Sunday, April 6, 2014

Good Paw-dicures Make Good Neighbors

There are many unique challenges to being a dog owner in New York City, from having to take your dog up and down the stairs or elevator every time they have to go out (rather than opening a door to a fenced in yard), to needing to patiently explain that while cockroaches may LOOK delicious, they are not an acceptable puppy snack. But one of the hardest things about being a pet parent in New York is the inevitable close quarters with other people who may not love dogs as much as you do. They say good fences make good neighbors, but since in this town your "fences" are actually shared walls and ceilings, here are some of the best solutions we have found to make sure the sounds of our adventures don't spoil our neighbor's fun!

1. Invest in some good (cute) rugs.

There is a rule that at least 75% of your flooring must be covered in order to keep noise for downstairs neighbors at a minimum, but the click clack of little puppy toenails on wood floors calls for a little bit more coverage. Since we have several large antique kilims down within the apartment, I didn't want to sacrifice style for the sake of noise control, but I also didn't want to spend upwards of $200 on rugs. I was so excited to discover the selection of runners, area rugs, and doormats at Urban Outfitters: there is a style for every space at a post-college grad's pricepoint! Our favorites are the kilim style runner and 4x6 area rug from Magical Thinking, which blend perfectly with the aesthetic of our space while muffling the sound of Holly's play.

I use this rug in my kitchen, the bright colors are also great for concealing spills.
Magical Thinking rug, Urban Outfitters. Buy it here.
2. Take your pup for regular paw-dicures (or do them yourself).

I have spoken before about my preference for using a nail grinder on Holly's toenails rather than a clipper, because I am deathly afraid of hitting her quick. Even with the grinder, I found I was too nervous when working on Holly's toenails, and she was picking up on that energy and getting very anxious. Luckily for us, our local Petco grooming salon offers nail grinding for only $15 (price varies by pet size), so we have added a bi-monthly paw-dicure to our routine, keeping downstairs neighbors happy and Holly's feet healthy all at the same time!

3. Find some quiet toys for early and late play.

At first I thought that the best course of action to avoid too much noise would be to focus simply on soft toys that wouldn't make too much noise when I threw them for Holly. What I didn't factor in was the deafening decibels of the squeakers. Maybe it's just me being overly concerned, but knowing my immediate next door neighbor's bedroom shares a wall with the living room suddenly made the squeak of some of Holly's favorite toys sound like a full brass band. We have since purchased several not so loud toys that don't thud on the floor when thrown OR squeak too loud, meaning happy neighbors on all sides, and a happy Holly inside! Here are some of our favorites:

Kong Beaver (with removable squeaker), available here.

Kong Wubba Snugga Wubba toy, available here.
Kong Tugga Wubba toy, available here.

Until Next Time, Darlings!

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