Apartment Living with a Large Canine in New York

by | Mar 4, 2019 | Downtown Living, Featured, Lifestyle, Pets

Lawns or backyards where dogs can roam free are a luxury in New York. But despite living in a concrete jungle, New Yorkers still love their big dogs and have found ways to manage apartment living with large canines. 
Here are some key considerations to make if you’d like to get a large dog in the near future:

Adequate exercise

Many behavioral problems in dogs stem from the amount of exercise they get. Barking, chewing, jumping, and getting into accidents may be due to a lack of physical activity. Make sure that your furry friend gets plenty of walks and play in order to reduce these problems. Labrador Training HQ notes that exercise can also help manage their separation anxiety whenever you’re at work. That’s because a tired dog is more likely to sleep during the day compared to one with pent up energy.

Bathroom Breaks

Potty training will be trickier in New York apartments, as you’ll have to go outside more often. However, this is a small price to pay. That’s because having your pet relieve itself inside might lead to complaints about unwanted smells coming from your unit. Not to mention it completely wrecking the floor.

Hired help

If you can’t be home to take care of your dog during the daytime, consider hiring help. Despite the news, pet sitters and dog walkers are still very much allowed in New York. If you don’t know anyone you can ask, then apps like Rover can help you find a pet sitter.


Large canines can be intimidating to some, so learning how to socialize your pet is vital. Introduce your dog to your neighbors, especially the ones living on the same floor. If your dog is familiar with their scent, they are less likely to feel threatened and bark when they hear your neighbors’ moving about.

Carpets and rugs

It goes without saying that dogs, especially large ones, make a lot of noise when they move around the apartment, which can be irritating for people living below you. What you can do is have your place carpeted, or purchase rugs that will muffle the sound of their feet racing across the floor. Sound-proofing your apartment is also a good idea if your dog is very vocal.

Pet-proofing and maximizing space

Large dogs need a lot of space, so rearrange your furniture in a way that allows them to wander about easily. Try and replace your furniture with multi-purpose items to save space, such as a bed with drawers underneath. If your dog is getting old, Downtown Magazine previously recommended installing ramps to help them get up on the bed or the couch. Make sure to pet-proof your apartment and keep windows secured at all times, especially if you’re on a higher floor.

Before you make any structural changes, however, be sure to check your building’s rules. If your apartment is a co-op, you might even encounter odd policies regarding pets, as Yoreevo details that the board has full authority over the standard of living in the building. They can be strict about renovations and simple pet-proofing steps mentioned above may be subject to scrutiny. Co-op board member Steven Wagner mentioned that dogs have even been required to appear in an interview before being allowed to live in a New York building; so don’t be surprised if you come across quirky policies like that in your own home.

The bottom line here is that you need to make sure that the changes you’re making for you and your large fella are all above board to minimize any stress or discomfort.

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