Dogs in New York City: A Guide for Dog Owners 

Dogs in New York City: A Guide for Dog Owners titlecard

The hustle and bustle are the perfect words to describe New York City. But if you think the busy city has no room for dogs, think again! While it may be a little harder to find a place to take your dogs in New York City, it’s doable, and you can enjoy plenty of other activities with your furry friend.

Owning a dog in New York City requires extra planning and preparation. You need to find a dog-friendly home, a veterinarian, a groomer, and a trainer that are all close by. Getting familiar with the city’s dog laws, e.g., dog licenses and vaccination, and picking up after them, is essential for dog owners.

As a dog owner in NYC, you’ll not run short of creative ways to rock your pooch while going about your daily life. If you are living, visiting, or just moved to NY with your pup, here is the ultimate guide on how to transition, where to go, and the dos and don’ts of the bustling city. 

Is New York City dog friendly?

New York City is a reasonably dog-friendly place. Although the city is large, plenty of dogs exist, which you probably haven’t thought of.

The New York City Economic Development Corporation (NYC EDC) records that the city is home to over a million pets, where dogs take the more significant share.

In every three houses, you’ll find a pet, which may feel like a lot, but ‌look around the streets of the densely populated city. Almost every person who passes you is in the company of a furry friend on a leash.  

The NYCEDC report further reveals that the ideal pet neighborhoods are at the side of Central Park and around the East River-bounded Astoria Park.

Within the East River waterfront, a district of Williamsburg, the better part of suburban Staten Island, and one place that may seem unlikely, the quieter corner of Queens known as Middle Village.

Rules and regulations for pet ownership in NYC

You can live comfortably with your four-legged buddy in NYC and have fun anywhere. However, you must observe the rules and regulations to enjoy this lifestyle fully.

Dog license

You can only own a dog in New York City if you have a permit. The license is attached to your dog’s collar when in public spaces. The warrant’s validity is one year, with regular renewals.

Dog leash

When out and about with your dog in public areas, it must have a leash that is no longer than 6ft. Your NY pet laws forbid you to tether the dog for over three hours, which attracts a fine. Your dog’s leash can’t be heavy chains or pinch collars, as they are illegal in NY. 


Your dog must take a rabies vaccine, as frequently as vets recommend, among other mandatory vaccines. All vaccines must be current because you will have to prove it before entering any pet parks or boarding facilities in the city. Ensure your dog receives booster shots periodically.

Pick up after your dog

NYC leads in enforcing the mandatory law of picking up after your dog during walks. NYC is one of the first cities in the USA to enforce this law, and breaching it will lead to a $250 fine. Anytime you set out to take a walk or treat your dog in a cafe, don’t forget the poop for your buddy. 

Where to buy a dog in New York City?

The thought of owning a pet may not have crossed your mind until you move to NY and see how people love and treasure these furry beings. Watching a pet parent and the pup relate leaves you wondering, where can I buy a dog in New York City? 

Since you’re new to the dog world, you have little knowledge of the breed you wish to buy. Understand that you can’t adopt a dog for free, and even the adoption centers charge a fee to cover expenses. 

All canines in NYC must have a valid license you apply for at the adoption center, veterinarian, or pet shop. If these options aren’t viable for you, the same application is available online; apply and submit it online or download it and send it to the NYC Department of Health.

Free puppies are rare, and if you find one from a good home, it may be because the owner can no longer take good care of it.

Reach out to the shelters below to buy or adopt a dog in NYC.
  • A cut above pet stylists
  • NYC dog breeders
  • Who is your doggy
  • Fashionable pets  
  • Pawsh 
  • Mixlab
  • Playful paws Grooming salon and daycare
  • Good dog, private pet
  • Citipups Chelsea
  • Vinnys Pet store

Visit any of the above puppy shops, choose the furry canine that attracts you, do the paperwork, and bring it home.

Before taking your new friend home, maximize the opportunity to ask relevant questions that may be of concern, especially if you are a first-time dog owner.

Pet shops like the NYC Breeders pride themselves in selling purebred puppies, catering expenses for the first vet visit, and a lifetime of free training for every dog they sell. These services are available in the five boroughs.

Is it difficult to have a dog in New York City?

Person walking dogs in a park

Having a dog in NYC is as easy as 1,2,3 as long as you adhere to the NYC dog laws. Although NYC is a fun place to have your dog, you’ll face some difficulties, especially if you are new to the city. However, with proper preparation, you do it like others. 

The national average for dogs living in a city is 60%, but NY has 40%, which translates to about 600,000 dogs, and people still ‌keep their dogs happy and active. Observe the following to live a good life with your pup in NYC.

Find pet-friendly taxis

Not all taxis will ‌ transport you and your furry friend, and the yellow cabs can ‌ carry you or bypass you no matter how hard you hail at them. As for Uber Lyft drivers, it is upon each driver to decide whether to transport both of you. 

Tell the driver in advance about your four-legged friend when requesting a ride. Other companies like Canine Car Pet Taxi specifically transport dogs, but they must be well-mannered so as not to cause trouble or mess up in the vehicle.

If your dog is in a carrier, you may have more drivers willing to accept your ride.

Riding public transport: subways, busses, ferries

You can take your dog on NYC subways as long as they are in carriers, and they should be well-mannered to not annoy or interfere with other passengers. However, service animals can ride without carriers, provided they have leashes. 

The Staten Island Ferry will allow your dog to ride with them if it is muzzled, in a cage, and carriers for small dogs. Below is a list of more public activities good for you and your dog:

Visit the parkPet parents and their furry friends have access to almost 29,000 acres, the total space covering parks. The parks are dog-friendly and ideal for recreational activities for you and the dog.
The beachTwo events allow for dog adoption: the annual Broadway Barks event, whose primary attendees are entertainers, and Adoptapalooza, an NYC Mayor’s Alliance event. If you’re thinking of adding a new furry friend to your family, capitalize on this opportunity.
Lose the leashWalk through the beach and your dog when on a leash. You can take it for a walk alongside each other on the sand and boardwalk areas on NYC beaches, including Rockaway Beach and Manhattan Beach. 
Annual pets in NYCChoose which annual pet-friendly event to attend, from the Easter Bonnet Festival to the St. Patrick’s Day Parade.
These events celebrate your pet, while others present a mingling opportunity, like the annual Tompkins Square Park Halloween Dog Parade and the American Kennel Club.
Pet adoption events Two events allow dog adoption: the annual Broadway Barks event, whose primary attendees are entertainers, and Adoptapalooza, an NYC Mayor’s Alliance event. If you’re considering adding a new furry friend to your family, capitalize on this opportunity.

Renting with the dog in New York City

Finding a pet-friendly house in NY isn’t impossible, but they are scarce. However, if you begin an early search, you will get the perfect apartment, as most NYC buildings do not accept tenants’ dogs weighing above 50 pounds. 

Diverge relevant information about pets to your landlord immediately to avoid misconceptions and frustrations when moving into the new house. Some landlords are specific about breeds, size, manners, and aggressiveness.

Most rental homes in NY will charge a pet fee above your rent, but you can escape the charges by getting rentals that don’t charge for pets.

Best places to live in Manhattan with a dog

Regardless of the neighborhood you decide to live in NYC, make sure the apartment is pet-friendly. Landlords may have variant rules in their buildings, and you need to find one that accommodates your pooch without‌ being mean.

Enquire how easy it is to come and go in the building with your dog; stairs are perfect for a puppy to navigate, but the same might be daunting for a senior who may need an elevator. Consider the following residential areas where you can live in Manhattan with your dog.

1. Upper East Side

The Upper East Side neighborhood in Manhattan is an upscale zone. Although it is in the center of Manhattan, it has a more relaxing atmosphere with multiple playgrounds, schools, and community centers and is more of a suburb. 

Not forgetting your furry friend, the neighborhood has plenty of pet-friendly places. It is near Central Park, where your pup can enjoy the many dog fountains and 23 off-leash designated zones.

In addition, your dog can run in Andrew Haswell Green Park, Carl Schurz Park along the East River, and a promenade walk area.

2. Upper West Side

The Upper West Side borders the dog-friendly Central Park in Manhattan. It is a cozy residential, small town, and the most green in Manhattan.

The small city is home to Riverside Park, an impressive waterfront park providing a beautiful view of the Hudson River, a promenade where your dog can enjoy four dog-run areas. 

3. Soho

If the trend excites you, then the glamorous Soho is where you must live. The neighborhood has cobblestone streets, architectural cast-iron, luxurious boutiques, lofts, and art galleries in lower Manhattan. 

Outdoor spaces are minimal in Soho, but most businesses cater to pet owners, and many apartments are dog-friendly. The parks in the area are Vesuvio Playground and Charlton Plaza. You can take your dog for a walk in the dog-friendly parks: Washington Square Park or Soho Grand Dog Park.

Cost of owning a dog in New York City

The average cost of owning a dog in NYC is $3,823 in the first year. These expenses include adoption, fostering, buying a dog, and the costs during the first year, including vet visits, diet, grooming, and training. Here is a breakdown:

  • Adoption fee – $341.67 
  • First vet bill – $543.40
  • Annual food costs – $228
  • Dog license yearly fee – $8.50
  • Start-up supplies – $350
  • Treats and toys average annually – $217
  • The annual dog walker costs – $2,112

A study by Vet Naturals sought to find out the cost of living in the USA and found that NYC is in the fifth position, where position one is the most expensive. The study reveals that your place of residence in the US ‌impacts all costs surrounding dog affairs.

A New Yorker buys a dog from a breeder rather than adopt it. In that case, the annual cost goes up to $5,592 in the first year. The average purchase price for a dog is around $2,041 in NYC. 

Licensing goes up to $9, and the first bill also goes up to $591. A New Yorker who opts to foster a dog will cover about $2,351 annually, cutting the cost by almost half.

Buy low-cost dog accessories: Spay, Neuter, and Microchips on the Mayor’s Alliance website in NYC.

Pet food supplies are also available on the same website, listing pocket-friendly prices. If you wish to reduce the costs of owning and living with a dog in NYC, visit the Mayor’s Alliance website. 

Liked it? Take a second to support Nicholas on Patreon!
Become a patron at Patreon!

Similar Posts