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Livin' In The City: 12 Tips For Urban Dog Owners

By Serge Bielanko |

To The 5 Boroughs: Me and Max

A few years ago my wife and I packed up a giant moving truck and made our way across the country to live in New York City.

It was a fantastic time in our lives made even better by the fact that we got to share it all with our black lab, Max.

In the years that we spent living in Brooklyn we learned a lot about having a dog in the big town. It was a trial by fire, to be sure, and there were lots of things that happened that I wished we could have avoided. But, truth is, we knew no one who had a city dog when we moved there, so we had to figure things out as we went along.

Dogs are usually loving curious creatures by nature and so the hustle and bustle of the city isn’t something that naturally turns them off.

Yet, there are so many parts of big city life that can present problems for them, things that they just don’t know about.

So, we quickly realized that it was up to my wife and I to really commit ourselves to making sure that Max came to understand the ebb and flow of city life/to make him comfortable in the concrete jungle. And, I’m proud to say that I believe his urban years were as enjoyable for him as they were for us because of it.

So, if you are planning on heading to live in some sprawling metropolis anytime soon, or even if you live there already but have been on the fence about bringing a dog into your life, this one’s for you. Here are some tips that I hope might make a difference in helping you realize that dogs can and do thrive in cities everywhere. It just takes a lot of love and learning and looking out on our part.

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How To Have A Happy City Dog

Room To Roam

It's really critical to find a place in the city where your dog can run around and burn off steam. Exercise is key to a happy pooch, so before you even find a place to live, make sure there is a neighborhood dog park or somewhere else where dogs are allowed off-leash at some point in the day.


You can also find Serge on his personal blog, Thunder Pie.

And on Facebook and Twitter.

Keep up with on Facebook.

More from Serge:

Eat The Wind: 25 Supercool Dogs In Cars

Fairytail of New York: Pictures of a Big City Dog

Soul Survivors: The Stray Dogs of the Moscow Subway

More on Babble

About Serge Bielanko


Serge Bielanko

Serge Bielanko writes about fatherhood for Babble Dad and about marriage stuff for Babble Voices at He Said/She Said. His writing has appeared in Esquire and The Huffington Post, as well as on his personal blog, Thunder Pie. He lives with his wife and two kids in central Pennsylvania. Read bio and latest posts → Read Serge's latest posts →

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