Without a doubt, dogs are sensitive creatures. Any change to their environment or routine is enough to throw them off. So what happens when you move from a house with a backyard in the spacious countryside to an apartment in the city?
Needless to say, there will be a huge adjustment period. But as long as you’re prepared...for anything(!!)...you’ll be ahead of the game.
The first thing to accept is the fact that living in a city with a dog is going to require a lot more of your time. When you have a backyard at your disposal and your furry friend can pop through the doggie door anytime he or she needs to, you’re covered. No need for long walks or regular potty breaks. But in the city, your dog is going to need to go outside for a walk to do their business at least three times a day.
Here’s what you do:
Find the Closest Green Space in Your Neighbourhood
Before you move, survey a map of the area and look for green spaces and a walking route in your neighbourhood where your dog can do their business. Many neighbourhoods have parkettes or walking routes leading to natural areas. Find a route that will take you out of the noisy traffic zone into an area where your country dog is familiar. If you’re consistent in your walks, it will help them adjust to their surroundings a lot quicker.
Find the Closest Off-Leash Dog Park in Your Area
Many country dogs haven’t been properly socialized and might become aggressive when you’re out walking, especially on leash. There are many more dogs in the city than the country and you’re bound to encounter several pups everytime you go for a walk. An off-leash dog park is a great place to start socializing your dog and introducing them to playmates. Just make sure to take it slowly and start with just 5-10 minutes in the park at a time when it’s not too busy. When you start getting to know the dogs, you can extend the time you spend in the dog park with your dog. Dogs love to play and it’s great to watch them having fun with their mates.
Hire a Dog Walker
If you can’t spend your lunch hour walking your dog, you’ll need to hire a dog walker. A country dog who’s been used to going outside in the back garden whenever they want is not going to react very well to being cooped up all day. They could become destructive and you’ll find when you get home, they’ll be all wound up and hard to handle on the walk. When you break up their day with a walk, your dog will adjust much easier to city life and actually look forward to going outside.
Expose Your Country Dog to City Noises
Moving to the city is going to be a multi-sensory experience for your country dog that will be overwhelming at first. Start with short walks down the block when it’s not too busy. When they hear a fire truck for the first time, reassure them and tell them it’s okay.
When you move, it’s a good idea to give yourself a week or two to settle in and get to know your new neighbourhood. That way you and your dog can explore the city together and set up a routine before you’re gone all day at work. Setting up a few simple tactics like these will help your country dog adjust to living in the city.
by Natalie Secretan