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Living in the city with a dog can be a great way to enhance your life. Having a pup around can not only make life feel less lonely and more stress-free, but it can also be a great excuse to escape the concrete jungle and get to the dog park regularly.

However, it can also be challenging making sure your dog gets enough exercise if he lives in a city apartment, especially if you live in a crowded area where it feels hard to talk him on regular walks.

Luckily, if you have to walk your pup on the busy sidewalks regularly, there are some things you can do to make sure the walks are as easy and beneficial as possible. By learning some tips for walking your dog in the big city, you can keep him safe and make sure you both enjoy your time together.

Here are some of the most important tips for taking your pet pooch on a walk in NYC.

Bring Poop Bags

There are so many people wandering the streets of New York, and none of them want to step in dog poop when they walk. Make sure you bring poop bags on every walk, because you’re going to want to scoop up your dog’s mess and throw it away as you go. To make sure you never forget pet poop bags, consider getting a pouch for them that attaches to his leash. That way, you’ll never leave them behind when you really need them.

Choose the Least Busy Hours

While things tend to be busy at all hours in the city that never sleeps, there are some hours where the city sidewalks are more crowded than others. Choose one of the less busy times to walk your dogs so you guys have more room to roam. Go early in the morning before most people get up, or late at night when people are home from work and going to sleep. By walking at off hours, you can avoid some of the mid workday crowd that makes New York feel so hectic.

Bring Treats

There are lots of things in NYC that might steal your dog’s attention-like discarded food or trash on the streets. Make sure to bring treats that your dog loves on your walks to make sure that if your dog goes astray, you can tempt him back. Keep an eye on your dog’s nose and face as he walks to make sure he doesn’t get into anything too gross.

Walk with a Short Leash

You can have a long leash for the times you’re able to escape the city and go on walks. However, if you’re going to be walking your pooch on city sidewalks, you’ll need to walk with a short leash. A short leash keeps the distance between you and your dog small, so that you can make sure your dog stays close and doesn’t dart out into traffic or in front of another person.

Be Wary of Other Dogs

There will be lots of other people walking their dogs in NYC when you go out. Make sure you keep your eye out for other dogs to manage your dog’s reaction. Even if your dog is great with other dogs, you never know how another dog is going to react. So, check with that dog parent before you let your dog approach, because you never want your pup to accidentally provoke a pup who isn’t good with other dogs.

Stay in a Single File

City sidewalks are narrow and native New Yorkers don’t like being held up when they’re trying to walk fast. So, try to stay in a single file line when you walk your pooch and don’t let your dog wander across the sidewalk. By not taking up the entire width of the walk, you can ensure that people can pass when they need to get wherever they’re going in a hurry.

Ask Your Vet for Tips

Vets in the city are experts at how to care for a dog in the Big Apple. When you go to your vet for regular preventative treatments, like Sentinel for fleas, ask him for tips on how to walk your dog. He may recommend leashes, gentle leaders, dog collars, and other tools that can make walking easier. He will also have information for you about how often your dog needs to walk–as well as how far and for how long. He may even recommend routes in your area that he knows are safe and friendly for dogs who need to roam. A vet is a great resource for advice any time you need help caring for your pup.

NYC may seem like a hard place to have a dog. In reality, however, the city has plenty of places for your dog to roam, including its crowded sidewalks. By simply learning the best ways to take your dog on a walk in New York, you can make sure that your dog stays healthy and happy, and that you get to enjoy a long life together in the greatest city in the world!

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