7 Struggles Only Urban-Dwelling Dog Owners Understand

owning a dog in a city

Unsplash/Vitor Fontes

Having a dog to come home to and cuddle with on the couch is a real privilege, but dog owners will be quick to tell you that dog ownership also comes with many added responsibilities. Pups need a lot of love and exercise, not to mention they can be quite expensive. Owning a dog in the city comes with a unique set of challenges. The lack of nature and space, coupled with the overwhelming amount of people and other pups can make being a pawrent in an urban setting a little more stressful. But if you have a pup that you love, it’s all worth it at the end of the day. Here are eight scenarios that dog owners in the city know all too well.

1. It takes you double the time to walk places with your pup.

owning a dog in a city

Unsplash/Alex Hay

Every single stranger wants to pet your dog, so it takes you 20 minutes to walk two blocks. When passersby ask you if they can pet your pooch, you end up saying yes most of the time because it’s hard to be rude to people who are calling your dog adorable. Although constantly being stopped on the sidewalk can be annoying when you’re in a hurry, you secretly cherish the fact that everyone treats your pup like a celebrity.

2. Weird poop is a constant because your pup eats strange things daily.

owning a dog in a city

Unsplash/Mikkel Bendix

You feed your dog only the highest-quality dog food, but you still can’t avoid the random scraps that he eats off of the sidewalk when you’re not looking. So weird poops are pretty much unavoidable, no matter how attentive you are as a pawrent. What’s more, if you bring your pup to a restaurant, she’ll probably beg at another table and since she’s so cute she’ll likely succeed in getting some food. So you constantly need to monitor the people around you and tell them to please refrain from feeding your dog.

3. There’s nothing more stressful than leaving your pup tied outside a store.

owning a dog in a city

Unsplash/Erwan Hesry

Your heart breaks a little every time you need to leave your pup tied to a post outside of the grocery store, even if it’s just for a couple of minutes. You try to grab your groceries as fast as you can, terrified that someone’s going to steal your dog or declare that he’s been abandoned. That instant relief that you feel when you walk out and see his cute little face looking up at you makes you appreciate him a little more each time.

4. Running out of poop bags during a walk is the worst.

owning a dog in a city

Unsplash/Xiang Gao

After walking countless blocks, your pup has finally sniffed out a portion of the sidewalk that she’s declared decent enough to poop on. And as your dog squats down, your reach for those poop bags in your jacket pocket but… you can’t find any. Anxiety creeps in as you realize that you left the bags at home. Your dog looks at you with slightly guilty eyes as she finishes doing her business. All you can do now is attempt to slyly walk away without people noticing that you failed to pick up your dog’s doody — a task that proves pretty much impossible when you’re on a crowded sidewalk. You stroll away with your pup as casually as you can, trying to avoid those nasty looks from nearby pedestrians.

5. You and your pup have your own little clique at the dog park.

owning a dog in a city


Let’s be honest, dog parks in cities are a little like high school cafeterias. There are cliques of dogs and pawrents, there are loners who don’t want to talk to anyone and there’s a secret, unspoken competition of who has the cutest and most well-behaved dog. If you’re a regular at the dog park, you likely have your own little group of dogs and dog owners that you and your pup always hang out with. But the decision of what clique to join mostly lies in the paws of your pup, not your own, so you probably wouldn’t grab a beer with these people outside of the dog park.

6. When your pup finally sees grass, she goes wild.

owning a dog in a city

Unsplash/Duffy Brook

If there’s one thing that many cities lack, it’s grass. So your pup is used to doing her business on concrete. But when city dogs finally do get to roam around on grass, they go nuts. Even the most lethargic of dogs suddenly become hyper (or their version of it). You’ll get dogs who slide their backs against the grass, happy to finally have something soft underneath their feet and others who run around in circles until they exhaust themselves. The bottom line is that if you really want your city dog to get rid of her pent-up energy, find a patch of grass and let her do her thing.

7. You spoil your dog beyond belief.

owning a dog in a city


You feel a little guilty that your pup doesn’t get to run around in wide open spaces like suburban pups, so you make up for it by spoiling him rotten. He always has the best toys, the most stylish winter jackets and the most healthy, human-grade dog food. You spend a slightly embarrassing portion of your monthly income on your pup, but you wouldn’t trade it for the world because you know that he deserves nothing but the best of the best.

Want more dogs in your life? Sign up for Friday Fluff, a newsletter featuring the week’s cutest pups! 


The Real Effect Dog-Friendly Offices Have On Productivity

9 Dog Breeds That Are Super Easy To Train

Finally Getting A Furry Friend? Here’s How Much It’ll Cost You