Pets come in all shapes and s, just like their owners, and their environment has a huge impact on their life, just like their owners'. The most critical variations from place to place, in terms of a pet's experience, are activity, socialization and dangers.
Environment - Suburban space offers many comforts to pets and owners alike, such as climate control, peace and quite, and ample privacy that includes indoor and outdoor space, affording a pet limited but safe unleashed freedom in the form of a backyard with a suitable fence or wall. A suburban dog knows his territory well, and usually guards it like the treasure that it is. The pace and of the household dictates the amount of activity the pet has.
Exercise - For suburban dogs, access to play and adventure is sometimes as easy and accessible as opening the back door. When a fence is properly installed, a doggie door can even provide independent backyard exploration and bladder relief Sometimes owners overlook the value of new and stimulating sights and smells that a stroll down the sidewalk can provide to their dog. Neighbors might not welcome four-legged trespassers any more than they do two, so good manners and a respectful distance from gardens should be enforced. An effort to engage the dog in a game of fetch or chase is a healthy way to keep the pup off the couch and the pounds off the pup. In suburban areas, a dog is a wonderful motivation for a to exercise and enjoy their outdoor space and neighborhood as well.
Socialization - The same fence that keeps a pet from straying, also keeps a pet from socializing. If there are multiple dogs in the home, then the pack will keep each another amply entertained. For an owner of a single dog, an alternative would be to organize pet playdates, if they want their dog to enjoy the company of a well-matched companion. Also, an effort should also be made early on to train your dog to be a friendly host to humans. A very predictable human social group is often established, based on and friends who regularly visit, and this often results in heightened wariness of strangers on the part of the dog. Recall, if you will, the iconic image of the beleaguered mailperson, so often depicted as the mortal enemy of the loyal dog defending his home turf.
Dangers - Due to the reliance on a private yard for exercise, a suburban pet is slightly more vulnerable to getting lost, so doors and gates must be monitored. If a dog is unfamiliar with the surrounding neighborhood, then in the event that the pet gets away from the property, it might not be able to independently return. If your pet always wears a collar with up-to-date ID tags and license, it can help increase the odds of the pet's safe return. Because some neighborhoods are within close proximity of preserved wilderness, it is important to be aware of natural predators, such as hawks or wild cats, that might target smaller dogs, and therefore they should never be left outside unsupervised.
Breeds - Certain breeds do better with limited and controlled social interaction and sedate, predictable environs. These are the ones suburbanites should look for to find a well-suited pet. While the extra space that a home and yard offers might seem suitable for a larger breed, or a high-energy dog, consideration must be given to the amount of attention and stimulation a dog might need to thrive. The highly active Jack Russell Terrier, for example, requires a good deal of supervision and direction, preferring tasks and activities to lying lazily on the porch. However, just as every household is unique, so too is every dog, so research for a good match is imperative.
Jennifer Hoyden is a freelance writer with a diverse background that includes editorial, trade and advertising. She especially enjoys covering fashion and beauty, for humans and animals (separately). Jennifer is also a passionate dog lover who can play well with cat people.
Like this article? Get more tips in the Tips & Treats section.