Here are the uniquely urban hazards that endanger NYC dogs

Life can be ruff for the cosmopolitan canines of New Yorkie. 

Limbs caught in revolving doors and lethal rat poison on the sidewalk are just a couple of the quintessentially urban hazards that Big Apple pooches face, according to a city-based veterinarian with nearly 40 years on the job. 

Recently, Dr. Ann Hohenhaus was reading the overnight admissions list at the Upper East Side’s Schwarzman Animal Medical Center when she came across the description of an incident she’d never seen before: A small pup was admitted with a fractured neck bone after a run-in with a revolving door.

Recently, a Big Apple dog’s neck was fractured during a run-in with a revolving door.

“This poor dog was in a lot of pain. . . . every time he opened his mouth or turned his neck, he just hurt something terrible,” Hohenhaus recalled.

Fur-tunately, the little Fido’s fracture wasn’t near his spinal cord, which could have led to paralysis – and his treatment protocol only called for activity restriction, rest and pain meds, Hohenhaus wrote in a March 20 blog post.

Although this was the first and only injury by revolving door she has seen, “there are a lot of revolving doors around New York, so I can’t imagine it’s the only one.”

Dogs’ toes getting caught in the grooves of escalator stairs “is nothing new,” on the other hand, and at least eight pooches have been admitted to AMC for escalator injuries since June 2022, she said.

“The dog doesn’t know to pick its feet up to get off the escalator. . . . and their little toenails are just about the same size as those dividers on that escalator, so those nails just go right in [the grooves] and get caught,” Hohenhaus explained. 

Hohenhaus’s biggest piece of advice for NYC dog owners is to use “protective barriers,” like leashes and muzzles. Nataliia –
Another dog’s middle toe had to be amputated after it was caught in the grooves of an escalator.

One furry friend that recently befell this pawful fate came into AMC with a mangled middle toe, which ended up needing to be amputated, according to the vet. 

“If you have a little dog, you just need to pick it up on the escalator…If you have a big dog, say ‘come on’ and go, so that the dog isn’t just standing when it gets to the top,” Hohenhaus advised. 

Dog owners should also be wary of elevator doors – which could gobble up their pooch’s leashes and cause strangulation – and open windows and rooftops, which dogs could run or fall from, she warned. 

Eating discarded chicken bones and cigarette butts off the sidewalk often causes urban dogs to feel ill, but rat poison can be lethal. Helayne Seidman

While eating discarded chicken bones and cigarette butts off the sidewalk often causes urban canines to feel ill, rat poison poses the biggest threat to pooches.

“Even Flaco [the Central Park owl] – rat poison was in his autopsy report!” she said. 

The veteran veterinarian’s biggest piece of advice for NYC dog owners is to set up “protective barriers.”

“Whether that barrier is a leash barrier, a basket muzzle, or screens on your window or a sliding door – barriers are really important for protecting your dogs from city hazards,” she said.