It is estimated that around half a million dogs live in New York City (human population 8.5 Million). How is life in the urban jungle like for our four-legged friends?
In many ways New York is a surprisingly dog friendly city. The New York City Department of Parks and Recreation who oversees the park system in America’s biggest city is making many efforts to give the pooches as much space to run without leash, as is possible in the crowded city. Many of New York’s larger parks allow dogs off leash before 9 AM and after 9 PM. There are also around 30 ‘dog runs’ in the parks. These are kind of a fenced in playgrounds where man’s best friend can run freely and play with and meet with other dogs (of course the owners meet each other also, which here and there is said has resulted in relationships and marriages)
Shopping with your dog is usually also no problem. Most stores will allow dog owners to bring their animals in (they have the option to do as long as there is no food sold). Many restaurants also allow dogs in the outside areas, so it is possible to have dinner with your pooch, when the weather is warm. Not only are the pooches allowed in may place, there are services galore for them. More than 2,800 licensed veterinarians work in the city, that anything from acupuncture to chemotherapy and there are more than 250 businesses that cater to the needs of our 4 legged friends: From regular Pet Stores to companies like ‘Puppy Parties NYC’, that organizes events from dog holidays to adoption partys. For New Yorkers who are too busy to walk their animals, there are hundreds of ‘dog walkers’ available.
There is also a trend, especially in newly built luxury building to offer upscale dog amenities. For example Mercedes House Apartment Complex in Manhattan reently opened a 1.800 sqf room where dogs can run freelz, be washed in commercial grade bathrooms or get a haircut. The large interest in petfriendly accommodations in New York enabled Estate Broker Elaine Tross start the successful website Pet Priendly Manhattan Real Estate. The interest is growing because, many New Yorker, like other Americans are getting married and having kids later, than prior generation and have a pet instead.
There are special fun events in the yearly calendar of New York dog owners. The ‘Halloween Dog parade takes a place in Tompkins Square Park few days before ‘human Halloween’and each fall New Yorkers can get their dogs blessed at the ‘Blessing of the Animals’ in New York’s largest church St. John The Divine.
Of course many for many thinking about having a dog in a crowded city, ask themselves. Is that crue to the dog? We asked Julie Syman, a dog owner we met at the dog run at Union Square the question. “I think a dog’s happiness has more to do with how she is treated by her human companions than by her surroundings. Many dogs in New York City have great lives with people who care for them with lots of love. We also have an intense connection with our dogs because we live so close together. Te, it would be nice to have woods in front of our houses, where we can let them lose, but I think it’s alight’