Beaux Arts

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Who is This Dog & Why is He Calling Me Dad?

Just like eating ice cream for dinner or going out well past your bedtime on a weeknight, adopting a dog is one of those adult activities that seemed to good to be true when you were a kid. In a world of paying bills and waking up early for your morning commute, bringing home a furry friend is one of those other kinds of activities that makes being an adult feel really fun and awesome.

While picking your new dog is fun and easy, caring for one is a lot of work — but, of course, it’s well worth it in the end. You can check out this PuppyWire guide if you want to get some help on what you can do for your dog, however, there are loads of other sites online that you could use to help you. If you’re considering adopting a pup and you’re wondering how to make things a bit easier, we’ve rounded up some of our favorite places, products and tricks for finding the perfect dog and making the transition into dog owner.

Know where to look. Gone are the days of being limited to going to the Humane Society (although that’s always a great option) to find your pup. There are also a ton of great local rescues that offer a bit more flexibility when it comes to finding the right dog; for example, the Swissvale-based The Foster Farm is always looking for fosters for their adoptable dogs, and they offer “overnight visits” if you’re interested in a dog, but unsure how it will fit into your home. While pet stores used to have a bit of a stigma, many of them have since moved to partnering with local rescues in order to get dogs adopted — just do your research before you visit.

Consider your living situation. While many of our apartments are pet-friendly, some have size restrictions, which you should certainly read up on before you start looking for a pup. You’ll also want to be very honest about your own living preferences before adopting a dog: do you prefer to keep your house very clean and organized, or are you more of a laid-back type of person? Do you want a dog that you can run with every morning, or are you looking for more of a couch potato? All of these things matter a lot in the long run, so make a list of must-haves before you start your search. Look on if you find yourself lacking in any dog essentials.

Come prepared. Once you decide on the dog for you, make sure you have all of the essential items before you bring him or her home (spoiler: it’s more than just food and a leash). Consider where your dog will sleep (Bed? Crate? Your bed? and get some tips on how to get your dog to sleep peacefully!!), how much food is appropriate for his or her breed, and how to safely transport your new dog in the car. Places like Petagogy can help you pick out all of these things.

Have a back-up plan. Even if you work from home (or come home for lunch), no one is able to be home with their dog 24 hours a day. If you know you’ll have a long day out of the house, make sure you have a back-up plan to keep your dog busy (and take some of the stress off your shoulders). Places like The Dog Stop offer affordable options for doggy day care, but if you have a dog-loving friend or neighbor, that’s even better.

And if you are looking for a new Apartment: If you’re looking for a new place to live, you should consider all the crazy nice dog-friendly amenities out there: 1627 on the Strip boasts a rooftop dog run with serious views, The Yards has a grassy dog park for your pooches to play and Eastside Bond & Bakery Living both have a swanky dog spas to help keep your pooch smelling fresh in your new apartment.

Take advantage of Pittsburgh’s dog-friendly spaces. Now that the business aspect is out of the way, it’s time for the fun part of dog ownership. On sunny days, Frick Park’s hiking trails are perfect for getting in a hike with your dog in tow, while weekend afternoons on the patio at Grist House or Federal Galley are fun for both pups and their owners. Even during a burst of unexpectedly moody Pittsburgh weather, you can bring your dog along with you to the Ace Hotel lobby or to curl up in front of the fireplace at Big Dog Coffee.

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