Advice for Living with Dogs in a Big City

Disclosure: Our recommendations are based on our testing, research and analysis. We may earn a commission on products purchased using links on this page.

Despite popular belief, dogs can be happy living in an urban environment. Here are a few tips for living with dogs in a big city.

By Guest Blogger, Victoria Smith

Despite popular belief, dogs can be happy living in an urban environment. Having a dog in an urban environment means that you have to put forth a little more effort to give your pet a creative daily routine. You will also have to develop inventive ways of not allowing your pet’s exuberance to frustrate your neighbors. Here are a few tips for living with dogs in a big city.

Hot Pavement Burns Little Paws

Dogs don’t understand that they live in a city. Therefore, it is up to you to help your pet navigate any hazards they may face.

Hot pavement is something that even the most caring pet owners sometimes overlook. Most people have had the painful experience of walking on a hot asphalt surface or hot cement during the summer. If you have done that, you know how quickly you go back inside and put on shoes.

Help your pet by testing the pavement temperature before taking your furry friend for a walk. One way you can do this is by putting your hand on the pavement. If it’s too hot for you to keep your hand in one place for a few seconds, it is way too hot for your animal to walk on.

Walking your dog in the city means that you have to be selective about where you take them. Look for shaded areas, or take your dog for a walk during the early morning or evening hours. You may want to invest in doggy booties or buy a doggy stroller.

Get an Animal That Is Right for the City

You may think that just because you are getting a small breed dog, you are getting a dog that is best for city living. That is not always true. Smaller breed dogs tend to have a ton of energy. Apartment living is not suitable for small dogs that have all of that energy. The best pet to get for a small city apartment is probably a cat. Cats are easy to handle, and as long as you keep their litter boxes clean, they don’t require too much maintenance. Cats can be great companions and aren’t typically loud or need too much of your attention. Consider any allergies you may have before you get a cat if you haven’t been around cats before. Also, be sure to protect your furniture with plastic liners or spray to keep your cats from clawing it.

Good apartment dogs are quiet, have low energy, do well being around people, and don’t feel anxiety when they are indoors for extended amounts of time. Some excellent breeds for apartment living are beagles, Alaskan Eskimo dogs, basset hounds, and Australian terriers.

Be sure that your dog can handle the noise and movement of the city around your home if you live in an apartment. Dogs can often get nervous when there are loud noises outside. A well-trained dog capable of being left alone without barking the entire time is essential for living in a big city. This is particularly true if you’re living in an apartment with other people. Help your dog adjust to the noises of the city, or reinforce your windows to mute the sounds. If you notice your pet is anxious on the streets, consider taking them out when there is less foot traffic or finding a calmer route to the park.

However, if you are dead set on having a small breed dog, make sure that you give your dog plenty of exercise. When you are home, give your dog a ton of attention. Do other things to occupy its time so that it doesn’t develop anxiety from having excess energy.

Potty Train Your Pet

Having cats in the city is easier in some ways than having a dog when it comes to potty training. Cats can use litter boxes, but larger breed dogs will need to relieve themselves outdoors.

City dog ownership etiquette requires you to pick up after your dog if they handle their business on the street. There are several bags and apparatuses designed to make this more accessible and less gross for you. Get yourself a set of doggy bags that you will never forget to carry out with you, and make sure to establish a routine with your dog.

You will need to train your dog to go to the bathroom at set times and locations. You may need to use a dog training service to help you during those initial months. Another nice thing about having a dog in the city is many dog walkers and dog sitters. You can pay someone to walk your dog while you go about your life. If you work from home, be sure to establish set break times to take your dog outside.

Find Pet-Friendly Environments

Many cities have a vibrant pet-friendly scene. As an urban dweller, you need to become familiar with your local dog parks. These offer an excellent way for your dog to socialize with other dogs. This also allows you to meet new people. Check online to map to green areas in your community.

A surprising number of restaurants, hardware stores, and other business locations allow people to enter with their dogs. Finding dog-friendly places means that you and your dog will be able to enjoy some of the exciting things a big city offers without you worrying about how your dog is doing back at home. Many big cities will also host plenty of pet-friendly events and activities. Check online for local events to bring your pet to and for groups of pet people in your area. Having a good connection with the other pet owners in your city will help you and your pet socialize more efficiently together.


Pets can live a full life in the city. In many ways, they live even better than their suburban counterparts. All it takes is a little bit of know-how and creativity on your part, and you can make sure that your pet gets the most out of living in the city.

Let’s talk dogs, or even better, let’s learn about dogs.  Gain more canine knowledge through Acme Canine’s social media:  websiteFacebookYouTubeInstagram 

How useful was this post?

Click on a star to rate it!

Please give us feedback on this post:

Let us improve this post!

Tell us how we can improve this post?