We know that dogs love country air and sprawling fields, but life in the big city can be just as fulfilling for our furry friends.
Our curious canines love to explore all the sights and smells of the city, and the key to keeping them happy is keeping them healthy. So here are a few little tips to keep your pups happy and healthy in the big city.
We all know that dogs need to be walked, but sometimes, walking alone doesn’t give them all the exercise they need. And living in a built-up environment, it can be easy to fall into a routine of pedestrian paths along city roads.
To give your pup a bit more exercise, look for an off-leash dog area near you. These are great as they are often enclosed, so your pup can run free, play and explore without the danger of passing traffic.
Some off-leash areas even have dog-friendly obstacle courses, which are great for their minds and bodies, and even better for wearing out an energetic pooch.
Always bring water on your walks
Whether on a big, off-leash adventure or just on a short walk, always bring some water with you. It’s important to keep your pup hydrated at all times, and you never know when a quick stroll might turn into an all-day adventure!
Look out for excessive panting or a dry nose - these are signs that your pup may be dehydrated.
Be careful with other dogs
One of the advantages of living in an urban environment is that you’re never too far away from other dogs, so there are usually plenty of doggy play pals right there in your area.
However, it’s important to keep in mind that not all dogs (or their owners) like to say hello. For everyone’s safety and enjoyment, be considerate of others’ space, and make sure you ask whether it’s ok to play.
Don’t underestimate the heat
Dogs are hardy animals and will generally put up with harsh conditions - sometimes without realising they might be doing themselves harm.
If you live somewhere that gets quite hot, it’s important to remember that our pups walk around barefoot (or is it bare paw?), and the city pavement can get extremely hot on a hot day.
Even in the heat, our pups still need their exercise, so if you live in a particularly hot area, try to plan your route and time your walks to avoid extremely hot footpaths.
Look out for these common hazards
There are lots of things that can make our pups sick, and when we’re at home, it’s generally easy to keep these harmful things away from them. When we’re outside, however, things can get a bit more tricky.
Dogs are naturally curious, and will often put things that they shouldn’t in their mouths (ours certainly does).
To keep them safe from swallowing something they shouldn’t, or getting hurt, look out for these common hazards that are often found around city streets:
- food scraps: sadly, there is often food thrown or dropped on the ground, especially around trash cans - this is where it really helps to teach your pooch to “leave it!”
- broken glass: even tiny shards of glass can become wedged in a dog’s paw and cause a lot of pain. If you see broken glass on the street, play it safe and avoid the area.
- cyclists, cars, trams or buses: these days, some vehicles are really quiet, so always check before stepping out onto the road.