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Are you hesitant to buy a dog because you live in the busy and often cramped city of New York? If you said yes, then you may be in for a pleasant surprise. Although the Big Apple does create its share of restrictions, it is possible to have a dog that is as happy and healthy as a pup born in the country.


Smaller apartments may not seem like the ideal space for a pet to get the exercise and care that they deserve, but there are many tricks and tips that can make the experience easier and more enjoyable. Here are some easy ways to keep your puppy healthy in New York.


While owning a dog anywhere can have its share of struggles, having a puppy in New York has a very particular pitfall: a lack of space. New York properties can be small and their yards microscopic, if they even exist at all. Because of this, your dog may not get outside as often as pups in rural areas. However, your fur baby still needs proper exercise.


In the city, your best opportunity is taking your pup out for walks whenever possible. There are resources online that provide safe walking routes where your dog can walk or even run if they feel the desire. As an owner, you can also get the exercise you need by bringing your dog on your morning run or by playing fetch. A nearby dog park provides the ability for you and your pet to socialize with others while you both get the fresh air that is not always easy to find in the city. You can also send your dog to a puppy daycare where they can get love and some activity while you are at work. 


Even if your dog is inside most of the time, there are still plenty of ways for them to exercise. When it is safe to do so, skip the elevator and run up and down the stairs with your dog or even teach your pet to use the treadmill. You and your pup can also get a lot of exercise when you play together indoors, either with a game of keep-away or by making your pouch work for their treats by hiding them around the house or offering a treat-dispensing toy.

Pet-Proof Your Home

Since your dogs will likely be indoors more often than not, you’ll want to ensure the interior of your home is safe for their roaming. Keep in mind that although your dog may want to try to eat everything, many typical human foods can be hazardous to their health. For instance, foods that we love like chocolate and bacon can cause upset stomachs and vomiting in them. Although dogs are carnivores at heart, raw meat and fish can lead to salmonella poisoning if not prepared properly. 


As a rule of thumb, you want to keep your garbage can out of the reach of your pouch as any number of throw-away items like candy wrappers and discarded packaging can get stuck in their intestinal tract. Bathroom trash can be a more significant threat as expired medication or cleansers could also be deadly if ingested. You can make life easier by putting a security gate in the places where dogs are not allowed.


Out in the living room, keep electrical cords and toxic plants like oleander and cyclamen out of your dogs reach so they cannot cause harm. If you do have a small backyard, make sure that it has a proper fence that they can not easily jump over. Finally, always remember to clean up after your dog so they don’t try to eat their own droppings, which may contain parasites. Also remember that dogs can bring in dirt and filth from outside, so getting a suitable dog wipes or washing their feet with pet shampoo is advisable as normal soap can dry out their skin.

Avoiding Sickness

Even though you aren’t living out in the wilderness, there are still plenty of critters that can cause your dog harm, even in New York. If you do go for hikes or you have some bushes in the backyard, be wary of letting your puppy play in them as there could be ticks that will jump on their fur at a moment’s notice. No matter where you live, it is always a good idea to invest in a tick collar to be better safe than sorry.


Another preventive measure for avoiding sickness is keeping your dog clean by providing a bath every other week. A good cleaning process involves using dog-specific shampoos that will address their needs while preventing dryness and then brushing them afterward to clear any tangles. Since many New Yorkers will have to wash their dog in the bathtub, save your sanity and get a drain protector so you can avoid any messy and unnecessary clogs. If the precautions don’t work, study up on the best ways to unclog your drains; you’ll most likely need them.


Of course, regardless of the environment, your dog should always be up to date on their shots and vaccinations, including preventive remedies against hepatitis and heartworm. New puppy owners should be quick to buy pet insurance, which will cover those unexpected incidents when your dog eats the wrong thing or becomes a victim of a chronic condition. If your dog is injured, you want them to get the care they need while also saving money, and pet insurance or can do just that.

So, as you can see, no matter how small or busy your living space may be, there is always room for the love of a dog. Take these precautions sooner than later, and your pup will thank you for it.

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