April 25, 2013

Here are five tips for living in close quarters and enjoying an urban life with your animal companion.

1. Make equipment do double-duty! Choose a beanbag style pet bed in a beautiful fabric that coordinates with your décor and keep a small hand vacuum closeby so you can give it a quick de-fluff and use as guest seating in a pinch – as long as your dog doesn’t mind sharing, of course.

2. Gotta pee! Try to stick to a regular daily routine, so the natural cycle of circadian rhythms can help your dog settle into regularly timed trips outside, and he can predict when he’ll be able to go potty. Puppy pee pads can be used to allow a smaller pup to relieve himself while home alone. Big dogs’ puddles, however, are usually more than a pee pad can cope with, and downstairs neighbors almost never appreciate a dribble making its way through their ceiling.

3. Save space in a bijou apartment! Consider a lightweight, compact food like The Honest Kitchen, which will take up less storage space in a small kitchen. Purchase an attractive wooden crate that can double up as a side table in a confined living area (just be sure any lamp cords are tucked out of reach from a crated pup who’s looking to light up his day with a little chew time.

4. Be a good neighbor! Don’t allow your pet to spoil others’ quiet enjoyment of their urban homes. Train your dog with the command “Quiet!” to silence excessive barking or whining and use practical solutions like area rugs to deaden the sound of claws on floors, and ‘stuffable’ toys filled with food or treats, to help prevent boredom that can lead to problematic howling when left alone.

5. Pick up! In an urban environment, picking up your dog’s waste is even more important, compared with the wide open space of rural woodlands and fields. City dwellers are almost always in a rush, and no one wants poo on their Jimmy Choos when they’re dashing down the street to a meeting.