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Big Dog’s Survival Guide to City Life

If you love your dog, you’ll read this.

Ava has been a city dog for almost three years and loves it!

📍New York City 

Literally, b*tches love the city.

Big cities are loud, busy, and definitely not meant to be dog friendly. Right? Well, despite a few "curb your dog" signs in front of the ritzy lobbies, cities in fact are great environments to raise dogs in.

When Ava was just a little over a year old, my boyfriend and I relocated to NYC from South Carolina. A HUGE change for a dog—SC has beaches, backyards, clean air, real plants, you get the idea. New York, on the other hand, is called the concrete jungle because it holds monstrous buildings, but lacks nature—what all dogs need to survive, right? Wrong. If you carefully take into consideration what’s best for your dog, you can make any city their home too and you’ll both enjoy it.

For starters, having a dog does make apartment shopping a bit difficult, but you would be surprised as to how many apartments allow pets. We had no issue, actually lucked out and got into a fifth story apartment where everyone in the building owns a dog. Now, everyone knows city living is expensive. You don’t get much space or window light for what you pay. Avoid the downtown area, your dog is big and needs some space away from you every now and then. Sure, we would all like to live in a lofty, modern apartment overlooking Soho, but if you choose that lifestyle you’re better living off alone. In prime locations, you won’t have enough space or window light for your friend. You have a big dog, or are now considering getting one after reading this... maybe.

After doing much research, my boyfriend and I decided that the upper east side or west side would be the ideal location for a dog and here’s why: Apartments are more affordable, and you can get more windows and space. Windows are vital for city dogs, it’s their TV. Ava will sit in her special window spot and look out the window for hours on end. Dogs feel as if they are doing their job guarding when they are watching the busy street life from the window. Secondly, because we chose the upper east side—and not that elegant, lofty Soho apartment—we have more space. Ava now has the XL king-sized, Amazon memory foam bed and loves it. (Highly recommend the light grey by the way; it’s chic and doesn’t show dirt or hair.) In the city, you pay by square foot, so realistically if it's just you and your big dog, you can get away with 350 square feet. If it is you, your significant other, and a large dog—double that. You will need the space for their large dog food bags, which I hope you already buy in bulk because it is much cheaper.

Before you seal the deal with your new apartment, make sure the location is desirable for your dog. For example, we chose the upper east side on 1st Ave because there are lots of dog parks by the water. We also are very close to Central Park—they allow dogs off the leash after certain hours, which can get really fun. The dog parks in the city are great because there are always cute dogs to play with, and everyone knows dog owners are the nicest people, so you may even make a few friends yourself. (I’ll be writing another blog reviewing the best dog parks in the city, so stay tuned.)

In all honesty though, it’s not the apartment that makes your dog's city life special. It’s the places you take them and the time you spend with them. When you decide to go for a run in Central Park, bring the leash. When you want to grab a quick slice, tie them to a bike rack and give them your crust. Walk along 5th Ave, and let random strangers take pictures and pet your dog—they love that stuff. Dogs make you appreciate life and all of its surroundings. It’s the little things in the city that you do with them that will make their city experience livable.

Oh, and one more thing. Always keep doggy bags with you at all times—you don’t want to get fined!

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