Designing for the Urban Dog: Minimizing the Effects of Urbanization on Dogs
The increase in dog ownership in urban areas has created an opportunity to learn more about how dogs stay active, healthy, snd social while living in the city and what their owners are doing to keep them that way. Urbanism is on the rise, and more people are choosing to live in the condensed city areas rather than in the spread-out suburbs. With that, dog ownership has been on a stay rise and currently at an all-time high for people living in these urban areas. Dog owners who live in the city are facing significant challenges due to urbanism when it comes to exercising their dogs. There are a limited number of areas that dogs can be off-leash, free to run around, exercise, and be social. Many dog owners go to local dog parks in the city or apartment complex that offer a dog park area to socialize and exercise their dogs. Each of these has its own set of problems and challenges that the dog owners are facing. This thesis is here to look at different ways that dog owners could socialize and exercise their dogs while living in the city and take advantage of the plethora of unused lots scattered around Houston. The goal of this paper is to provide guidance for dog owners who live in urban areas throughout the city and face the challenges that urbanism places on them and their dogs. I have gathered and synthesized data from product designers, veterinarians, dog owners, dog trainers, and one dog behaviorist to create a product that serves to help minimize the effects of urbanism on dogs while living in a city.