Adopting a Dog When You Live in the City

Living in an urban area presents a unique set of challenges when it comes to adopting and raising a dog. You might wonder if you have enough room in your small apartment to own a dog. Or you might worry that busy streets could make walking a dog hard. Or you might worry that lack of a yard means your furry friend won’t have anywhere to run.

Adopting a dog is a huge responsibility and you should think through all factors of your living situation before making your final decision. However, there are plenty of dog-owners that live in the city! If you’re smart about it, it is perfectly possible to keep your dog happy and healthy.


The size of your space matters

Your new pet is going to need room to move freely around your house or apartment, as well as a space in their home that is theirs (such as a crate or a dog bed). If you live in a small apartment, you might want to avoid getting a larger breed; they tend to be more energetic, need more room to maneuver, and also benefit from having access to yard space.

Some smaller breeds also need lots of room, but in general, a smaller breed will do better than a larger breed. You may also want to consider hypoallergenic dog breeds; they shed less, which means less hair in your apartment.

Getting familiar with dog parks

If you live in an apartment in the city, there is a very good chance that you do not have access to yard space. So, you’re going to need to get familiar with dog parks in your area. Giving your dog time to get outside and run around freely is very important, regardless of their breed.


Some dogs will need more exercise than others. Most pet owners in a city should plan to visit a dog part several times a week, in addition to walking their dog several times a day. Keep in mind that visiting a dog park means there is a chance that you could encounter unfriendly dogs.

Training is very important

The fact that you are going to be walking your dog or going to a dog park means that you’re going to encounter all sorts of people and animals in the city. You need to constantly be aware of all activities that are taking place around your dog when you’re outside with them and be prepared to make commands.

You need to train your dog to respond to all basic commands, such as sit and stay. Whether you need to get them to stop before crossing a busy street or stay away from a strange dog, familiarizing your dog with basic commands means that you’ll be able to keep them safe.


Attention matters too

Of course, if you’re adopting a dog, you need to be prepared to give it all the attention it needs, When you live in a city, there is seemingly something going on at all times. If you’re the type of person that works all day, spends all night with friends, and parties all weekend, think about whether or not you’re home enough to give a dog enough attention.

Your dog will need to walk several times a day, as well as plenty of attention throughout other parts of the day. If you adopt a dog, you should be prepared to find a way to balance your schedule and your new friend.

Safety tips for owners

Of course, living in a city means that there are some safety tips you’ll want to keep in mind when taking your dogs out for walks. You need to teach your dog how to walk properly on a lease as soon as possible. While walking your dog, be mindful that hot pavement could burn the delicate skin on your dog’s paws. In the winter months, also be mindful that salt and snowy slush could irritate your dog’s paws.


Other safety concerns include the possibility of your dog ingesting poisoned food or coming across a stray animal that has a disease. Teaching your dog to walk on a lease allows you to control your dog in unknown situations.

Final thoughts

A pet can be a welcomed addition to your life, regardless of where you live! However, if you live in a city, be mindful that the urban setting will play a role in how your dog is raised. Before adopting a dog, always research the breed to make sure it is a good match for your lifestyle.