Group of Dogs in NYC
Guide to NYC Things to Do

City Living for Dog Owners

May 31, 2018

Having a dog in New York City could raise your quality of life considerably. If you’re a dog lover, there’s nothing like having a faithful companion to share the good times and bad and to cuddle with while reading a book, watching tv, or even sleeping in bed. If this will be your first time having a dog in New York City, or if you’re moving to NYC with a dog, there are some things you’ll want to know beforehand. We’ve gathered the top 10 tips on having a dog in NYC including the approximate corresponding cost of owning a dog in NYC.


1. Find a Pet Friendly Home

Time Required: 1 week to 3 months
Approximate Cost for Pet Deposits: $250 – One Month’s Rent

Many buildings allow dogs on a case by case basis, depending on the dog’s temperament, breed, and size. Pets over 50 lbs are more challenging to place, so start your search 2-3 months in advance if your pooch is large. You’ll likely be required to provide pet references and proof of vaccinations. Pet interviews are sometimes required by co-op boards to ensure the pet is socialized and well trained, and most buildings require a pet security deposit between $250 – one month’s rent. Your Citi Habitats Agent can guide you towards pet friendly buildings in your neighborhood of choice, or search for pet friendly homes for sale here and rentals here.


2. Train your Dog

Time Required: 30 minutes – 3 hours per day
Approximate Costs for Professional Dog Training: $50 – $100 per hour

Having a dog in New York City requires basic training, especially in the home. You may need to work from home for the first week if house training is required, since you will have to bring the dog outside multiple times a day so that it learns not to relieve itself inside. Youtube offers a myriad of instructional videos on house training; just be sure to account for how much time and attention it will require, and the impact it will have on your home if you don’t teach your dog quickly. Untrained dogs will also pull on their leash rather than walk by your side, jump onto people (old and young), run away from you, eat food off the sidewalk (and counters), and bite people or other dogs! All of this can lead to unwanted stress for you, your neighbors, and your dog. No matter how cute your pup is, taking the time to train and socialize him or her will ensure a happy and stress-free relationship.


3. Take a Hike!

Time Required: 1-2 hours per day

Dogs’ exercise needs vary by breed and size, but it’s important that they get physical and mental stimulation every day. Without it, they may turn to destructive behaviors such as chewing up your couch or destroying your shoes. Dogs that are physically tired from exercise are also easier to train. A minimum of 30 minutes of exercise is the recommendation for dogs and humans alike, so a healthy and brisk walk or run will do you and your pooch good (though your vet can tell you how much exercise is right for your dog)! Chances are you’ll also want your pup to run free, in which case you should budget enough time to walk to and from the closest dog park or park that allows dogs off-leash before 9 AM and after 9 PM. Your pup will thank you!


4. Find a Trusted Walker / Sitter

Approximate cost for walks: $15 – $45 per walk
Approximate cost for sitting: $35 – $60 per day
Approximate overnight costs: $40 – $100 per night

Unless you work from home or have a dog-friendly office, you’re likely going to need a dog walker. The abundance of pet businesses and gig-economy apps make it easy to find a local dog walking or pet sitting service. Options vary greatly, with some companies offering 45 minute runs with your dog, 15 minute walks, and everything in between. Costs depend upon the length of the walk/run and whether or not the walker is walking other dogs at the same time.

French bulldog in Central Park

According to the American Kennel Club, french bulldogs are the most popular dog breed among New York City dog owners.

5. Follow the Law

NYC law states that:

1. Dogs must be registered and wear their dog license on their collar while in public (application here). Cost: $8.50 per year for spayed/neutered dogs; $34 per year for non-spayed / non-neutered dogs.
2. Dogs must be kept on leashes no longer than 6 feet.
3. Dogs are required to have their rabies shots.
4. Dogs cannot be tied up for more than 3 hours during any 12 hour period.
5. Dog owners must clean up after their dogs.

The NYC Department of Health has other recommendations for dog owners here.


6. Vaccinate!

Approximate Cost: $15-$150 per vaccine per year. Discounted vaccine packages can often be purchased wherever you get your vaccines.

If you plan to take your pup to a New York City facility for boarding, training, or grooming, you will need to show proof of vaccinations for canine distemper, adenovirus, parainfluenza, parvovirus, and bordetella.


7. Embrace the Shed

Time Required: 1 hour per week for cleaning floors and furniture
Approximate Cost: $30 for deshedding and fur removal tools

Falling in love with a dog can happen unexpectedly: you attend an adoption event to accompany a friend, and the next thing you know you’re ordering name tags, dog bowls, and your NYC dog license. So while you may plan on having a dog in New York City that doesn’t shed, be prepared to fall in love with a dog that does. Chances are you’ll be so in love that the shedding won’t bother you, but it’s good to know in advance that you will likely have furry floors and additional chores.


8. Life’s a Beach.

If you want your dog to run free on the beach, you’ll have to take a trip out to Long Island (beach recommendations here on However, leashed dogs are allowed on the sand at Wolfe’s Pond Beach, South Beach, Manhattan Beach, Midland Beach, Cedar Grove Beach, Coney Island Beach, and Brighton Beach from October 1 – May 1st. Check the NYC Parks website for more information.


9. Invest in Pet Insurance

Time Required: 1 hour for research and registration
Approximate Cost: $25 per month

Accidents can happen in the blink of an eye and dog surgery can cost in the thousands. Unless you don’t mind shelling out hundreds to thousands of dollars because of a swallowed sock or a stray skateboarder, consider investing in pet insurance that will handle most of the costs of emergency care. Some dog breeds are susceptible to cancer, and 50% of dogs over the age of 10 develop it at some point. With proper cancer treatment, which can cost upwards of $15,000, more than half of dogs recover. Compare insurance quotes at


10. Adopt, Don’t Shop!

Approximately 4 million dogs enter animal shelters every year, so if you’re in the market for a dog, consider adopting from one of the many upcoming adoption events or dog rescues in New York City.


With proper mental preparation and dog training, having a dog in New York City might be the best decision you can make! Prepare for some unexpected surprises, and a whole lot of love!

Above image courtesy of Matt Nelson on Unsplash.

Start your pet-friendly home search today!

Share this