Your pet pooch is happy to live wherever you are, but city life can bring added stress to your dog’s life. With 24-hour noise pollution, traffic pollution, strange smells and bright lighting it is no wonder that city dogs suffer from some of the highest levels of stress and anxiety when compared to dogs in the suburbs or countryside. Of course, for many, city life is unavoidable. With work commitments, lack of non-city housing and leading an active social life, it can be hard for people to escape. Unlike humans, our dogs don’t have the luxury of upping and moving when they want and their lifestyle is totally dependent on ours.
There are some simple and easy steps you can take to make sure that your dog’s life in the city has as little impact on them as possible. It is your responsibility to make sure your dog is happy and healthy, so read on to discover 10 tips for improving your dog’s life.
Find a green park: If you live in a city, chances are that there are green parks that you can take your dog to. Dog’s are wild animals who used to roam freely through the countryside. There is nothing a dog loves more than the feel of grass under their feet and the chance to run and explore.
Beware of other dogs: Many city dogs are not socialized with other dogs. Apartment life means that instead of social interaction they experience more isolation. This can make dogs aggressive towards each other as they perceive them to be a threat rather than a friend.
Reduce noise impact: Dogs have extremely sensitive hearing, this is why weather such as thunder scares them so easily. They can also hear frequencies we can, which can be distressing for them at the best of times. Provide your dog with a bed in a room that is in the center of the building to minimize sensory overload.
Create a natural nest: Dogs feel safe when they have a den-like structure to take refuge in, this is why crates prove to be ideal for them. To keep your dogs stress levels down, provide them with a dedicated space with a den in.
Provide proper nutrition: City life can take its toll on your dog’s body so it’s important to provide a well balanced and vitamin enriched meal to them. Essential vitamins and micro-nutrients help keep your dog’s immune system strong and can prevent damage from harmful free-radicals. A healthy dog is a happy dog.
Create a home garden: If you have a balcony or terrace, consider having a wooden frame filled with soil and topped with turf installed. Dog’s love to lay down in the sun on a lawn and creating this space will make sure that your pet is as happy as can be.
Keep them entertained: Play, play, play. Being cooped up indoors is no life for a dog, but if you have no choice then make sure you dedicate plenty of time for playing with pull toys, kongs and balls in the home. To much energy build up can lead to anxiety and destructive behavior.
Spend time with them: A dog’s bond with his human is a strong one, and when your not home your pooch feels anxious, scared and confused. Try to spend as much time fussing and relaxing with your dog to help keep him calm and happy.
Two are better than one: Dog’s are social animals, so if you are away a lot and your dog is on his own it can cause him to become stressed. In cases like this, it’s best to have 2 dog’s instead of one so that they both have company throughout the day. If you have a friend who also owns a dog, consider co-habiting throughout the day.
Training helps: Dogs need structure and stability in their lives to remain happy, loving animals. Consider taking your dog to dog lessons to adapt him to loud sounds, bright lights and other dogs. Training can also help prevent unwanted behavior and create rules and boundaries that help to create a happier, calmer pup.