These Are the Friendliest Cities for Dogs in the United States
All pups are welcome in these pet-friendly cities!
Life’s grander when you have a furry friend at your side, and when a city goes out of its way to make your pup feel welcome wherever you go life feels even sweeter. After crunching lots of data — including the cost of owning a pet, pet health and wellness, and outdoor pet-friendliness—Wallethub put together a comprehensive list of the best cities for pets. Whether you’re planning a vacation, or even a move, and want to make sure your doggo feels thoroughly welcomed, consider one of these 15 destinations (which are in no particular order). These 15 top dog-friendly hotels will inspire you to hit the road with your four-legged friend.
You’ll be hard-pressed to find a business that doesn’t cater to pups in Austin. The city’s love for dogs is especially apparent on Sixth Street, which is lined with shops, eateries, and cafes and lots of folks walking their furry friends. Some businesses even offer discounts for bringing your pup, such as Caroline Restaurant. Austin is also number four on Wallethub’s list of Most Pet-Friendly Cities, ranking second in pet health and wellness. The capital of Texas does get pretty hot though, so be sure to brush up on these summer safety tips for dogs.
Though it’s slightly on the expensive side in terms of veterinary costs and insurance premiums, it was number one in the country on Wallethub’s list for pet health and wellness (which includes things like the number of veterinarians, trainers, pet-friendly businesses, and caretakers per capita), and number six for “outdoor pet friendliness,” which includes factors like walkability, weather, and dog-friendly parks. Dog lovers will want to check out these 15 pet products with near perfect reviews on Amazon.
Another Texan town that loves its pooches is Dallas. This city boasts numerous dog-friendly restaurants that encourage guests to dine with Fido, plus it’s home to roughly 50 dog parks as well as beautiful dog-friendly hiking trails, says Newsweek. Not only is that park action great for your pet, but it’s also great for you and one of the reasons why owning a pet has major health benefits.
For a different kind of pet-friendly outdoors, venture to the Pacific Northwest’s Portland, Oregon. Not only are there numerous dog-approved trails to explore, but the restaurant and bar scene welcomes furry friends, too. The city also boasts over 500 veterinarians, says Newsweek, which is a comforting fact.
San Diego, California
If you and your pup enjoy splashing around in the water, San Diego is the place to go. This laid back, coastal California city — which the city itself has dubbed a “pet-friendly paradise” has a whopping 100+ dog parks, several of which are located right on the shoreline. The most notable is probably Dog Beach (an off-leash park) and sections of Ocean Beach, Fiesta Island at Mission Bay. No wonder California was named the most dog-friendly state in the country.
Seattle also offers many dog parks for you and your canine friend—96 to be exact. Another fun fact is that Seattle residents have more dogs than they do children, with 153,000 local pups versus 107,200 kids, says rentberry.com. As such, restaurants, breweries, boutiques, and cafes cater heavily to the canine population. Make sure you know the 14 rude habits dog owners need to stop making ASAP.
With over 100 pet-friendly establishments—including restaurants, boutiques, and breweries—this smallish midwestern town is surprisingly hospitable toward our canine friends. Wallethub also ranked it as 20th out of the 100 top friendliest cities for pets. Find out the 30 things your dog surely wishes you knew.
Winston-Salem, North Carolina
Winston-Salem, located about an hour outside of Charlotte, is rising in ranks as one of the country’s pet-friendly destinations. The city’s surrounded by ample opportunity for outdoor fun for pups, including a seven-mile hike around Salem Lake, Pilot Mountain State Park, the Greenway Trail, and even Salem’s historic downtown, which feels like a mix of 18th-century meets 2020. It’s also worth noting that in July 2019, North Carolina’s governor signed a bill that allows both dogs and cats to hang out at any of the state’s breweries that don’t serve food. Find out 15 other weird dog laws you didn’t know existed in America.
This Southern hub provides plenty of bonding opportunities for pets and their owners. For example, Piedmont Park offers three acres of roaming space and it hosts a Doggie Splash 5k run every year, says Rover.com. There’s also Krog Street Tunnel, and the Atlanta Brave’s Stadium, which puts on an annual “Bark in the Park” game. Don’t miss these 30 funny dog photos you need to see.
Another city with a soft spot for dogs is Nashville. Also known also for its country music scene, Nashville is home to the famous Centennial Park, an off-leash destination that was built to look like the Greek Parthenon (imagine the photo opportunities)! Throughout the year, the park hosts dog-friendly entertainment, says Rover.com, and many restaurants also welcome pets. Owners will want to make sure they avoid doing any of these 23 things dogs actually hate.
Though generally much cooler than many of the other locales on our pet-friendly list (get your pup some booties if you’re there in the winter), Chicago still ranks as one of the best places to own or take your pup. A large percentage of bars and restaurants leave water outside for furry passers-by to lap up, says rentberry.com, and it’s also home to beautiful Montrose Dog Beach, as well as 20 other off-leash dog parks that allow Spot to run free (a real blessing in the big city). Check out these other dog-friendly beaches around the country while you’re at it.
Orlando made Wallethub’s list as the overall second friendliest city for pets (with Tampa coming in just behind it for third). The city is particularly known for its cultural offerings, but it also prides itself on being a great place for pups. Numerous restaurants and hotels gladly welcome pets, plus Wallethub ranked it as seventh for pet affordability and fourth for pet health and wellness. Speaking of affordability, these are the 15 cheapest states to live in the United States.
If you’re planning a vacation with your pup, you won’t have a hard time finding a hotel that accommodates both your needs in Alexandria, Virginia, located just outside of Washington D.C. Over half of the hotels in this city are dog-friendly, and 25 percent of people who live in this city are dog owners themselves. Because of the surplus of pups, shop owners leave out bowls and treats for passers-by. Alexandria’s Potomac Riverboat Company also offers a seasonal Canine Cruise. Find out 14 things you’ll need before you get a new puppy.
St. Louis, Missouri
St. Louis ranks as the 20th most pet-friendly city on Wallethub’s list, but according to the data they gathered it’s number one in the Midwest. The city has more than 80 pet-friendly hotels and boasts numerous dog parks, including Treecourt Unleashed Dog Adventure Park, Southwest City Dog Park at Willmore Park, and Ellen Clark Sculpture Park and Dog Park. Make sure to follow these 15 dog park etiquette rules when you go.
Moab makes our list because of its small-town appeal (let’s face it, not every doggo appreciates big-city splendor) and the incredible opportunity to outdoor adventure. Both Arches National Park and Canyonlands National Park are in Moab—two of the country’s most beautiful parks—as is Dead Horse Point State Park and Manti-La Sal National Forest. Many of the trails are dog-friendly, which means there’s unparalleled beauty here for both you and your pup to explore. These are more of the top dog-friendly national parks around the country.