Our darling dogs mean so much to us. So it makes sense that pet parents want to live in a place where their furry family members will be happiest and healthiest. Between the cost of food, grooming, vet visits, pet insurance, enrichment, etc, pet parenting can be pretty pricey. Plus, the actual prices themselves are known to vary vastly based on where you are in the world.
That’s why we love Wallethub’s annual list of the top 15 pet-friendly cities. Their list offers insight by comparing each of the 100 most popular cities in the US across three key criteria: Pet budget, Pet health and wellness, and Outdoor pet-friendliness.
Pet Budget was figured-out using Veterinary Care Costs and Insurance Premiums.
Pet Health and Wellness were calculated by considering how many veterinarians, caretakers, and restaurants there are per capita.
Outdoor Pet-Friendliness was worked-out using weather trends, the number of local dog parks, and how many dog-friendly walking trails there are in the area.
Each of the most populated cities were compared based on 23 metrics that fit into the categories above. Each separate criterion held an individual weight, they did some calculating and arrived at their answers. (You can learn more about their methodology here.)
By doing so, WalletHub was able to determine which US cities are the most pet-friendly. Below, we have broken down the top 15 most pet-friendly cities from their list and why you may want to live there with your furry best friend.
15. Birmingham, AL
Are you someone who appreciates an area with a rich history and record-breaking achievements? Birmingham is the home of the largest cast iron statue in the world! Standing super-tall at 56 feet, Vulcan, the Roman God of the Fire and Forge, watches over one side of the city while bearing his behind and mooning the other.
The statue pays homage to Birmingham’s iron-working heritage, and you can catch a close-up view with your canine. Just make sure to keep them on a leash while you traverse the 10-acre grounds.
Another place you can take your pup in Birmingham is the magnificent Red Mountain Park. Offering a lush, green retreat from the hustle and bustle of the city, this particular park is a 1200-acre public space that’s 40% larger than Central Park in NYC.
14. Boise, ID
The “city of trees” ranks high among the places with the most dog parks per capita, along with the most pet businesses. In fact, there’s an entire group of parks that are situated right along the Boise River. If you and your pup like to mix it up and explore different parks on your days off, Boise may be the city for you.
13. Plano, TX
Plano is another place that offers plenty of pet-friendly parks. Plus, you and your pup could pop on by the Plano Hot Air Balloon festival. Not only does Wallethub rate Plano high on its list of pet-friendly cities, but Plano was also voted the “best place to live in the western United States” three different times by CNN Mơney magazine.
12. Orlando, FL
If you and your pup are searching for warm weather and plenty of places to grab a bite to eat together, Orlando may be the perfect place for you! Orlando ranks in the top five for the most veterinarians, pet businesses, and pet-friendly restaurants (386 of them, according to BringFido.com). Plus, you’ll be in close proximity to a particularly famous mouse and his parks. Perhaps you’d like to live where so many others vacation.
11. Omaha, NE
Are you and your pup a pair who love to hike or hit up a brewery for a pint? Not only does Omaha have many miles of interconnected hiking and biking trails, but the city is known for serving up suds.
Pet-friendly patios are featured at a few of the locals’ favorite breweries and will happily welcome you and your pup. Perhaps Omaha is the city for you if you’re searching for places to sip a cold one while spending time with your furry best friend.
10. Raleigh, NC
Raleigh was ranked with the second lowest veterinary care costs and is known as the live music capital of North Carolina. Why? Because of its diverse music and performing arts experiences. You can use all the money you’re saving to see the city’s symphony or experience an opera.
Plus, many famous performers choose to make one of Raleigh’s many theaters a stop on their tour. Or, if hanging out in nature is more your speed, you can spend time in Raleigh’s beautiful oak tree forests with your pup.
9. Colorado Springs, CO
If you and your dog are outdoor enthusiasts, then living within the majestic Rocky Mountains may be for you. The Springs (as it’s known to locals) offers many breathtakingly beautiful hiking trails.
Not only is it free to visit the popular Garden of the Gods Park, but you can bring your dog along as you take in the rare red rock formations.
Plus, Colorado Springs has 11 off-leash local dog parks (according to BringFido.com) and a bunch of breweries that welcome puppy patrons to their patios.
8. Las Vegas, NV
Las Vegas doesn’t only offer shows and slot machines. You can strut your stuff on the strip with your dog from five am until noon or visit one of the 21 off-leash dog parks in the city. And, if you’re looking for an adventure outside of the concrete jungle, you can check out Red Rock Canyon or the Spring Mountains. Both recreation areas offer many miles of pet-friendly hiking trails and pretty picnic areas.
7. Lexington-Fayette, KY
As a city that once had a “town dog” in the 1950s, you’d surely expect them to be pet-friendly. One of the local’s favorite places to take their furry best friends is to The Arboretum, State Botanical Garden of Kentucky. The Arboretum grounds are free and open daily from dawn to dusk. That gives you the whole day to casually explore the 100 acres of gardens. It’s also the perfect place for a cozy picnic with your canine companion.
6. St. Petersburg, FL
Are you and your pup lovers of the sun and surf? st. Pete has two beautiful beaches that allow dogs to stroll on the sand with their human companions. They’re also one of the cities with the most pet businesses per capita, so that means shopping with your pup and finding something to spoil them with should be simple.
5. Cicinatti, OH
With so many veterinarians and 146 dog-friendly restaurants, it’s obvious that Cincinnati cares about its canines. There are breweries, coffee shops, cafes, barbeque stands, pizza places (and more) that all offer delicious food and a dog-friendly atmosphere.
4. St. Louis, MO
Are you someone who appreciates art? st. Louis is a city with multiple pet-friendly parks where you can soak up the sunshine while you and your furry best friend stroll by some stunning sculptures. Or, you can always stop by Gateway Arch National Park and admire the iconic arch as you traverse one of the park’s pretty walking trails with your pooch.
3. Portland, OR
As a city that was at the top of Wallethub’s list for both the most pet-friendly restaurants and dog parks per capita, it’s obvious that Portland loves its pups. Portland has over 10,000 acres of public parks, an extremely picturesque coastline, and some of the restaurants even offer special doggy menus! That means there’s no need to leave your dog alone at home while you’re out and about in Portland.
2. Tampa, FL
Tampa is a tropical puppy paradise. Life is good if you’re a dog that lives in Tampa. There are hundreds of dog-friendly dining options, multiple dog-welcoming breweries, and 16 dog parks and beaches. If your pup loves to soak up the sun and splash around while they play, you’ve gotta get them to the Gulf coast.
1. Scottsdale, AZ
Scottsdale was number one in 2018, and it’s back at the top of Wallethub’s list. Does your dog despise rain? With mostly clear skies, Scottsdale may sound like paradise. Plus, the warm, dry winter weather makes it perfect for playing with your pup outside. Combine that with plenty of places that welcome our furry best friends, it’s an awesome place to visit or live for dog parents.
So perhaps it’s time for you to pack up some moving boxes or plan a road trip with your pup to one (or more) of these pet-friendly cities!