The Dog Walker's Guide to Manhattan
Even a short walk in New York can lead to some unforgettable memories and premium people watching. However, sometimes our dogs can get overwhelmed with the city. Not only that, but if dog owners get overwhelmed by all the rules New York has pertaining to dogs, a walk can turn into a confusing hassle. Here are some of the most useful miscellaneous dog tips for living in New York City, courtesy of Swifto Dog Walking.
- One mile is equivalent to 16-20 street blocks or 8-10 avenue blocks. Make sure you keep this in mind while walking a dog. Five blocks might seem like nothing to you, but it’s equivalent to a quarter of a mile. Remember your dog may need more rest from block to block than just waiting for the light to favor you both.
- Avoid retractable leashes. Their locking mechanism can fail, which can lead to major dog related headaches. Also, leash laws in New York dictate leashes be 6 feet long, or shorter. Unfortunately, long retractable leashes are a moot item in New York.
- Remember that not all green spaces are dog friendly. Make sure you keep your dog on a leash at all arialin parks, and only let your dog go off-leash in designated dog runs. Remember to pay attention to signs, because even some paved parks have specific dog friendly zones, and to keep your dog out of flower beds as a general rule.
- Always scan the street for snacks and broken glass. Keep a foot radius between your dog and food carts whenever possible, there’s almost always scraps or grease on the sidewalk nearby.
- It’s a tragedy when a dog is hit by a car, but sometimes strong chasing drives prevent dogs from avoiding cars. Teach your dog to come when called. Practice calling your dog’s name and rewarding them with a tasty treat as you call them. On walks, if they become curious about traffic or parked cars, call them and reward them for walking away from the cars. The trick is not to make your dog afraid of cars, but that they leave dangerous situations whenever you call them.
- In the summer, walk in the shade and bring your dog to a shady area while waiting to cross the street whenever possible. Your dog can get very hot in the summertime, imagine walking around with a fur coat on and no shoes over black top. It doesn’t sound fun.
- Avoid manhole covers, lamp posts, and anything electrified--especially during winter months. Incredibly, New York City's utility company, Con Edison, cannot yet guarantee that electrified metal surfaces will not carry stray current during the winter. The salt used to melt snow and ice corrodes old, neglected wires and sometimes leaves them bare. In a few rare cases dogs have been electrified during the winter. If your dog suddenly yelps or screams when walking along the sidewalk then move them away immediately -- there could be an electrified surface underneath.
- Buy your dog some footwear for different weather conditions. Snow and salt can hurt paws in the winter, broken glass is harder to see on rainy days.
Dog lovers, don’t let this list seem intimidating. Once you’ve gotten these basics down, the more they’ll become second nature to you and your dog. Once your dog is an expert at walking on a short leash, coming when you call, and ignoring street snacks they’ll be the picture of obedience-- even in cities with more relaxed rules.