Moving is one of the most stressful events you can experience. Moving to New York City with a dog is even more stressful. And since dogs have very limited communication skills, it’s essential that you do your best to prepare your dog for your move just as you’ve already prepared yourself. In many ways, you should approach moving with a dog the same way you would if you were moving with a child.
Read on to find out more about moving to New York City with a dog, and the steps you can take to ensure it goes as smoothly as possible.
How to Prepare to Move to NYC with a Dog
Try to Keep Calm
Dogs tend to be extremely in tune with their owners’ emotions, which means they are likely to get stressed out when they sense that you’re feeling tense. While there’s no way to avoid at least a little bit of stress around your move to New York City, you should do your best to appear calm and collected around your dog. This will help them feel more comfortable and less likely to become upset or scared.
Keep a Routine
Dogs are extremely dependent on their daily routines. They get used to the time you come home from work, feed them dinner, and take them on walks. When you’re preparing to move, you’re often staying up late and waking up early to pack boxes, and parts of your dog’s routine can get forgotten.
For a smooth move, try to stick to your dog’s schedule as best as possible. Do your best to help your dog feel like everything is normal, and they will be much more likely to feel comfortable when moving day comes.
Prepare for Travel
When you’re packing your bag or car for your move, you always include items that will make the trip more comfortable, like your favorite music, tasty snacks, and comfortable clothing. Make sure to do the same thing for your dog. Whether you’re flying or driving to your new destination, make sure to have the following items on hand:
- Vaccination records
- Something with a familiar scent, like your dog’s favorite toy or blanket
- Food and treats
- Vet contact information
- Fresh water and a portable water bowl
- A leash and dog waste bags
- Pet training pads in case of accidents
Schedule a Vet Appointment
Visit your veterinarian to ensure your dog is up to date on their vaccinations. If your dog isn’t already microchipped, you might want to look into that as it can be helpful to have while traveling. Your vet will be able to give you good advice for traveling with your dog, as they already know their personality well.
Your current vet might also be able to recommend a new vet for you to visit in New York City. If any emergencies arise during or after your move, it’s smart to have the number for your new vet on hand, or even the number for emergency veterinarian services. It will save you some serious worry in the event of an emergency.
Book with Pet-Friendly Hotels
If you’re driving to your new destination, you might find yourself staying in hotels for a couple nights. It’s important to note that not all hotels allow pets. Hotels will usually list online whether they allow pets in their rooms, but it’s always a good idea to call before you book to ensure you won’t encounter any issues when you arrive at the hotel.
When you get to the hotel room, inspect it to make sure there aren’t any hazards lying around, or anything your dog will be tempted to chew on.
Find an Apartment with a Good Pet Policy
Apartment hunting is difficult in New York City—and finding a dog-friendly place is even more difficult. Be aware that you might have to pay a pet deposit to cover damages. In some cases, this can be as expensive as your rent. You might also have to pay an additional monthly fee on top of your rent payment. This varies from apartment to apartment, but is very common in cities.
You should also be aware of how easy it is to get in and out of the apartment when taking your dog on a walk—will there be elevators or stairs? What floor will you be living on? To make it easier for yourself and your dog, make sure you won’t need to travel too far if your dog needs to go to the bathroom.
Hire a Professional New York City Moving Company
Something that can greatly cut down on the stress of moving for you and your dog is finding the right professional New York City moving company. The professional movers at White Glove Moving & Storage can help you and your favorite four-legged friend’s possessions get to New York City safely, ensuring you have a smooth transition to city living. Contact us today to see how we can help with your big move.
Getting Around New York City with a Dog
The Challenges of Having a Dog in NYC
No matter how much of a dog person you are, it can be difficult having a dog in New York City. But don’t worry—lots of people do it. In fact, it’s estimated that there are about 600,000 dogs living in the city. This number is about 40 percent lower than the national average, but many people still find ways to give their dogs happy, active lives.
Find Pet-Friendly Taxis
Yellow cabs will likely see your dog standing next to you when you are hailing them down, so they can make the decision whether to transport you. Uber and Lyft drivers are independent contractors, so whether or not they will be okay with dogs is also entirely up to them. You can always call the driver before they arrive to make sure they’re okay with your dog riding along with you. Service and emotional support animals are always allowed.
If you don’t want to take an Uber or Lyft, there are some dog-friendly taxi companies like Canine Car Pet Taxi, Pet Chauffeur, and K9 Cars Inc. that exist specifically to transport dogs. Of course, your dog should be well-behaved and not make any messes in the vehicle. It’s generally a good idea to keep your dog in a carrier if they’re smaller, and drivers might be more likely to accept your ride request if your dog is in a carrier. Just make sure to tip!
Riding Subways, Busses, and Ferries
Dogs and cats are allowed on New York City subways, but they must be in their carriers at all times. They also shouldn’t annoy other passengers. Service animals are allowed to ride outside of their carriers as long as they are on leashes. However, “service animal” does not mean emotional support animal. So if you have an emotional support animal, they must also be in their carrier.
The Staten Island Ferry allows dogs only if they are service animals or if they are small dogs in their carriers. Pets are allowed if they are caged and muzzled.
Adjusting to New York City with a Dog
Learn New York City Dog Regulations
New York City has strict laws concerning dog ownership. The City Health Code requires that all dogs receive a license, which should be attached to their collar. These licenses have to be renewed each year, so be sure to begin the process as soon as you get to New York City.
According to the New York City Leash Law, all dogs must be on a leash no longer than six feet when out in public, and you’re required to clean up after your dog in public areas. It is also illegal to keep your dog tied or chained up for more than three hours.
All dogs ages four months and older are required to be vaccinated against rabies. These vaccines need to be updated every so often, so make sure to check with your new vet to ensure your dog stays current.
Calming Separation Anxiety
New York City apartments are notoriously tiny, and that means you might hear your neighbors from time to time. If your dog is feeling anxious following your move, they might whine and bark when you leave the apartment. Your neighbors are likely to become annoyed if this doesn’t stop after a while.
To calm your dog’s separation anxiety, try to spend as much time as possible in the apartment with your dog when you first move there. This will give them the confidence to explore their new home with you by their side. If your dog is still struggling with separation anxiety after a few weeks, you might want to talk to your new vet to see if there are any medications or methods they recommend.
Learning to Poop on the Sidewalk
Something you might not think about is getting your dog to poop on the sidewalk. Most dogs like standing on some kind of soft surface before going to the bathroom—like grass or leaves. But grass can be hard to find on the sidewalks of New York City, and most of the time, dogs aren’t allowed to step on the grass.
To get your dog used to pooping on the sidewalk, make sure to give them plenty of time and reward them with treats after they’ve finished. Also, make sure to bring cleanup bags with you, as you can get fined if you’re caught not picking up after your dog.
Knowing Where You Can Go
City living can seem claustrophobic with a dog, as there are lots of places you can’t bring them. Most restaurants do not allow dogs inside, which can be very difficult in the fall and winter when it’s too cold to leave your dog outside. However, many neighborhoods have dog parks where dogs can run free through the grass, so make sure your dog gets out as much as possible to exercise and socialize.
Now that you’ve learned the basics of moving to New York City with a dog, take a look at our infographic to find out more about alleviating stress and ensuring a smooth move.