7 Best Places to Live in New York with a Dog
From the elegance of the Upper West Side to the rich ethnic culture of Brooklyn, The Big Apple attracts many new residents a year.
New York is a wonderful place to live with a dog and if you take a walk through Central Park, you will discover that many of the city’s friendliest and most gorgeous residents are descendants of wolves.
If you are planning a move to Gotham or within the city with a dog, you may be wondering exactly what the best neighborhood is for you and Fido to reside.
Finding the perfect place for your dog to live and play will depend on the breed, size and age of your dog as well as your personal mobility.
Best Places to Live in New York with a Dog
- Tribeca, Manhattan
- Silver Lake, Staten Island
- Upper West Side, Manhattan
- Long Island City, Queens
- Battery Park City, Manhattan
- Bay Ridge, Brooklyn
- Riverdale, Bronx
While Tribeca is one of, if not the priciest neighborhood to live in New York, it is for a reason.
Adjacent to the Financial District, this neighborhood is home to many stars of the silver screen.
It runs from Canal Street south to Vesey Street, packed with gorgeously renovated sprawling luxury loft apartments.
At the same time, this area is also a dog lover's dream.
The area boasts 3 dog parks including Hudson River Park where you will find blue pavement that is specially designed for those canines who suffer from color blindness.
Small dog owners will be happy to learn that their teacup poodle needn’t be intimidated by that big burly dalmatian at the park because the area has a special pee wee section for the little guys.
If you have to take that important meeting, you can drop your dog off at Barks and Biscuits, which is an upscale doggie daycare.
In addition to daycare, Barks and Biscuits offers grooming and dog walking, training, and even veterinary services.
If you don’t have a car, fear not.
They have a transportation service. Your dog may end up sniffing the rear of a well known thespian’s terrier or a musician’s mutt.
If your baby prefers to get his or her exercise by going for a swim or if arthritis is a problem, you can make an appointment for them at Water 4 Dogs, where they can take a dip in a real swimming pool.
The staff is trained to provide rehabilitative services to older dogs and those with mobility problems.
Why We Chose Tribeca
Tribeca has a fair number of dog-friendly buildings as well as being densely-packed with dog-centric businesses.
The neighborhood offers many choices when it comes to veterinary clinics and hospitals, pet grooming services trainers, walkers, and doggy daycare.
Tribeca also has more dog runs than the average New York City neighborhood, putting it in the top choices for dog lovers.
Silver Lake, Staten Island
This historic neighborhood is filled with rambling old homes that have been converted into apartments.
The tree-lined streets are every dog's dream and humans will love the walkability of the area.
The quaint shops and restaurants will make you feel as though you are in a small, but affluent New England town.
There is a large park in the center of town. It has a dog run and many walking paths.
There is a public golf course and there are tennis courts here. There is even a baseball field at the park, where your dog can hone his ball-catching skills.
If your dog seems to have an unusual interest in sniffing the golf course, it may be because it is built on top of an old graveyard, which was a final resting place for many Irish immigrants.
Why We Chose Silver Lake
Staten Island, in general, is a great place to live if you have a dog.
While there isn't a wild number of luxury dog-related amenities available like in the lower Manhattan, the quiet green suburban environment of the Staten Island is an ideal place to raise a pup.
The park in Silver Lake contains 3 off-leash dog areas, which is the largest dog run on the island, as well as a charming reservoir to walk your dog around.
Upper West Side, Manhattan
Many may not automatically think of the Upper West Side as an iconic area of the city.
In fact, it is once you remember the beautiful views from Central Park of the towering historic buildings rising above the trees along Central Park West.
The Upper West Side has a lot to offer the dog lover, which most areas of Manhattan cannot and that is access to two large parks along the expanse of the neighborhood.
Both parks are considerate of dog owners and offer lots of spaces for dogs to have fun.
Many parts of Central Park are quite busy and is a great place to take your dog if you both like to be around people.
Riverside is much more quaint and provides a tranquil environment for your dog to explore.
Altogether both parks contain 4 dog runs, which is an unusually high number of dog runs for one neighborhood.
Why We Chose the Upper West Side
The Upper West Side is an ideal neighborhood to raise your beloved pooch.
This neighborhood provides a plentitude of opportunities for outdoor play for your furry buddy along Riverside Park and Central Park.
While the number of dog runs is already impressive, both these parks also offer many areas that have off-leash hours for dogs.
Couple this with a healthy offering of pet groomers and services in the area, the Upper West Side is a great location for any dog owner.
Long Island City, Queens
Long Island City is arguably the most up-and-coming of any of Queens' neighborhoods.
Real estate developers have heavily invested in this area in the past 20 years, and continue.
New buildings, businesses, and amenities in the area translate to more options for everyone including dog owners.
While there are plenty of massive parks in other areas of Queens, Long Island City has four off-leash dog runs in a radius of about 10 blocks, making it the most densely packed with dog parks.
LIC Dog Park, Murray Playground Dog Run, Dog Park Of Gantry Plaza, and Hunter's Point Dog Run are all well within walking distance of each.
To boot, Queensbridge Park along the north side of the neighborhood, boarding Astoria not only has its own dog run but also provides amazing waterfront views if you just feel like walking your puppy up the park.
Being a neighborhood right by the water offers residents a great view of the city while you walk your furry pals, whether you're on the south end or the north end.
Furthermore, many of the services provided at pet groomers and pet daycare services are multi-fold.
Most of the local dog-geared businesses in LIC offer a long list of dog and pet-related services, such as doggy daycare, grooming, walking, pet-sitting, dog boarding, and training.
Why We Chose Long Island City
The amazing access to dog parks is just the tip of the iceberg for all that this neighborhood has to offer the average dog lover.
Along with the emergence of great coffee shops, restaurants, and art spaces, LIC's residents have options when it comes to catering to their pups.
The neighborhood offers the highest concentration of pet-targeted businesses in Queens, with many of them focusing on dogs and dog owners.
Lastly, with all this residential development in the neighborhood, there are now many pet-friendly options for people to move into the area.
Battery Park City, Manhattan
The center of this neighborhood is Battery Park which is best known for its ferry boat terminals.
It runs from Battery Place on the west to State Street on the east and New York Harbor to the south.
The park was named for the artillery batteries that were built there by the military in the
Battery Park is a major tourist attraction because of the nautically themed glass carousel it boasts.
It is home to Castle Clinton which is a fort that was built for the war of 1812.
Furthermore, its situation at the tip of Manhattan Island grants this neighborhood some amazing harbor and waterfront views.
The area is considered pet-friendly primarily because the majority of buildings in the neighborhood allow dogs. The park itself is a nice place to walk your dog and people watch.
There are also a few activities you and your dog won’t want to miss in this neighborhood.
While if you're lucky if your neighborhood has one dog run or off-leash hours, Battery Park City boasts three separate dog runs, along with a beautifully landscaped park and an expansive waterfront esplanade.
An unexpected perk might be the Halloween Pet Parade.
If you feel that it is not enough to show off your canine kid on Halloween, you can take them to the Battery Park Pet Parade, which is held the weekend before.
Here they can meet their neighbors while you show them off in this fun community event.
The parade is not limited to dogs. People bring cats, rats, lizards and exotic birds to this event.
You will find many fine places to have your pet groomed and you will never have to go far for a delicious smelling, if not rather pricey bottle of dog shampoo.
Why We Chose Battery Park City
Battery Park City not only offers the obvious--plenty of outdoor space to walk or spend time with your furry best friend, but it also has one of the highest percentages of dog-friendly apartments in New York.
According to Rover.com, over half of the buildings in this neighborhood accept dogs. That translates into a lot of apartments.
Battery Park City is full of hi-rise buildings, many of them housing hundreds of units.
Just three of the largest buildings (which happen to be pet-friendly) contain almost 1,000 apartments!
This is a big deal, as normally less than a quarter of buildings in most New York City neighborhoods are pet-friendly.
Bay Ridge, Brooklyn
Bay Ridge is not an obvious or immediate Brooklyn choice for dogs lovers.
Trendier Brooklyn neighborhoods like Brooklyn Heights, Williamsburg, and Park Slope usually get all the attention as they are actually great dog-friendly neighborhoods.
However, Bay Ridge is not only a neighborhood that boasts an excellent family-friend vibe, amazing views of the harbor, and affordable rent and home prices, but also is the perfect environment for dogs and their families.
Parks surround this quaint neighborhood, giving the average dog owner a plethora of opportunities to walk their pet pals around in beautiful settings.
Walking along the promenade at Shore Park is truly a special hidden gem experience of New York City.
Who better to share it with than your best furry friend?
While this unsung Brooklyn hero of a neighborhood may not be on everyone's radar, it offers the same amount of incredible pet groomers, doggy daycare, vets, and dog-everything businesses.
Why We Chose Bay Ridge
Bay Ridge not only has all the amenities that a dog owner is looking for, but also has the advantage of being a quiet more suburban-like neighborhood.
The typical Bay Ridge residential street is lined with trees and historic private houses.
Absent is the usual loud hustle and bustle of New York City life. Instead, you have the perfect environment to raise your pup and grow old with him.
This is especially important for those with dogs who scare easily from sudden noises, trains, and loud car horns.
Bundle this with a serious amount of green space and dog-geared neighborhood amenities, Bay Ridge makes for one of the best spots to live with a dog.
Riverdale is an area of the Bronx just north of Manhattan Island.
The neighborhood contains the subsection of Fieldston. However, the surrounding areas of Spuyten Duyvil and North Riverdale are generally considered part of the greater Riverdale area.
Riverdale is famous for its sprawling historic mansions that are reminiscent of glamor from a bygone era.
To the west, the neighborhood is bordered by the Hudson River. Residents enjoy spectacular views of Englewood Cliffs as well as the river itself.
The westside also offers beautiful greenery. Riverdale Park, Wave Hill, and Raoul Wallenberg Forest, Seton Park and Henry Hudson Park.
To the east side, Van Cortlandt Park spans from the southern edge of Fieldston to the whole expanse of North Riverdale.
Van Cortlandt Park is to the Bronx as Central Park is to Manhattan or Prospect Park is to Brooklyn.
The park has a huge clearing in the main section of the park but is surrounded by beautifully wooded trails perfect for the dog owner that likes to hike with their furry best friend.
Riverdale is a unique hidden gem, many New Yorkers do not know about.
While mansions are available for millions, an affordably priced home, co-op, or condos are also available.
Why We Chose Riverdale
While the area is not as jam-packed with pet-related businesses as Manhattan neighborhoods, Riverdale deserves to be in the top places for dogs.
It's one of the areas of the city that offers heavily wooded areas, which will make you and your dog feel like you're in the country rather than the city.
What dog doesn't love a natural setting?
Riverdale also offers quite a number of dog runs as well as off-leash areas, so there's plenty of opportunities for Fido to get exercise.
This neighborhood's close proximity to Upstate New York (via highway or MetroNorth) makes it convenient for a quick getaway into the country.
Moving to New York with a Dog
Author Gerald Durell once said, “A house is not a home until it has a dog.”
However, some landlords in New York do not want dogs living on their property.
If you are planning a move to the Big Apple, there are a few laws of which you should be aware.
Although millions of Gotham’s residents are canine, landlords in the city have the right to include a no-pet clause in the lease.
It is always advisable to tell your rental real estate agent about any pets that will live with you in your new home.
Make sure that your dog has all of the necessary shots that are required by the state and city.
Strict adherence to the law will show a potential landlord that you are a responsible pet owner and potential tenant.
New York Rental Apartment Pet Policies
Almost any pet agreement will require you to obey all New York City and State laws.
It may also detail policies regarding cleaning up after your pet on the building’s property and leash policies in the common area of the building.
Landlords in Metropolis are allowed to charge a pet fee or pet deposit to cover any damages an animal may create.
Remember that deposits are refundable and fees are not, so you may want to look for a building that only charges a deposit.
An average deposit can range from $250 to $1000. An average fee can range from $35 to $50.
Some buildings charge an annual pet fee and this can be as much as $500 or more per pet.
The size and breed of the dog may also be restricted as part of the terms of the lease.
Even pet-friendly buildings may limit residents to small dogs.
Some inquiries may get up close and personal, such as requests for photos, references, and genetic testing.
Be sure to tell a prospective landlord or rental agent the size, age, and breed of your pet to start.
You might also like: Which Dog Breeds Are Covered by Homeowners Insurance?
Pet Policies at Co-ops and Condos
If you are thinking of buying a place instead, you might think your pooch is safe.
After all, you're paying good money.
Unfortunately, you may find that you are very wrong.
While many co-op or condo buildings may try to present a fair case for pets in order to attract shareholders and owners, there are still plenty that has very restrictive policies.
They can just as prohibitive as rental buildings, outright banning dogs or restricting certain breeds.
Certain buildings may even require that dog owners use different entrances, elevators, or get DNA-tested for restricted breeds.
Just like rental buildings, you may be asked to pay a pet deposit or a monthly pet fee, including any damages or medical bills, so it's important to ask about any pet policies before putting in an offer.
Although it may seem like discrimination, there are some breeds of dogs that are considered dangerous and therefore banned from rental properties.
In spite of the fact that many large breeds often serve as police officers and search and rescue dogs, a property may ban these breeds from a building.
Landlords will often implement these restrictions as it can affect their ability to get insurance for their property.
Here is a list of breeds that are often banned from apartments.
- German Shepherds
- Staffordshire Terriers
- Cane Corsos
- Pit bulls
- Alaskan Malamutes/Huskies
Why Are Certain Breeds Banned From NYC Buildings?
Word of mouth can do a lot to destroy the reputation of a certain breed.
When people have bad experiences with a dog breed, they will tell their friends who will, in turn, tell their friends.
Irresponsible pet owners who do not leash or train their dogs may earn their dogs an undeserved bad reputation.
Bite statistics have also played a part in determining which breeds are considered the most dangerous.
The American Veterinary Medical Association reported the results of a 20 years study that fatal dog bites involved these breeds.
However, collies and Jack Russell terriers were found to have a high rate of bites that resulted in serious injuries.
The study also found that small to medium-sized dogs were the most aggressive.
The study did not detail the circumstances under which certain bites occurred.
German Shepherds came out on top in every category of bite.
However, dogs of this breed are often employed as police officers and guard dogs and may bite people in the line of duty.
Can Your Service Dog Be Prohibited By Your Building?
If you rely upon a dog for medical or psychiatric reasons, no building is allowed to prohibit that dog from residing on the premises with you, including any breed restrictions.
This includes the most common--the seeing-eye or guide dogs as well as an emotional support dog.
The most important thing is to provide documentation from a medical professional that your dog is a necessity for your livelihood or disability (should it not be apparent).
Unfortunately, you cannot just claim that your puppy is your emotional support.
There are people out there with serious emotional and psychiatric issues who respond well to the treatment of a support dog.
In these cases, the emotional support dogs are often "prescribed" by therapists or psychiatrists for conditions like PTSD or other disabilities.
Your landlord is within their rights to request written proof that the emotional support dog is a necessity from a therapeutic professional.
What Are the Different Types of Assistance Dogs?
Believe it or not, there are plenty of other assistance dogs that you probably didn't know about.
Besides guide dogs and emotional support dogs, some dogs are diabetic alert dogs.
These hypersensitive dogs are supposed to alert the owner when there is a spike in blood sugar levels in the case of diabetes.
Seizure response dogs are trained to put their owners out of harm's way during a seizure as well as try to get help for them.
Like "seeing-eye" dogs, hearing dogs alert the deaf when they cannot hear important warnings like smoke detectors, car horns, and oven timers.
Autism support dogs provide assistance to children on the autistic spectrum.
Not only can their emotional support be key, but they often help with problematic issues such as darting away without warning, which children on the spectrum are prone to.
Another uncommon service dog is the allergy detection dog. These dogs use their noses to detect life-threatening or debilitating allergens and warn their owner.
Know What Your Rights Are as a Tenant
While landlords, generally, have a right to deny pets in their apartments and buildings, there are certain protections New York City affords its tenants.
Not only are service dogs a protected class for tenants, but a landlord needs to take action within a reasonable time in order to evict you and your dog.
If your landlord finds out about your pet and does nothing within three months to enforce their no-pet or no-dog clause, then you are within your right to continue living with your dog on the said premises.
This allowance is assuming that your landlord did nothing because your dog has not actually caused disruptions or had a negative effect on living in the building.`
This protection is provided so that no landlord can use your pet as an excuse to evict you at a later date.
Why Do So Many Buildings Not Allow Dogs in New York?
Many buildings in the city either ban pets or mandate very strict guidelines because some buildings have had bad past experiences with either violence from a dog or some kind of issues with disruption.
This can include accidental elimination within the building, damage to common areas or individual units, and complaints of behavior or noise.
Clean up and damage cost building management money, while complaints cause unneeded headaches with tenants or scare away tenants.
The reality is that the root of the problem is bad dog owners that end up giving a bad name to all dogs or certain breeds.
Some owners even engage in criminal behavior such as abuse or neglect of their pets, which often result in aggressive, anxious, and ultimately unpredictable behavior from their dogs.
How to Be a Responsible Dog Owner in New York
Training yourself to be a good dog owner is the start of changing the bad rep dogs have.
Always clean up after your pup, whether it's an accident in the elevator or just everyday elimination on the sidewalk.
Take excessive barking and behavioral issues seriously with your dog.
Invest in some anti-barking devices or hire a trainer to help curb unwanted barking, jumping on people, or aggressive behavior towards other dogs.
If your pooch has special issues with other dogs, tie a yellow ribbon to your leash to show other dog owners that they should keep their dogs away.
Understand that some people don't feel comfortable around animals, and you needn't subject them to your dog's antics no matter how sweet or funny your pup is.
Most importantly, be attentive to your dog's needs, anxieties, and sensitivities.
Helping your dog cope with their issues can help prevent unwanted behavior and leads to a happy and healthy companion!
Qualifying for an Apartment
More important than having your best furry pal pass the landlord's test, you'll need actually qualify for the apartment.
Understanding the basics of real estate works in New York can help you get through the complicated and competitive process.
The Rental Application
Normally, each interested tenant should fill out an application that asks for your personal information, employment history, income info, and recent rental history.
Depending on the landlord's system, this can be a physical form or done online.
The application will be processed and your credit history pulled.
Your Credit Score
Nearly 100% of landlords in New York will want to know your credit score before renting an apartment to you, so, it's one of the critical components that will determine your eligibility.
Your credit rating can establish whether or not you are a good payer.
If you have paid your credit card bills on time, you are likely to pay rent on time.
A credit rating between 650 to 700 is considered good and will likely qualify you for an apartment, although some landlords require excellent credit (750 and up).
A property manager will also want to make sure you make enough money to live in the apartment you are renting.
As a rule of thumb, you should make 40 times the amount of a single month’s rent annually.
You'll be asked to provide photo ID, bank statements, tax returns, pay statements, and a letter of employment.
It's a little trickier if you are a freelancer.
If you don’t have any credit yet, have bad credit or you are a foreign national, you may want to talk to your potential landlord about using a guarantor.