Hunter Valley News

Pets and the city: responsible pet ownership tips for inner-city dwellers

Pets and the city: responsible pet ownership tips for inner-city dwellers

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As a nation with one of the highest rates of pet ownership, there's no denying that caring for your household pet is an integral part of life in Australia. For many living on the city's outskirts or in the Greater Adelaide area, seeing that your cat or dog gets enough outdoor time simply entails letting them run around an expansive backyard.

However, the realities of pet ownership can look a little different for inner-city dwellers, especially for renters. Alongside experiencing limitations when it comes to both indoor and outdoor space, living within a densely populated suburb can also hold its fair share of complications, with noise complaints being one of the most common grievances shared between pet owners and their neighbours.

Thankfully, there are easy solutions that dedicated pet owners will be able to pursue. We'll be outlining all these top tenets of inner-city pet ownership below.

Stay on top of your pet's healthcare

Having numbers for emergency vets on your fridge is a staple of many households that practice responsible pet ownership. Ensuring that you maintain an appropriate response to any potential medical concerns and act promptly if your pet exhibits any unusual or worrying behaviour can often mean the difference between life and death.

What you may be surprised to hear, however, is that inner-city pets are increasingly likely to develop infections or catch diseases as a direct result of interacting with others of their kind than their rural counterparts. For this reason, inner-city pet owners must keep their fur babies up to date with their monthly worming and flea medication, as well as maintain regular appointments with their veterinarian.

Similarly, while pets living in country Australia are more likely to experience insect or snake bites over being attacked by others of their kind, urban animals have a far higher chance of experiencing attacks from feral or domesticated cats and dogs. There is, however, still a genuine chance for inner-city pets to experience snake bites. Despite this, these statistics are reflected in pet insurance policies across Australia, so inner-city pet owners are advised to read the fine print on their selected policy so that they're fully aware of what their pets are covered against.

Walk daily and engage in regular obedience training

Pet ownership in Australia came to a record high during COVID-19 lockdowns, as more and more households sought to find new avenues for connection in their isolation and use the extra hours afforded to them by working or studying from home to spend with their new fur babies. Sadly, coming out of lockdown and seeing their humans heading back to work or school has naturally resulted in many animals being forced to adjust to a drastically lonely reality for them rapidly.

Rates of separation anxiety have increased exponentially. With it, many dogs and cats have been making a ruckus when left home alone, causing property damage and even prompting complaints from neighbours. While medication and pet care goods like therapy bedding and stimulating toys can help household pets adjust to your sudden disappearance from their day-to-day lives, the negative impacts of lockdown whiplash can still make themselves known when you have company over or even take your pet out for a stroll around the neighbourhood. Dogs and cats can forget or even unlearn their social etiquette, prompting them to engage in antisocial behaviours that can then go on to start fights and cause injuries.

The best method for dealing with these behaviours is by enlisting support from your veterinarian and obedience trainers. Alongside using the tools they can provide you, you can also simply do your best to get them accustomed to their new routines. Go for walks at the same time every day, just as you would feed them and put them to bed at similar times as well. Your fur babies will respond positively to these established routines, and in time, you'll find that these negative behaviours will slowly diminish.

Find your nearest local dog park

Even if you can't take your dog on a long walk or jog every day, you can still ensure they have access to plenty of social opportunities by taking them to your local dog park. Dog parks can be a genuine haven for inner-city dogs, as an hour or two to blow off some steam with some other bubbly pups may be all they'll need to fulfil both their physical activity requirements and their daily mental stimulation.

On top of providing your pup with plenty of playtime options, dog parks can become a strong community environment for pet owners as well. You may find like-minded owners who live in your locality and would be happy to go on walks with you, or potentially even pet sit for you now and then too. What's more is that many dog parks are also accompanied by their own Facebook page so that frequent visitors can keep each other in the loop and share resources with one another.

The benefits of smart pet tech

Finally, suppose you can't find a regular pet sitter or a dog walker to keep your pet active throughout your workday. In that case, you could potentially invest in some smart home technology to help you stay connected to your fur family even when you're away from home. The smart pet tech market is growing with every passing year. In the present day, there is a myriad of different products and services that could be of immense benefit to inner-city pet owners in particular.

Products like indoor cameras equipped with two-way audio or treat dispensers can help anxious pets feel reassured that they're not alone even when you're at work. Similarly, items like automatic feeders can be a veritable godsend for families taking care of younger animals like puppies or kittens or fostering animals for their local shelter.

Being a responsible pet owner is all about ensuring that you stay in touch with your household pets' needs and consistently identify what they may need. Setting time aside to spend with your pets will help keep your household harmonious and your pets feeling very satisfied, whether they live in a 10th-floor apartment or a townhouse in the inner city.