By Guest Writer, Horace Black
So you live in the city and still want the fun of having a dog for a pet? Puppies are always cute, adorable and loving, but the challenges of urban puppy training can sometimes become stressful and overwhelming. There will be questions about housetraining, exercise, food and medical care you’ll need to think about to make sure your new four-legged city friend is safe, happy and healthy.
If you do it right, and especially if you do it wrong, you and your pet could become part of the funny animal videos at Break.com. Check out their “10 Smartest Dogs We’ve Ever Seen” to see if your pup measures up. If not, here are a few helpful tips you can use to get your pup in shape.
What can apartment dwellers do if you don’t have a nice back yard or a park nearby for your pup to relieve itself? Doctors Foster and Smith say it is possible to train your puppy to do its business indoors. While most people know about paper training, there are some new products on the market that can help make the process much easier for both of you.
Your dog shouldn’t have to stay in your apartment and be bored all day. Train your dog to walk on a leash and you’ll both get to know your city a little better. To make sure the walk is enjoyable, Cesar Millan advises that you leave plenty of time and that the human learns how to act like the leader of the pack. Try to find a dog park where your pet can run around without the leash and socialize with other city dogs. If you can’t get home for a walk during the day, consider hiring a dog walker.
If the weather doesn’t allow you to get outside for a walk, you can have some fun inside with dog exercises. SheKnows.com suggests doggy dancercise, building a dogstacle course, and even doga as fun activities for both you and your puppy.
Keep your pet’s mind challenged while you are away. Make sure there are plenty of engaging toys and activities so your puppy won’t turn to chewing on the furniture as a fun pastime. Buy some of those balls where you can hide food inside and your pet will get some exercise while you can be sure there is plenty of food available.
Living in the urban jungle might not come naturally to your pet. Obedience classes can help your pet learn to deal with the noise and distractions of city life, control its aggression with people or other dogs, and stay quiet while you’re gone so the neighbors won’t complain about your noisy pet.
Because your city pet may spend more time indoors, your apartment may look worse for the wear and tear. Martha Stewart has some very helpful clean-house tips for pet owners that include keeping the upholstery clean and getting the pet hair under control.
It might be more difficult to find a good vet in a city environment, but it is very important to your pet’s health. Your vet will provide regular pet vaccinations, wellness exams, pet dental care, and diagnostic services. Be sure to ask your vet about other strategies for keeping your puppy safe and happy in the urban environment. Most of all, be sure to have fun with your pet. Your puppy might not do anything that could become one of the funny animal videos at Break.com, but at least you might get a good laugh out of it.
About the Author: Horace fell in love with the entertainment scene as a journalism student in the Midwest. He covers everything from grand openings to the latest restaurants, and considers Chuck Klosterman a Midwestern saint.