4 Tips for Moving to a Busy City With a Dog

From heavy traffic to pet-friendly housing, there is a lot to consider when relocating to a bustling metropolis with a pet.

By: dee_dee_creamer
No car in the big city? Be sure you know the public transit rules about pets. By: dee_dee_creamer

Moving to a big city can be stressful enough — especially if you aren’t used to city living. But if you’re bringing along the family pup, that’s an added worry.

Here are a few tips that will help prepare you for your big move.

1. Research the Neighborhoods

Of course, you’re going to look into the new location. But don’t just check out the neighborhood with regard to your happiness and convenience. Keep in mind your dog’s needs also.

Keep an eye out for:

  • Pet supply stores
  • Groomers
  • Veterinary clinics

Proximity is all that much more important if you won’t have a car. Not many bus drivers will allow your Great Dane to hitch a ride along with you to Petco.

Don’t forget to check out how canine-friendly the area is. An entire city may boast the number of dog parks it holds, but certain neighborhoods might not particularly care for dogs.

Your new neighborhood may be surrounded by parks, but are they dog-friendly? By: Crischan

2. Locate Parks

Finding parks is simple enough, right? Just pull up a Google map of your new neighborhood and find all the little green squares. But you might not be getting all the information you need.

Not all parks are open for dogs. And even the ones that do allow pets might not permit them off-leash.

Check out the information from the city’s parks department online. Find out:

  • Where the closest parks are located
  • If they are dog-friendly
  • If they have off-leash hours
  • If they have special fenced-in areas for dogs to play

Having a dog park within 1–2 blocks of your new home can make all the difference in a city, especially if your pup is used to romping around a lawn every day. He’ll thank you for it, and you both might make some new friends.

3. Find Dog-Friendly Housing

Whether you’re using a website, app or broker, or you’re going the old-school route — searching the newspaper — make sure you rely on these keywords every time: pet friendly. Lying to a landlord or property management can result in eviction and loss of deposits.

Fortunately, technology is making it easier to find the perfect home. Narrow your search by specifying that the home must have a dog-friendly pet policy. Then, follow up with the landlord to make sure that your particular dog is welcome. Some pet-friendly apartments have limitations on size or breed.

Watch this uplifting story about New York City pets and the people who care about them:

4. Avoid Busy Roads

Not only is it a good idea to stay away from high-traffic areas, but also it’s a sound decision to steer clear of streets lined with storefronts.

Even if your dog has never slipped his collar or gotten off the leash, a busy road would be a bad place for that to happen. Especially if he’s prone to darting out the door ahead of you, choosing an apartment that is on a quiet and residential street is a safer decision than a main road.

Though there can be a great deal of convenience living on a stretch of storefronts — groceries, banking and nightlife all within a block of your front door — think about the noise all of that business is going to cause. You may not be bothered by the constant sounds of traffic, delivery trucks and club music, but Champ has much more sensitive ears.

Life would be so much simpler if we could just explain to our pets what’s going on: “Hey, buddy, we’re moving to a new city. There are going to be some changes, but everything is going to be great. Sound cool?”

Unfortunately, pets aren’t so savvy with language, so before making a big change in your (and your pet’s) life, do the research to make that change as smooth as possible.

Allison Gray

View posts by Allison Gray
Allison Gray gained a wealth of knowledge about animal welfare issues and responsible pet care during her nearly 5 years of work for an animal shelter. She is a writer, photographer, artist, runner and tattooed remedial knitter. Allison also has been researching, testing out and perfecting nutritious pet treat recipes in her kitchen for Petful since spring 2017.

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