightens everyone’s day. And dogs are so very welcome, especially in a local community. Pubs? Sure. Bars? Often. Restaurants? More than you would think. Corner shop? Hairdresser? Hardware store? Ladies boutique? Sure! Come on in! Who is this? What’s her name? Isn’t she beautiful! A dog on the tube makes everyone smile; even more so on the way home after a long day out where she’ll fall asleep on anyone’s lap if they welcome her.
But. Buses. Oh dear buses. A quick read of the conditions of carriage confirm that dogs ARE allowed. So many drivers refuse. And bus journeys are often the only way to link two non central parts of the city. For example, the lovely long canal walk and where you actually live. And these long walks are essential for any dog. But getting to them can be an absolute nightmare. Or getting home from a friends house late at night. And being stranded in the rain when the driver refused to take my dog on an empty bus.
We can vouch that London is a city of dog lovers. It is super easy in the UK to take your dog to the pub, restaurant, etc and we often do. Having transitioned from having dogs in NYC, it was very weird to be allowed and even welcomed to places I was’t used to going into because I had the dogs. Hoping that one day all cities around the world will be this dog friendly
Yes, cities are perfect for having dog events. Online FB groups and meetup groups exist for socialization and healthy and safe interactions between dogs.
Rush hour in the city is never fun so like Burno’s owners, we plan all our journeys at calm times to try and make it easier for the dogs. In NYC, all dogs must be kept in a dog bag. In London, this isn’t necessary which is great but also presents another hazard if you have small dogs…the hazard of other people’s feet.
The best thing about having a city dog is the company. I always know Caleb’s there and it does make me feel safe, even though he is little.
The worst thing about having a city dog is the fact that you have to go find dog friendly places to walk them. You can’t just open your door and find yourself in a forest or fields.
The added security of having a dog is often underrated but is of equal value to all others pro’s. Many insurance policies can lower your premiums if you have a dog at home as statistically, dogs owners are victims of crimes less often than those who don’t have dogs. This also applies when outside walking your dogs. The security of having a dog is sometimes invaluable when walking on the streets.
Coming home to a dog that loves you unconditionally is sometimes exactly what you need after a busy day in the City and is the best feeling in the world (no matter where you live).
What else would you add to the list of pros and cons of having a City Dog?