Pets in Cities: Tips for a Safe Inner-City Life With Your Furry Friend – We Heart

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Many people have started to move to urban areas, bringing their furry friends along. Pets love living in the city because they have plenty of things to see and places to explore, making it so much fun for them. Pet etiquette is important no matter what type of home you live in, and living in the city with pets can be sometimes challenging.

Below are a few tips that might help your four-legged friend feel comfortable living in an urban dwelling. A little consistency and creativity will help your dog learn about the dos and don’ts of living in the city and prevent exposure to many hazards that cities have.

Pet insurance

First things first, you have to get pet insurance. Living in the city has its beauties, but also many hazards. Having pet insurance will ease your mind and protect you against unexpected vet bills. You never know what can happen, and you can’t predict accidents. Our furry friends’ lives come with uncertainties, and paying out-of-pocket for medical emergencies can be quite expensive.

The pet insurance cost depends on several factors including the coverage type, breed, age, location, and pre-existing conditions. Generally speaking, it’s more expensive to insure a dog than a cat. According to the North American Pet Health Insurance Association, in 2019 the average annual premium for accident-illnesses coverage for a dog was about $585, and $350 for a cat.

Pets in Cities: Tips for a Safe Inner-City Life With Your Furry Friend

Photo, Brooke Cagle.

Microchip your pet

Living in busy urban areas can be quite dangerous for pets, so you might want to consider microchipping them to ensure their safety. Not only dogs but also cats can be chipped which makes it quite beneficial since they often don’t wear collars and tend to roam around the neighbourhood if you let the balcony door open.

In some cities, there are also plenty of animal thefts, so having them chipped can help you find them more quickly. If your pet ends up in a vet clinic, they will scan for the microchip and call the owner. Remember to register your pet’s microchip in the national pet recovery database, and keep your contact information up to date.

Training

Owners should train their dogs to walk on a leash, among other dog etiquette important for living in the city. If you have trouble training your dog, there are plenty of dog trainers who can help you. Social rules are important when living in close proximity to other people and their pets.

You can’t have your dog barking all the time, or attacking a neighbour’s cat. A dog that has no self-control and doesn’t behave itself is a problem. As soon as the puppy is vaccinated you can begin with puppy classes which consist of obedience exercises including stay, sit, come, lie down, and leave it. This is also the time to teach them to walk on a leash and not to bark inside.

Pets in Cities: Tips for a Safe Inner-City Life With Your Furry Friend

Photo, Cat Mapper (Max Ogden)
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Socialisation

Dogs have to exercise, meaning taking them for walks a couple of times during the day is essential for their well-being. In urban areas, it’s easy to socialise since there are plenty of dog parks where they have playdates and meet other neighbouring dogs. This is also a great way for dog owners to interact with their neighbours.

Socialising your dog also means socialising yourself. Taking your pet to the groomer is another excellent way of socialising since there are other dogs and humans to meet, and a variety of new smells and toys for your dog to experience. Remember, taking your furry friend to the vet for regular checkups can also be considered socialising.

City conditions

City conditions mean pollution, hot asphalt in the summer, strays, and crowds. Air pollution can get very bad especially in winter, so keep in mind to limit your walks, and bear in mind that cats and dogs walk alongside slow-moving traffic so their snout level is the same as car exhaust. Avoiding such roads will protect their health.

When it’s hot outside, always provide fresh water wherever you go, especially on long trips. Animals can be quite sensitive to crowds, so it’s best to introduce them to noise and crowds from a young age. Also, be cautious of stray dogs as they might carry infectious diseases and can be sometimes dangerous.

Pets in Cities: Tips for a Safe Inner-City Life With Your Furry Friend

Photo, Svetlana Gumerova.

Final thoughts

City life can be full of adventures for both you and your pet, so taking into consideration these simple precautions will help you enjoy those adventures safely. City pet owners need to be inventive to provide their furry friends with the exercise and socialisation they need for a happy life. Train them well and always be cautious of the dangers city life brings.

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