Takes a Village to Raise A...Dog!

Before I adopted Ginger, I had spent months going back and forth on whether I wanted to bring a dog into my life. At the time I was single, worked full-time in an office, and enjoyed the freedom of coming and going as I pleased. I knew taking care of a pup was a big responsibility and it would force me to adjust my lifestyle and, truthfully I wasn’t sure if I was ready for that commitment.

   First picture of Ginger!   First night sleeping in her bed!

Even the day I adopted Ginger, it all went so fast I still wasn’t fully sure! On our ride back home from the SPCA, I vividly remember thinking to myself “what the hell did I just do? Did I just make a mistake? I don’t have a bed, toys, or even food for her.” But there was something about Ginger’s calm and timid demeanor that reassured me, and I knew I would be okay with her.

Best thing I ever did!

2 years later, I can confidently say that adopting Ginger was one of the best decisions of my life. Dogs are a huge responsibility and at a minimum they need food, water, and some outside time, but nowadays who wants to be that dog parent that only does the minimum? Long are the days where the family dog is just a dog. Pet parents now treat their pups like children. We research and buy the best food, snacks, and toys, we start Instagram accounts because our pups are definitely cute enough to be the “next big influencer”, we buy all kinds of stylish outfits for them to wear, and fill our phones with thousands of pictures of our pups. It is our responsibility to make sure that we keep our pups tails wagging and that can be a lot for one person (or couple). They say it takes a community to raise a child, well, having a solid dog community is an important and underestimated element when owning a dog as well, especially in NYC.

Having a dog community is so important, especially since we can’t take our fur-babies everywhere we go, although we wish we could! Personally, I’ve definitely leaned on my community to help me be the best dog dad I can be.

 Here are 3 examples of the dog community I needed when having a NYC pup:

  1. Dog Walking and Boarding
    • A reliable dog walker or dog boarder is especially important if your dog stays at home during the days or if you have to travel, which its 2022 who isn’t traveling?
    • For dog walking there are apps like Rover or Wag! that make finding dog caretakers easy. I have used Rover a number of times for Ginger and was really happy with the outcome.
    • When it comes to boarding, we were able to find a local doggy daycare that Ginger LOVES going to called Dozo Dog. They offer daytime daycare or longterm boarding, which is great on a rainy or snowy day when your dog needs some extra energy release and can’t get it at home.
Ginger LOVES Dozo Dog!
  1. Veterinarian
    • Finding a good vet is so important! Nobody likes to go to the doctors and the same goes for dogs, so finding a vet that you trust and are comfortable with is key. There are “chain” vets like Bond Vet that have multiple offices and are great or you can go with local family run vets like Pet Daddy that are awesome. Either way, their main goal is to keep our pups healthy and happy. Don’t’ forget to research pet insurance when looking for your vet as well. We use Lemonade for Ginger, but there are so many options out there for insurance!
  1. Other Pet Parents
    • You know that excited feeling you get when you see your friends? Well, dogs have that same feeling when they see their dog friends! Meeting other dogs, and their parents, is a fantastic way to socialize! Pups can play, run, and sniff each other while the owners can chat and take pictures of their pups playing. It’s a win/win situation – although I will tell you I ALWAYS remember the dogs name and have a hard time remembering the parents (oops!). Finding other pet parents isn’t difficult and you can do it just by taking your dog on a walk, but there are also many Facebook Groups, Meetup events, and even dating apps like Pawmates or Dig that make it easy as well!
Ginger and her friend Luna! Ginger loves napping with friends!

Overall adopting a dog on whim is not the best advice, however it worked for me and I couldn’t be happier! These 3 community needs around NYC helped me continue living my life, traveling and work while having a happy pup, and I can confidently say my household is much more complete with a pup to give me kisses in the morning.