Raising a puppy can be challenging, but raising one in an area that’s more high rise and traffic jams than sprawling backyards and dog parks can be even tougher. So, you might be wondering, how do I raise my puppy in the city?
Well, you’ll be happy to know that your pooch can have a full, enriched life whether they live on a farm or in an apartment. Most of the time, they don’t care where they live – as long as it’s with you. However, there are a few key things to focus on when raising your furry friend in the city.
How do I raise my puppy in the city?
Everything from exercise and mental stimulation to socialisation can have a significant impact on your doggo’s development. Here are a few tips to help your city-slicker pup develop into the best dog they can be.
#1: Choose the right breed
Every breed has different energy levels, temperaments, and grooming needs. All of these factors need to be considered when choosing the right breed for your household. As much as you might love the looks of a Border Collie or the quirky personality of a Husky, these breeds require plenty of space. As such, they may not suit those who live in an apartment or small townhouse, unless you can commit to a lot of long walks or runs. Typically, smaller dogs require less space, and therefore can be a better match for smaller homes. To kickstart your search, check out our article, Best Dog Breeds for Apartment Living.
#2: Make your home dog-friendly (and neighbour-friendly)
Dog-proofing your home is an essential step for any Dog Owner, regardless of where you live. However, if you’re wondering, “how do I raise my puppy in the city?” there are a few extra points to keep in mind.
First of all, let’s sort out the icky stuff. Big, grassy backyards are a rare find in the big smoke, but that doesn’t mean your pooch can’t get a patch of grass for taking care of business. There are tons of companies offering both real and artificial grass “toilets” for pups. You can even find them at Kmart and Bunnings!
Second, it’s time to get on your neighbours’ good side. If you live in an apartment, townhouse, or terrace, you probably share at least one wall with a neighbour. You may even be right below or above them! But even if your neighbours love dogs just as much as you do, they may not be fans of their barking. To avoid noise complaints, here are some strategies for stopping excessive barking.
#3: Keep them active and mentally stimulated
Whether you have a Kelpie or a Corgi, it’s essential to keep your four-legged city-dweller physically and mentally active. This is especially important if your home has little or no access to outdoor space. Left in a small space without much to keep their minds and body occupied, your pup could become restless and potentially destructive. To avoid this, make sure your home is filled with lots of engaging toys, and take them on regular walks. Next to feeding them a healthy diet and investing in comprehensive dog insurance, making sure your pup gets enough exercise is the best thing you can do for their health.
#4: Ensure regular socialisation
Helping your pupper make other canine companions is a lot easier in areas with lots of dog parks and beaches. But city pups need socialisation too, otherwise they may grow up to be anxious or even aggressive around other dogs. In fact, one study has shown that poor socialisation during puppyhood (as well as living in an urban environment) can be a root cause of fearfulness later in life. If you don’t live near a dedicated dog park, you might have to work a little harder to socialise your pup. Still, it’s certainly possible, and even if your local park isn’t a “dog park”, chances are you’ll meet plenty of them anyway. If not, it’s worth searching Facebook for any local Dog Owner groups, many of which organise puppy regular playdates.
#5: Expose them to areas outside the city
When asking yourself, “how do I raise my puppy in the city?” it’s worth remembering that they probably won’t always be in the city. You may take them on holidays with you in the countryside or day trips to the beach, and they need to be prepared. Make sure to expose them to as many different environments as you can while they’re young. In doing this, your pup will grow into a confident dog regardless of where they may find themselves.
#6: Build their independence
Living in close confines means your puppy gets to spend most of its time with its favourite person – you! But when they become so used to the company of others, they can struggle to be alone. Separation anxiety can be a serious issue for city-dwelling dogs and their owners. To prevent it, try establishing a routine, crate training, and remaining calm when leaving or arriving home.
If you have to leave them alone for a long period of time (say, several hours), we suggest booking an experienced Puppy Sitter to keep them company – even if only for a part of the time you’re gone.