New York City! The hustle and bustle. The energy. The hot dogs. The real dogs. This city has it all. According to a recent study, the Big Apple is home to around 1.1 million pets—a total of 600,000 dogs and 500,000 cats. Not surprisingly, the city offers a wide range of activities, services, and specialty stores to keep your four-legged bestie content. 

But, as we all know, city life isn’t always a breeze. We’re going to tell you how to protect your urban pooch or city feline from the mean streets, and explain how pet insurance could help take the bite out of vet bills.

What is pet insurance? 

Pet insurance helps cover the costs of your vet bills. You pay a monthly premium and in exchange, you can provide care for your canine or feline fur fam without stressing as much about the costs

With Lemonade pet insurance, there are a few different, customizable coverage options: 

For starters, a basic Lemonade pet health insurance policy includes accident and illness coverage. This will help cover the costs of tests, treatments, and medication if your dog or cat has an unexpected accident or illness.

A basic policy is great for the unexpected things in your fur fam’s future, but Lemonade also offers an affordable Preventative and Wellness package that’s designed to keep your pet healthy, and helps cover expenses you’re probably already paying for. By adding this preventive care package to a Lemonade policy you’ll also get access to live medical chat and be covered for all types of routine care—like your annual wellness exam, checkups, blood tests, several vaccinations, and other routine health care for your pet. Get a quote for the best pet insurance plan for your furry friend.

Here’s an example of how a Lemonade pet insurance policy works: 

  1. Buy a policy. You answer a few quick questions about your Bulldog, Ranger, and build your pet’s policy with the help of our friendly AI chatbot. The monthly premium you pay is determined by a few factors, mostly things that you can customize, like your annual deductible, your co-insurance, and the annual limit on your plan. (If you want, you can take a deeper dive into how pet insurance works to help you build your perfect policy.) Pet insurance coverage with Lemonade can cost as little as $10/month. 
  2. Go to the vet. You rush Ranger to the animal hospital after he broke his leg from going too hard at the dog park. The exam fee, x-ray, and cast come to a whopping $1,000. Woof. But because you have pet insurance, you don’t have to worry about the full amount. Get the scoop on what Lemonade covers here
  3. Get your money back. Ranger is safely on the mend and you get up to a $900 reimbursement back in your pocket from Lemonade!

It’s worth noting that as your dog ages, they will require more veterinary care and treatments, which is why it pays to take out a pet insurance policy for your dog as early as possible.

If you try to sign your 13-year-old dog up for insurance for the first time, they might be declined by the pet insurance company due to their age; either way, they’re more likely to have pre-existing conditions that won’t be covered by their insurer. But if you get your new puppy a Lemonade policy right away, you’ll be able to continue renewing their policy as they age.

She’s got a New York state of mind

Pet-friendly living in New York

New York real estate is a beast of its own. If you and your pet are looking for some new digs to call your very own, get the facts and know your rights on owning a pet in NYC. 

Around 75% of New York apartment buildings do not allow pets

We know, this figure is pretty daunting, but there are plenty of exceptions. For example, the NYC Pet Law protects pet owners living in buildings that restrict pets if the pet has been living in the apartment for at least three months without the landlord giving a warning or seeking eviction. If your pet has been coexisting peacefully after the three-month mark, they’re free to stay as long as they like. 

The key here is to be as open as possible about your pet from the beginning (please, don’t try to smuggle your Cocker Spaniel in your jacket). If you deliberately keep your pet a secret from your landlord, you won’t be protected under the law

Be prepared to pay a premium on your pet

Your landlord might ask for you to pay a higher security deposit or have you pay extra on your monthly rent because of your pet. Because some pets (not yours, of course) can cause damage to the walls, floors ,and appliances, this extra cash can cover the repairs down the line. 

And while you’re at it, maybe invest in a scratching post or pee-pee pads to curb pet-related damages before they happen. 

Choose your breed wisely

Each building will probably have their own policy surrounding pets. In general, landlords are more likely to allow cats and smaller breeds of dogs as opposed to larger breeds. Some buildings might restrict certain breeds altogether like Pitbulls or Rottweilers. But even small breeds might like Chihuahuas and Pomeranians might be blacklisted because of their reputation for barking and biting (don’t worry, we still love them all!). 

Prime pet real estate

These luxury apartment buildings offer services tailored to your pet’s every need: 

  • MiMa, 450 West 42nd Street: Around one third of all residents of this 63-story tower are dog owners. The building has their own “Dog City” and offers in-house grooming, training, and puppy play dates. Residents can also book dog feedings (room service?) and schedule walks through the scenic Hudson River Park. 
  • 101 Bedford, 101 Bedford Ave: This building comes equipped with a pet room, which includes a bathtub, grooming station, and grooming equipment. No mud on these paws! 
  • Ava DoBro, 100 Willoughby Street: Pooches can enjoy indoor and outdoor dog parks at this Brooklyn high-rise. There is also an in-house dog spa, and your dog can even stay in tiptop shape with speciality dog treadmills! 
  • 77 Greenwich, 77 Greenwich Street: This condominium was developed by the husband of a veterinarian, so the space is designed with your pup in mind. The building includes an expansive 2,350 square foot lower terrace/dog park.
Image courtesy of MiMa

NYC pet services and destinations 

New York has so much to offer your four-legged friends. No matter your borough or your budget, you can find something to get your kitty purring or get your doggo’s tail wagging!

Visit these local New York pet boutiques (or order online!): 

  • Dog & Co: This chic and modern pet boutique curates their store with pet products from a range of independent designers. 
  • Zoomies: A Greenwich Village pet boutique that’s all about strengthening “the bond between people and their pets” through “fashion, food and fun.” Looking to indulge your pooch? Be sure not to skip their treat bar—it’s like Sweetgreen, but with a lot more kibble!
  • Bushwick Bark: This women-owned business has two Brooklyn locations and features a self-service dog wash, grooming, and a range of healthy dog and cat food and treat options. 
  • Love Thy Beast: Have you ever wanted to buy a plush toy for your dog in the shape of avocado toast? Or maybe a catnip toy in the shape of a New York slice? You’ll find kitschy pet gifts galore here.
  • Koneko Cat Cafe: America’s first Japanese-style cat cafe! For $20, you can spend an hour hanging out with the cafe’s 20 resident (adoptable!) cats while noshing on some homemade Japanese confections.
Image courtesy of Dog & Co

Let your dog stretch their legs at these dog-friendly parks: 

  • Central Park: Manhattan’s famously expansive park allows dogs on leashes at all times, but if you visit the park before 9 AM or after 9 PM, you can let your pooch run wild in 23 designated areas.
  • Prospect Park Dog Beach: Once the dog days of summer hit Brooklyn, your pooch can take a refreshing dip during off-leash hours. 
  • Inwood Hill Park Trail: This is the only natural park on the island of Manhattan, complete with caves, valleys, and ridges left behind by prehistoric glaciers. You and your pup can enjoy a short escape from the hustle and bustle by taking a 2-mile hike around the park. 
  • Sirius Dog Run: This dog park located in the heart of the Financial District was built in honor of the search and rescue dogs who gave their lives while performing 9/11 rescue missions. The park is small but mighty, and includes a pool and an obstacle course.

Keep your dog in shape and social with these door-to-door services: 

  • NYC Dog Walkers: This trustworthy service serves most of Manhattan and offers private walks, group walks, or private puppy walks and visits—so your new baby doesn’t have to stay home alone all day!
  • Brooklyn Bark: For pet parents in Brooklyn, this service offers pet sitting, dog walks, sleepovers, and a unique (and practical!) service called baby watch: expecting (human) parents can put the service on call, so when the baby comes, one of Brooklyn Bark’s pet professionals can come over and care for your pet while you’re in the delivery room. 
  • Wag!: Dog walking for the digital age. This app lets you schedule your pup’s walk, and lets you see your dog’s route using GPS tracking. The app will even update you on your dog’s poops
  • City Tails: This Manhattan institution has been serving the pet community for over 13 years. They offer dog walking, doggy day care, puppy care, overnight boarding, cat care, grooming, and more!

Before we go… 

Only in New York do you see people finding creative ways to get their dog on the subway, or a creature as stoic and mighty as the illustrious bodega cat. In short, New York pets are in a class of their own. 

Looking to read up more on the wild world of pet ownership? Read about Brooklyn’s premiere cat wrangler, learn about your dog’s vaccinations, and if you’re feeling frisky, go ahead and apply for Lemonade pet insurance to cover your vet visits.

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