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What Are the Most Dog-Friendly Cities in the U.S.?

By Christy True
September 3, 2020 • 2 min. read
Tucson, Arizona

See why these cities are so dog-friendly

If you live in Tucson, Arizona, you and your pooch benefit from sunny days for pleasant dog strolls, a plethora of restaurants where you can hang out together and a dog park that’s likely not too far away.

That’s why Tucson ranks as the most dog-friendly large city in the U.S., according to a study by SmartAsset, a personal finance website. Tying for second place were Las Vegas, NV, and Madison, WI. Rounding out the top 11 were: Albuquerque, N.M.; Portland, OR.; Tampa, FL., San Diego, CA; St. Petersburg, FL.; San Francisco; Austin, TX (tie); and Minneapolis, MN. (tie).

Dog friendliness findings

Las Vegas is a dog-friendly city
Las Vegas is a dog-friendly city for its dry weather and pet amenities.

SmartAsset analyzed data for 100 of the largest U.S. cities across seven metrics: dog parks per 100,000 residents, dog-friendly restaurants, dog-friendly shopping centers, median home value, average annual days of precipitation, walk score (how walkable and safe it is), and concentration of pet stores and veterinary clinics.

While the top cities were spread around the country, southern and western states fared better, likely because of warmer weather that makes for more comfortable dog strolls. There were exceptions, however, as Portland, Ore. and Minneapolis, Minn. ranked highly for their high number of dog parks per 100,000 people, positive walk scores, and large number of dog-friendly businesses.

Another key finding of the study: the average number of pet stores and veterinary offices across all 100 cities in the study is approximately 57 per 10,000 businesses, but most of the cities deemed dog-friendly had more than that.

Why it matters

Naturally, the nearly 63 million households in the U.S. that own dogs want to live places where their beloved companions can enjoy long, healthy lives and have easy access to canine fun and services. With many people treating their pets like part of the family, it makes sense for cities to build more dog parks and for businesses to accommodate dogs when possible, such as allowing them in outdoor areas of restaurants.

Dog-friendly cities are a trend we can woof about.

To see a chart of the list of the top 24 dog-friendly cities, visit SmartAsset.

If you choose where to live based on your dog’s needs, you must really love your pooch. Make sure your dog is covered in case of an injury or illness by getting a pet insurance plan. Start by getting a quote.

Christy True and Tomas
By Christy True

Christy has been writing about pets for Healthy Paws for 21 dog years. She previously worked in journalism, hence her penchant for writing about offbeat animal studies and the latest viral pet trends. She has been owned by several dogs, and right now, Tomas, a Mexican street dog rescue, is staring at her because he wants a walk. Outside of work, she can usually be found sliding down a mountain near her home in Bend, Ore.

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