What It’s Like To Be A Dog In New York: Our Little Friends

2:20 pm  |  07.06.2021

It is estimated that there are roughly half a million dogs in New York. What is life like for four-legged friends in the urban jungle?

In many ways, New York is a surprisingly dog-friendly city. The ‘New York City Department of Parks and Recreation, the authority that operates the city parks, makes every effort to give the dogs opportunities to exercise. In larger parks such as Central Park, dogs are allowed to run without a leash before 9 a.m. and after 9 p.m. There are also 30 so-called ‘Dog Runs’ – practically fenced-in dog playgrounds in which four-legged friends can let off steam. They are mostly in smaller parks.

Going shopping with your dog is usually not a problem in New York either. Most stores that do not sell groceries are happy to allow the animals in. Dogs are allowed to be present in restaurants if you sit outside on warm days. Small dogs are also allowed on the subway, as long as they can fit in a dog bag.

Taxis and services like Uber are free to take dogs with them. But with the huge number of these vehicles cruising through the city, you will quickly find someone who drives a dog with their master or mistress. Many other people also take care of Fido’s well-being. Around 2,800 veterinarians work in the city. Practices offer everything up to acupuncture and chemotherapy.

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There are more than 200 pet supply stores and hundreds of dog walkers taking the walk for New Yorkers who don’t have time. You can also make the extraordinary possible for your dog in New York. Companies like Puppy Parties NYC ‘organize parties for occasions such as dog birthdays or dog adoption. There are supposed to be people in New York who have already spent $ 10,000 on such a celebration.

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Dog runs, like this one in the Jackson Heights neighborhood of Queens, are places where dogs can run off-leash.

In luxury new buildings, it is now a trend to incorporate dog areas. In the Mercedes House, an upscale residential building in Manhattan, for example, 170 square meters were parked for the four-legged friends. Here they can walk and there are also options for baths or haircuts. The interest in dog-friendly living space is so great that real estate agent Elaine Tross runs a successful website on the subject: Pet-Friendly Manhattan Real Estate. The interest is also there because New Yorkers, like other Americans, start families later than previous generations, and many people choose a dog as a substitute for children.

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The animal shelter in NY.

There are also some interesting events for four-legged friends and their owners in New York. The “Halloween Dog Parade” takes place a few days before the “normal” Halloween in Tompkins Square Park. At the beginning of October, you can have your dog blessed during the ‘Blessing of the Animals Event’ in St. John The Divine Cathedral, New York’s largest church.

Of course, many people who consider the life of a dog in New York wonder whether it is not actually cruel to keep a dog in what is usually a very cramped apartment. Julie Syman, a dog owner we spoke to at the Dog Run in Union Square, has this philosophy: “I think a dog’s happiness depends more on how people treat him than on the physical environment. Many dogs in New York have a good life with people who care about them and who give them a lot of love. We New Yorkers often have a particularly close bond with our dogs because we live so closely together.”

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In recent months, New Yorkers who have been forced to spend a lot more time at home because of Corona have been looking for comfort in animals. 

Two animal rescue groups, Muddy Paws Rescue and Best Friends Animal Society, reported that the homes they work with either no longer have adoptable dogs or are close. “Right now we definitely have no more dogs,” said Anna Lai, Marketing Director at Muddy Paws, Bloomberg News in May 2020. ten times more applications than usual. This is a nice problem for us animal shelters! “

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According to the American Kennel Club, one of the largest and oldest dog lovers organizations in America, these were the top 5 most popular dog species in New York in 2021.

1. French bulldog.

2. Labrador Retriever.

3. Bulldog.

4. German Shepherd Dog.

5. Golden Retriever.

The New York City Economic Development Corporation (NYCEDC) deals with questions about economic life in the city. A very important one came on the table a few years ago: How many dogs and cats are there in New York? After all, pets are an economic factor that keeps an entire industry alive.

City or the number of shops with pet products were evaluated. An estimate was made: there are 600,000 dogs and 500,000 cats in the city. This would mean that around 30 percent of households have four-legged friends. That’s about half the American average of 60 percent, and it’s surprising considering how little space there is in most homes and how many homeowners don’t allow pets. A particularly large number of dogs live near Central Park and in the relatively sparsely populated Staten Island.

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There could be a few more dogs and cats now because more animals than usual have been adopted since the outbreak of the pandemic.

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