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By Dr. Sarah Wallace
Learning how to have a dog in an apartment can be a challenge, especially in the Bay Area where apartments can be smaller. Even if you’re just moving from one city to another, living in a new, denser, and more metropolitan area can still take some time for your pup to adjust. While the Bay Area is full of dog-friendly neighborhoods and areas, it’s always important to do your research and make sure your dog’s needs are being met in your new home.
Whether you’re moving for a job or just for the change of scenery, it’s important to find a neighborhood that is dog-friendly. One great way to get answers is to ask local pet owners, pet stores, and pet-focused businesses what it’s like to have a dog in the area. If you’re downsizing, try asking for tips on how to have a dog in an apartment. Other questions to consider:
Are there groomers, vets, pet ERs and dog parks nearby?
Are you looking at dog-friendly apartments?
Are there any pet fees in addition to rent?
Are there a lot of loud noises that could scare or overwhelm your dog? Noises like sirens, cars honking, etc.
Is the neighborhood walkable for your dog’s daily bathroom breaks?
We know moving can be super stressful, from signing leases to parking the moving truck in the middle of the road so you can unload your boxes. Amidst the stresses of moving, it’s important to try and keep your dog’s schedule as routine as possible. Consider asking a friend or family member to help watch your dog during your moving process so that your dog isn’t stuck in a crate all day, or in a slowly emptying home. Even after you’re all moved in, keeping your dog’s routine as normal as possible can help ease their stress in a new environment.
Make an appointment with your veterinarian and let them know of your moving plans. Get all of your dog’s shots and prescriptions in order, and ask for tips on how to make the move for your dog easier, especially if you’re going to be moving a long distance that requires more travel. If you’re traveling to a new state, find out whether or not you need a health certificate when driving across state borders. It’s also just as important to microchip your dog and update their tags to prepare for any emergency situations both during travel and after the move.
One of the perks of moving to the city is that there are a lot of other dog owners all around. It can be intimidating or stressful if your dog isn’t used to being around so many other dogs, but don’t worry—there are plenty of opportunities to help your dog fit in. The Bay Area has plenty of dog-friendly beaches and parks; there are also many puppy socials available to help your dog acclimate and make new friends.
Just days away from your big move? Check in with a vet to make sure your dog is ready too.