Perks of Being a City Dog

City slickers are used the grime and the crime that comes with their territory, but when they have a dog by their side, it make the concrete jungle seem just a little more friendly. And the dog can benefit, too. Here’s why:

He gets more exercise (and so do you): This subject is often the argument of those who oppose dogs living in apartments. Although the small space may not work for all breeds, most small and even many large breeds do very well in apartments and actually get more exercise as a consequence. Why? Gone are the easy-breezy days of opening the door into a fenced-in backyard when nature calls. Instead, three or four times a day, city dwellers will slip on their comfy shoes, schlep up and down the stairs of their walk-up apartments, and indulge their dog in a jaunt around the block. And on days they would normally skip a jog, both pooch and owner still get a workout in: Rain, shine, or snow—the dog still needs to go out.

Health issues are more obvious: Since a city dog often does his business in the middle of a sidewalk, owners get up close and personal with their poo every day. They become connoisseurs of caca. If something is off (too runny, too big, too small, when did he eat something yellow?), they're alerted to it and can keep an eye on the dog to determine if it’s something that’ll pass or will warrant a visit to the vet.

He makes friends (and you will, too): Try walking through a city street with a cute dog and not speaking to at least three people. Especially if they have a pet as well. Living in a busy city means your dog will get to sniff the butts of many a stranger—and you’ll get to meet your neighbors in the process.

He’ll be well-socialized. Car horns, sirens, construction—in addition to meeting new people and pets, your dog will become immune to most sights, sounds, and smells. He’ll hardly flinch at the sound of a subway car racing past, and the sight of a person dressed as a giant cartoon character in Times Square will barely get his attention. He’s been there, seen it, sniffed it.

He'll have access to more activities and supplies: Not uncommon in city settings: dog-friendly bars, dog parks, dog restaurants and bakeries (with dog-specific menus), dog fashion shows, and more. Caught at work? A multitude of dog walkers are just blocks away. Of course, there are also establishments like these in the suburbs, but you’ll find them en masse in most cities.

If he gets lost, there’s a good chance someone will find him: Way too many people per capita means way more people your dog has to run through to get away from you. Having your pet microchipped and equipped with a collar and tags will better ensure that your lost pet will be returned to you.

You’ll bond: Because cuddling up on the sofa in your little apartment is the best way to recover from a busy day out and about with your best friend.