The Realities of Having a Dog in NYC


New York City’s notoriously jam-packed with people, but there are quite a few pets crammed into the Big Apple, too. Residents have approximately 1.1 million pets, and more than half — 600,000 of them — are dogs.

The Realities of Having a Dog in NYC

Now, you want to join the ranks of these lucky New York pet owners, but you have a few questions. What’s it like having a dog in NYC? Here’s everything you need to know about bringing a canine to the concrete jungle.

There Are Some City Rules

Firstly, know that the city does require you to do some paperwork for your pooch. For starters, you need a dog license, and your dog has to wear the corresponding tag on their collar. Every year, you’ll have to renew this license with local authorities.

Dogs in NYC must wear at least a six-foot leash at all times, and they need to have their required vaccinations and boosters. Don’t forget, either, that New York was one of the first places to give fines to dog owners who didn’t or don’t clean up after their pets. So, be sure you have plastic bags with you when you take your pup for a walk.

There Are Also Plenty of Pet-Friendly Places

With more than half a million pets roaming the streets of New York, it’s probably not a surprise that the city has plenty of places where your dog will be welcome. Firstly, there are tons of parks across the city that welcome dogs and even have dog parks within them. For example, Central Park has more than 20 areas where you can take your dog off-leash and let them play with other pooches.

It’s not just Central Park where you can take your pup. You’ll also find these parks to be dog-friendly:

  • Battery Park
  • Brooklyn’s Hillside dog park
  • The East Village’s Tompkins Square dog park
  • Greenwich Village’s Washington Square dog run
  • Gramercy’s Madison Square dog park

These are just a few of the places where your pooch will be welcome. Do your research to find the one closest to you!

Housing Might Pose a Problem

Although there are so many dog-friendly places in the Big Apple, it’s a bit tougher if you’re planning on having a big dog in NYC. That’s especially true if you’re renting, as most buildings have a 50-pound-or-less limit for dogs — and that’s if they allow pets in the first place.

Don’t be alarmed by this information, as there are clearly plenty of places to rent that will allow you to have a pet. You may have to search a bit harder to find them, though, and even more diligently if you’re going to be owning a dog in NYC.

In terms of housing, the best tips on having a dog in NYC is to be honest. Tell your landlord you’re moving in with a dog, and tell them a bit about your pooch. This will ensure you don’t face any problems down the line.

Having a Dog in NYC Is Worth the Work

Even though this information may feel daunting, we want to reassure you that, if you want a pet, having a dog in NYC is worth the effort. So, do your homework, and you’ll find it very easy to bring a four-legged friend into your city lifestyle.

Need more lifestyle advice? Be sure to check back with us for more.


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