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A Love Note to City Dogs

Living in a city with a dog - or dogs - can seem daunting. Many cities lack yards and green space, and they are usually filled with loud, strange noises that can disrupt your pup’s zen. With the pandemic boom in dog ownership, new dogs, many of whom are learning how to live in a city without stress, seem to be around every city corner. How can you set up your dog for success in a city, whether for living or for visiting? We live in the city of Chicago with our two pups, Shadow and Dijon, and we’re here to share some tips on urban adventures.

Use loud noises and distractions as an opportunity for training

Cities are full of strange noises around every corner, and many pups get nervous if they’re new to the city. If you find your dog is anxious when an ambulance or the metro passes by, or if your dog is constantly distracted on walks by the many new sights and smells, take advantage of the new situation by turning it into a training moment. Redirect your pup’s attention to you, and reward them with treats when they give you eye contact and look away from the distraction.

With our new puppy, Dijon, we usually walk to busy intersections just to stand (me) or sit (him) and watch the urban chaos at a safe distance. We always take our Hurtta Bounty Bag on these adventures and reward him when he stays calm in the face of new noises. He’s becoming a well-adjusted city dog. Remember, every dog will move at their own pace for becoming comfortable with city life, so pay attention to your individual pup’s needs. If you find your pup is overwhelmed outside, you can work on desensitization in your home by playing the sounds that they may encounter.

Find the green space in your city

Every city has green space, be it parks, lakes, or dog runs. We are lucky to live right next to Lake Michigan, which means we have a huge lakefront and beautiful dog beaches. This green space is vital for exercising Shadow and Dijon, enjoying the fresh air, and having calm morning routines. Find your space, and make it a part of helping your pup adjust to the city.

Take advantage of all the city has to offer

One of the best parts of having a dog is expanding your horizons of fun city activities. By searching for fun dog-friendly things to do in Chicago, we discovered farmers markets, breweries, restaurants, and more that welcome our furry friends. Having a dog in a city is a joy and can teach you how to live your best city life. If you’re looking for new dog friendly places to explore in your city, check out local bloggers or city-focused Facebook groups.

Use appropriate gear for canine urban adventures

The weather in cities can be unpredictable in comparison to suburban areas. With less green space, cities are often hotter by a few degrees during the summer, meaning that we have to invest in more gear to keep Shadow and Dijon cool, as well as walk earlier in the day to beat the heat. Our favorite summer item is the Hurtta Cooling Wrap, which keeps Shadow nice and cool, even on the sweltering summer days!

Good luck!

Naomi, Renan, Shadow and Dijon

Want to see more of Naomi and her packs adventures? Check them on out on social media

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