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Living in New York City with a dog: What to expect

New York City is a tightly packed city and no place to bring up a dog. Right? Wrong! New York City has plenty to offer for pet parents and their pooches; there are pet-friendly parks, dog runs, cafes and restaurants and events that you can attend with your furry pal. If you are planning to move to New York City with your pet doggy, here’s a handy list of dos and don’ts to make your transition to the bustling city life easier.

Pet ownership rules and regulations

New York City laws stipulate that all dogs must have a dog licence and the licence tag must be attached to the collar at all times in public. The permit is valid for one year and has to be renewed periodically. There is a leash law in place in New York City and dogs in public must always be on a leash not more than six feet long. Also, tethering your pet dog for more than three hours is illegal and will attract a fine. Using heavy chains and pinch collars are also prohibited in the city.

Your pet dog must be vaccinated against rabies, and other mandatory vaccines must be current. Make sure your pet receives his or her booster shots on time and periodically. Keeping all vaccinations current is essential also because most pet parks and boarding facilities in the city require proof of rabies vaccine for entry.

When you take your dog out for a walk in the city, it is mandatory to pick up after him or her. New York City is one of the first cities in the US to enforce the canine waste law and not picking up after the dog can attract a fine of $250. Always remember to have a poop bag handy when you are out for a walk with your furry pal.

Pet-friendly parks

New York City has several pet-friendly parks and spaces to take your pet dog for a run. Many parks also have designated off-leash areas where your pet doggy can be exercised. There are dog runs within many public parks which are fenced-in areas where your dog can run around and socialise with other dogs.

NYC’s most famous and biggest park is the Central Park. Your doggy is in for a treat in this enormous park that is most welcoming of dogs. Though your doggy must be on a lead at all times inside the park, there are close to 20 different areas within Central Park that are designated off-leash areas.

Other popular dog-friendly parks in New York City include the Sirius Dog Run in Battery Park, built as homage to the brave service dogs of New York City and the Madison Square dog park run near Gramercy. You can also visit the Tompkins Square dog park in East Village, the Washington Square dog run in Greenwich Village and the Hillside dog park in Brooklyn for exercise, fun and socialisation with other dogs.

Remember to follow all park rules when you are in the park with your doggy. Never leave your doggy unattended and do not tether your dog to a post or bench for extended periods. Pick up after your dog and do not let your dog enter any water body in the park unless it is a designated dog-friendly water body. If your doggy is unfriendly or unsocialised, keep them on lead and separate from other dogs.

Pet-friendly housing in New York City

It is not impossible to find pet-friendly housing in New York City; start your search early because good pet-friendly houses are hard to come by. Most NYC buildings do not accept doggy tenants who weigh more than 50 pounds.

It is best to divulge the breed and number of pets you have to the landlord right away to avoid miscommunication and misconceptions. Many rental apartments have size and breed restrictions; you cannot move in with large and aggressive dogs. Certain aggressive breeds are completely banned by most rental and co-ops; do your research before moving in.

Most rentals charge a pet fee in addition to your rent when you bring your doggy home. Look for a co-op or a rental company who advertise no-fee rentals for pets.

Dogs on the Subway and other public transport

Dogs are allowed on the Subway, Path and LIRR and other public transportation as long as they are confined in a crate or a container unless they are service dogs. Pets are not allowed on the seat but can sit on your lap. Most ferry services such as the Staten Island ferry and the Fire Island ferry also allow pets; make sure your pets are contained or leashed on the boat.

If you are planning to move to NYC with your pet dog or cat, get in touch with us at Petraveller for advice on the move and a detailed travel itinerary for your pet.