The New York Times is frequently an inspiration for my blog posts. Typically, my posts are to alert readers to breaking news about a disease like leptospirosis, to give a hint about how readers might better handle pet-related issues, or to highlight a recently published interview.
But today I am going to disagree with an article published in the Real Estate section of the Times. In this article, New York City is ranked number 97 on a list of 100 pet-friendly cities. Using 21 variables, including the pet-friendliness of the rental market; average home size; preponderance of single-family detached homes (in other words, housing likely to have a yard for the dog); the cost per capita of veterinary care; local animal protection laws; and the availability of dog parks and other outdoor spaces and, of course, the number of pet-friendly restaurants, NYC landed near the bottom of the top 100. I think it deserves to be moved much closer to the top.
24/7 Animal Emergency Rooms
New York City hosts at least half a dozen animal ERs, the oldest here at the Animal Medical Center. Running a 24/7 operation and staffing veterinarians, veterinary technicians and support staff 24 hours a day is more costly than operating a daytime-only neighborhood veterinary clinic. Part of the reason NYC ranks low in the list is because of pet care costs. But, if your pet has an emergency and you live in a city without 24/7 emergency care, is that really pet-friendly?
In addition to multiple animal ERs, NYC has several veterinary specialty hospitals. For example, AMC has 100 veterinarians, combining expertise in more than 17 key specialties and services from anesthesia to surgery and every specialty in between. Yes, specialty care can be expensive, because specialists have more years of training and use computed tomography, endoscopes, ultrasounds, and high-tech tests to diagnose and treat complicated diseases. But, if your pet has a serious disease and you live in a city without board certified veterinary specialists, is that really pet-friendly?
New York City ranked #3 in dogs per capita. One of our strengths was outdoor space for dogs. Right near the AMC, and along the East River Promenade, we have both large and small dog runs, which are free and open to the public. Dog parks are scattered all over the city and when you are looking to rent an apartment, check this list for the dog park near you.
New York City Tips
If you are considering moving to NYC with your dog, plan ahead. Since veterinary care can be expensive everywhere, investigate insurance policies for your favorite fur baby. Renting or buying an apartment in NYC will require many personal documents. Be sure to include your dog’s dossier as part of the application process. For tips on renting an apartment with a dog, read “Getting a lease if you have a leash.”
NYC is #1 in my mind when it comes to being pet-friendly. Please don’t let the New York Times ranking keep you and your pet from coming to live in the Big Apple – we love animals!