top of page
  • Writer's pictureTracie Koehnlein

Your Guide to City Dog Essentials

We all love to spoil our furry friends--and sometimes fill the house up with all sorts of things we find we don’t use, and our dogs aren’t thrilled with. But what are some items that not only will our pups enjoy but will make our lives as pet parents easier? Here’s a list of what Bark Buildings considers “must haves” for city dogs.

Standard Flat Leash

A standard flat leash is what one might call a “traditional” leash. Flat leashes give the handler of the dog the most control and can keep the dog close on city sidewalks. Though popular, retractable or “flexi-leashes” can be very dangerous and especially dangerous in the city, enabling a dog to run into the street or get into a conflict with another dog or person. Rather than a retractable leash, you should find a well-made 4’ or 6’ flat leash made of leather or nylon. Some even come with a D-Link at the very top, which could be attached to your belt loops using a carabiner!


A tiny microchip the size of a grain of rice placed between your dog’s shoulder blades can save your pet’s life. It is truly one of the greatest inventions in the pet space and has helped thousands of lost city pups be reunited with their parents. After a shelter or veterinarian implants a chip, you’re given a number and profile with a chip company that can trace your dog to you. A microchip can be your pup’s ticket home if your dog should somehow escape or get lost.

Portable Water Dish

For the dog lover on the go, it’s important to make sure your pup is hydrated. But when you’re walking around the city on hot days, you may struggle to find a place to get your

dog water. Carry a portable water dish on your walks that can conveniently clip to your belt, and you can serve your dog water from any city water fountain or share your own water bottle without worrying about dog germs. And if you live in a Bark Building, you should have received a collapsible water bowl within your new resident welcome gift!

Paw Protection

One item that is vital to city dogs is paw protection! City dogs always need to walk on concrete and asphalt, which in cold climates may be covered in snow and ice, and in warm climates may be scalding hot. There are various choices including paw balm, booties, and dog leggings, so make sure to do your research or reach out to your Bark Buildings Pet Concierge to figure out what works best for you and your pooch.

Flirt Pole

City dogs may not get the opportunity to get as much vigorous exercise as dogs who may have yards, so what is an urbanite with an active pup to do? Get a flirt pole! Flirt poles are large sticks with a lure on a string. Flirt poles can be used with dogs of any size to chase indoors on large balconies and in dog runs. It’s a ton of fun for everyone involved and tires out a dog in a small space!

Poop Bag Dispenser

Our favorite line about poop pick up is that it’s not fun but it’s gotta be done! . Poop bag dispensers are important for responsible dog owners to have on hand whenever they take their dogs for a walk or to the park. Always having poop bags will help you keep your city clean and endear you to your neighbors. After all, no one likes the alternative!

Kongs or Other Busy Toys

Whether it’s for an evening snack, a special treat to enjoy while you’re at work, or to eat their meals, all dogs need busy toys! Busy toys are great ways to feed your dog and offer enrichment by stuffing food and snacks inside and having your dog work their mind and body to take them out. There are dozens of them on the market, most popularly Kongs, Kong Wobblers and many types of Busy Buddies.

Pet Tote

Though not all dogs can fit, if you have a cat or smaller dog, a pet tote or backpack is a must for any pet owner who needs to travel with their pet on public transportation or rideshares that require the animal to be contained. There’s a variety of traditional hard carriers, soft carriers and pet backpacks that you can choose from to take your pet where they need to go! If buying a new carrier, make sure you take the time to familiarize your pet with it within the home in advance of using it for an excursion.


Every dog should have a crate! They accelerate housetraining in young puppies and give them a spot to be contained and take a nap. As they grow, many dogs see their crate as a “safe space”, they can go to when they need to decompress. Having a crate trained dog is also advantageous to owners who may want to travel with their dog or in the event the dog is ill or injured and must be on crate rest. If you need help choosing the right crate for your apartment dog, check out our article here.

It can be easy to spoil your pet and get them an excessive amount of supplies. Make sure to research certain toys or try them out with your pet before your apartment looks like an annex to Petco! If you’re interested in receiving more tips, make sure to follow @BarkBuildings on Instagram and bookmark this blog! Or, if you live in a Bark Building you can always reach out to your Pet Concierge for more specific tips and pet parenting guidance.


bottom of page