Living in a Big City With a Pet

City life can be exciting, but it isn't always the best life for every pet. Anyone who enjoys animal companionship as well as the attractions of the city can successfully have both in their lives, however, if they take proper steps to give their pet the best possible city life without sacrificing their pet's needs.

10 Steps to Keep City Pet Happy

There are easy ways any pet owner can keep their pets happy even in the biggest, craziest city environment.

  1. Consider Your Future
    Before bringing a pet into a city home, consider your own city future. Many city dwellers move frequently, and it may not be the best idea to have a pet if your living arrangements are likely to change regularly. If you are settled, however, you can make a place in your life for a pet.

  2. Check the Law
    Not all apartments, townhomes or other residences allow pets, and even those that do may have restrictions on certain types of pets, breeds, sizes or the number of pets residents can have. Also be aware of other laws, such as leash laws, licensing and pet cleanup codes.

  3. Budget Appropriately
    The costs of pet food, supplies and veterinary care can be significantly higher in the city, and you need to be sure you can afford your pet as well as your other urban expenses. Don't forget to factor in pet deposits or increased rent, and shop around for the best deals on pet supplies.

  4. Choose the Right Pet
    Not all pets are suited to city life. Smaller pets that are happier in confined spaces are better choices for living in a big city, or pets that stay in tanks, cages or aquariums. Also be sure you will have the time to spend with your pet if you plan to have an active city social life.

  5. Provide the Perfect Home Habitat
    Your pet needs dedicated space to enjoy, and should have space to call its own with the right bedding, feeding area and litter space. The temperature should be best for your pet, and every animal needs enrichment opportunities with toys, training and play as well.

  6. Teach Proper Behavior
    Larger pets will need proper training to feel comfortable in the city, such as adequate leash training and socialization to be at ease in busy crowds. If you have roommates, be sure they are involved with the pet's training, and refresh the training regularly to keep your pet sharp.

  7. Take Safety Precautions
    The city can be a dangerous place for pets, and you need to take all necessary steps to keep your pet safe. This includes always locking doors and making sure your pet can't escape into busy streets, and you may want to consider pet health insurance.

  8. Network With Other Pet Owners
    Cities are filled with other pet lovers, and there are many groups of dedicated pet owners you can join. Groups or clubs may offer pet-friendly outings and events as well as plentiful advice and help from other experienced urban pet owners.

  9. Take Advantage of Urban Resources
    Big cities have many great resources pet owners can use to give their pets a great life, such as pet day care centers, animal-friendly yoga or jogging groups, pet treat bakeries, dog parks, experienced pet sitters and more. Use these resources to give your pet a rich, fulfilling city life.

  10. Be Your Best Friend's Best Friend
    The most important thing you can do to have a happy pet in a big city is to spend time with them, and always keep your pet's best interests in mind. It might mean missing a night at the club or a special concert now and then, but the love of a happy, healthy pet will make it all worthwhile.