Embarking on an urban retreat with your furry companion can be a rewarding and memorable experience. Cities offer a vibrant tapestry of sights and sounds, endless options for exploring, and unique pet-friendly opportunities that cater to both you and your four-legged friend. And, those options are increasingly expanding.
“As more businesses roll out the welcome mat to pets, furry travelers are participating in more diverse, adventurous urban activities with their pet parents, like biking, hiking, train rides, and even boating,” notes Michael Leung, co-founder and lead product designer of Sleepypod, a manufacturer of premium pet carriers. Navigating the bustling streets of a city with your dog is different than navigating them alone, and some extra planning and special considerations will be necessary to ensure the experience is as safe, comfortable, and enjoyable for your pet as it is for you. There are three main factors every pet parent should take into consideration before heading out on an urban escapade.
Know before you go
Doing a little homework before your trip to the city will go a very long way in making sure it’s the paw-fect adventure for you and your furkid. First, research pet-friendly accommodations. Look for a place that will accommodate your budget and the size, number, and breed of pets you’ll be bringing. Once you find the right place, book your room in advance to ensure you and your pet won’t be scrambling for somewhere to stay once you arrive.
Next, research the city’s specific pet rules and regulations to ensure you don’t unintentionally run into issues with your pet, and you don’t have any unnecessary hiccups while you explore. Check for cities leash laws and cleanup regulations, as well as potential breed restrictions. You may be permitted to take your pet on public buses, trains, and subways in some cities, but not others. Cities that allow pets on public transportation may require them to be kept in carriers at all times. If you plan to visit monuments or public buildings, never assume your pet will be welcome–find out their pet policies ahead of time.
Discover the best ways to explore the city with your pet
Many cities warmly welcome pets and offer all kinds of pet-friendly activity options. Even those that don’t readily roll out the welcome wagon have pet-friendly hidden gems to offer. With a little digging, you’ll find great places and activities you’ll both enjoy.
Walking tours are a fantastic way to learn about any city and see its sights, and many tours welcome pets to come along. Some cities offer urban hiking trails, which are perfect for exploring a city with a pet. You can also tour many iconic city spots with pets, and they make great photo ops. In addition, look for pet festivals, pet friendly open-air markets, and pet-friendly events like festivals and outdoor concerts. Then, of course, are all the pet-friendly breweries, boutiques, and bakeries that can be found in nearly every city.
Ensure your pet is safe and comfortable
Before you head out on any trip with your pup, make sure he’s ready, willing, and able to go on the adventure. A quick vet trip will help determine whether he’s healthy enough to travel. Make sure his microchip is updated and working properly, and that his collar has an I.D. with up-to-date information.
In addition to your pet’s health, consider his temperament. The city isn’t a fun place for every person, or every pet. A pup who is anxious, startles easily, or doesn’t like people, other dogs, or loud noises probably won’t see a trip to the city as a fun adventure.
There are also safety measures to consider once you’re out and about in the city. Snow, salt, and hot asphalt can be hard on paws, so consider bringing protective booties, or keeping your pet in a carrier.
A carrier is also a safer way to walk around a city with a smaller pet. We recommend Sleepypod carriers, as they can also be used as a pet bed and a pet car seat, reducing the amount of gear you’ll need to bring on your trip. To keep larger dogs safe, make sure you have a leash that allows you to keep your pet under control at all times. The Sleepypod Power Leash is ideal for trips through the city: it has a built-in traffic handle for extra control in tight situations, it can withstand 1500 pounds of force without snapping, and it has a built-in waste bag slot for cleaning on the go.
With these tips firmly in mind, you and your four-legged sidekick will be navigating the city like pros in no time, and having fun building memories all along the way.
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