Many people who already have or are planning to get a pet might feel it is difficult or even impossible to live with one in a big city or a densely populated community.
On its daily walks, a dog crosses paths with other people and animals. For example, it is stimulated by smelling new exciting scents, riding a bus, subway, tram, and discovering new environments.
It is undoubtedly possible to take care of a pet in the city; you have to be ready to adapt to the urban environment and realize that you have a greater responsibility towards it and other people. Therefore, in this article, we have gathered some information you should consider for adjusting your pet to city life, be prepared for different situations, and protect it along the way.
Experiencing illnesses and injuries
There is a high dog density when living in a big city, especially in New York City, with an average of 1.2k dogs per capita (100.000 people). As one of the busiest metropolises in the world, there is a higher risk of your pet getting injured or getting an illness that needs to be immediately addressed. For this reason, as an animal owner, you are responsible for ensuring that your animal receives the necessary veterinary care in such an event.
A vet visit can be costly, depending on the extent of the injury or illness. Just as we choose to insure ourselves, if you by any chance live in a hectic city like NYC, you should also look into getting NYC pet insurance as it offers invaluable protection and access to the right care and treatment in the event of an illness or accident. It is not only about a financial decision but also about the safety of the animal.
Suffering from separation anxiety
A pet not only provides friendly company for humans. The animal also has an excellent need for company and quickly becomes attached to its human family. However, living in a big and hectic city might require you to leave your pet at home for a more extended period during the day. This can cause your pet, especially if you have a dog, to get separation anxiety.
Even though cats are considered independent animals, who like to be alone and manage independently, they can also develop this condition.
As the name suggests, separation anxiety means that your pet becomes stressed and anxious when you leave it alone. This usually applies if you go out and leave the pet for a long time, but in some cases, pets can become anxious already when you leave the room, which can lead to unwanted and destructive behavior.
It is, therefore, essential that it is not left alone for too long. Start training the young dog to be alone for short periods. Extend the time as you go. After a good walk and possible feeding, an adult dog can be isolated for about four to five hours. For those who work, it may be appropriate to leave the dog at a dog daycare.
Developing fear of noises
Noise plays an integral part in today’s modern cities. It can be anything from people communicating loudly with each other on the street to traffic noises caused by vehicles and even fireworks. You cannot avoid noises when deciding to live in a big city. This, unfortunately, can sometimes cause great stress to your pet.
There are many other different sounds that a dog can react to, such as firecrackers, rockets, thunder, shots, roller skates. Fear of sound may be due to the dog inheriting the fear of sound from its parents. It can also have been a shocking experience, for example, that it was frightened by a firecracker that made it afraid of the sound.
Let your dog stay where it feels safe until the storm or fireworks are over. Ensure the dog has enough water, a blanket, or some toys to help them feel safe.
Some put on relaxing music to try to shut out sounds that scare the dog.
Remember that fear is instinctive, so a scared dog may not always help how it reacts. Therefore, it is simply best to try to learn how you can help your dog through the episodes as best you can.
Facing a fear of other people and animals
Your pet is bound to have frequent contact with other people and animals when living in a concrete jungle.
Unfortunately, many pets, especially dogs, can easily show signs of being afraid of other animals or people. This may result from a lack of social training as a puppy or negative experiences with other animals and people in the past. Other factors might contribute to this.
If your dog’s fear is not controlled, or if your attention inadvertently enhances it at the wrong time, it can lead to aggression problems if your dog feels that they cannot avoid the threatening object, which gives them no alternative but to fight to protect themselves.
The most important thing to keep in mind in any situation where a dog becomes afraid of children, adults, or other dogs is safety. It is best to seek professional help from your veterinarian at the first sign of anxiety or fear in your pet when in common social situations, either at home or outdoors. That way, you will soon have a confident, happy, and well-behaved dog that you can have fun with!
Final thoughts on city life
Cities constitute special environments in different ways. Although they are built for humans, they can also appeal to our pets and become their home.
When adjusting to city life, you should gradually get your pet to get used to things it will be exposed to, such as cars, escalators, elevators, trains, trams, and buses. This also includes having it sometimes stay home alone and helping it deal with different sounds it may not have encountered before. Since many illnesses and injuries can occur, pet insurance is a great way to give you as their owner peace of mind.
To make the home and one’s embrace a place of security for the pet is as obvious as the fact that it should be treated just as another family member. Respect and understanding are not only intended for the people we love but also to our animal companions.
Sherryn De Vos is a huge animal lover and enjoys writing about these beautiful little creatures. She’s a content writer at a food and health blog AvocadoPesto in her day job and devotes her time to supporting pet blogs whenever she gets the opportunity.