Best Cities for Dog Owners

Best Cities for Dog Owners What has become essential for the households in America is the humble dog i.e. Man’s best friend. According to the American Pet Product Association, there are at least 44% of the homes in America that have at least 1 dog and there are many homes mainly 42% of the homes which have more than 1 pet. As of 2015, there are over 160 million household pets, as per the same source.

According to the 2012 AVMA Source book, there are 63% of the pet owners in the majority consider their pet pooch/kitty as a member of their family. This has led to a more thriving business for the owners of the vet care, pet food, pet services, and pet supplies. So, it’s like a huge spending by the pet owners for the care of the pet. The annual expenditure of the household spending on the pooch/kitty exceeds the expenditure on telephone bills, candy, and alcohol, etc. things as per the recent study conducted by the Bureau of Labor Statistics.

Is that Americans have started becoming obsessed with pets? Is this a new fashion? It’s true as per the numbers which say so. In the year 2014, $20 billion was the expenditure on pet care. And according to Nielsen, $9.5 billion was the expenditure on dog food. Dogs have become something of prime importance in the lives of their owner including the expenditure and decisions. It depends completely on the point where the Fido’s owner lives so as for Fido to fit into their life.  There is a wide range of variations in the amenities & cost of different cities. Here’s the list of best and worst analyzed cities in America for the pet owners and their pets.

The Best Cities for Dog Owners In USA

Table of Contents

To identify the best cities for pooch ownership, here is the analysis of the factors connected to the pet supplies and services availability, pet care, cost, capacity to take the pooch into a non-pet related business, and the potential of parks and walking areas. With the combination of all these factors which comprises of cities that have a population of 250,000 after which a ranking is given as the best and worst.

1. Colorado Springs, CO Ranks
Amenities & Care 03
Going Out 09
Walking 38
Cost 46


2. Lexington, KY Ranks
Amenities & Care 02
Going Out 11
Walking 73
Cost 21


3. Tucson, AZ Ranks
Amenities & Care 13
Going Out 5
Walking 50
Cost 44


4. Albuquerque Ranks
Amenities & Care 37
Going Out 06
Walking 22
Cost 48


5. Springfield, MO Ranks
Amenities & Care 15
Going Out 17
Walking 74
Cost 10


The Top (and Bottom) Five Cities for Dog Owner In USA

All the above-mentioned rankings take into consideration all the aspects relating to the ownership of dogs on an equal basis. Everything is not pivotal for every individual. For some individual cash is no issue, whereas for other the capacity to walk their pets around the corner outdoes all other worries. There can be a mutual contradiction on some pooch ownership aspects. For example, cities, where maximum pet facility is found, may also be one of the most expensive cities as there the demand is high for pet connected business.

Number of Veterinary Facilities In USA

For some pooch owners who are not so fortunate, for them, nothing is as vital as the accessibility and manageability of health care of their pets. As part of this study, there has been an analysis of no. of facilities of veterinary per city, residents, per 100,000. Below is given the list of winners and losers.

Rank City Vets
1 Fort Collins, CO 33.87
2 Lexington, KY 22.17
3 Ocala, FL 25.80
4 Santa Rosa, CA 22.27
5 Madison, WI 21.99


Rank City Vets
155 McAllen, TX 2.32
154 Brownsville, TX 5.07
153 Honolulu, HI 5.54
152 El Paso, TX 6.11
151 Provo, UT 6.93


Number of Dog Parks In USA

A dog owner would love the walking activity with their pet outdoors. Many cities have specially created the parks for dogs and trails for dogs including diversions of other kinds. Below is the list of some of the best cities and the worst cities with their walking score and percentage. It also includes the population proportion which lives in an area which is walking distance to the park. The top 5 cities which are mentioned in the list are marked for having an area which is large and urban, and also for an inner-city parkland which is large.

Rank City Dog Parks
1 San Francisco, CA 51
2 New York, NY 46
3 Portland, OR 36
4 Chicago, IL 23
5 Houston, TX 21


Rank City Dog Parks
155 Brownsville, TX 0
154 Trenton, NJ 0
153 Springfield, MA 0
152 Killeen, TX 0
151 Allentown, PA 0


Cost of Living In USA

Predictably, the cost is one such factor which will help in deciding to have a pet or not and what are the ways to care for that pet is. Unluckily, there is also a variation country wise in the pet care costs which can make it very difficult to decide the health and well being of the pet. Below is the list of cities which have been rated as the least costly and the most costly for the owners of the dog and the best insurers. Cost of living index has been used here as a proxy for the cost of pet care and cost of medicine (there is a correlation between these two as per the study). The cities which are the largest ones are the most costly ones. Check out the list below.

Rank City Cost of Living
1 McAllen, TX 85.0
2 Brownsville, TX 85.8
3 Indianapolis, IN 87.2
4 Springfield, MO 88.0
5 Memphis, TN 88.2


Rank City Cost of Living
155 New York, NY 181.7
154 San Francisco, CA 164.0
153 San Jose, CA 156.1
152 Los Angeles, CA 140.1
151 Washington, DC 136.4


Experts’ Take

Apart from the data mentioned above, there are also experts who have answered many queries concerning the pets and the cities. Here is are the Q&A –

Editor of, Erin Ballinger –

  1. What factors go into making a dog-friendly city?

There are a number of factors which are included like the ability to walk through the trails, sidewalks. Places where you can bring your pet for refreshment i.e. a (Dog Park). Then also included in the list are shops, hotels, restaurants, and etc. sort of business places. It also includes events which are meant for the dog-like yappy hours, kayaking, hiking, mountain biking, camping (activities in which your dog can participate). Then there are certain business places which leave water outside for dogs and also give treats. The city also has many stations for dog waste in the main parks and streets. Pooch is permitted in the parks and allowed to attend a few events like Farmer’s Market.

  1. What do families need to take into account their city before making the decision to own a dog?

Before making any decision to own a dog the families need to identify factors such as dog parks, restaurants and know whether their city has these facilities. They should also be able to plan out where they will take their dog for a walk etc. (sidewalks or trails and does the city have it)

  1. What are the pros and cons of a lot of pet-friendly or pet-oriented businesses in an area?

Pros: — If your profession is situated close to a dog groomer/park, then you can expect more pet owners with their pet- as the pet owners want a place which is pet-friendly business and restaurants where they can spend their quality time with their pet. Pooch owners come mostly with their pooch and kids to dog-friendly cafeterias so that they can relax and spend some good time in an environment which is friendly and relaxed.

Cons: — There are some crowds of individuals who don’t appreciate dogs as they may have allergies so chances are there that they might not visit you as the pooch is around. Also, there can be extra costs for cleaning. Safety and extra liability is one issue that may pop up when they are into your work.

  1. Do you have any tips for families owning or looking to own a dog that can make it more affordable?

From local shelter for animals and rescue for dogs, you can embrace a pet. You can also do this thing- search for the vets Thats provide packages for a puppy for the first year with rates that are less on the neutering/spaying and shots. You should also know to give a bathe to your pooch and groom it well. Don’t invest much on dog toys. If you still want to purchase then purchase a durable and high-quality toy for your pooch which is longer lasting. If you get in local pet food stores the food in bulk then please buy it. And later you can store it in an airtight container to avoid it from getting stale.

  1. What can residents do to make their city more dog-friendly, whether dog owners themselves or not?

It is better to be faithful and to be patronized towards the profession which is pooch-friendly. If you are a business owner, then permit leashed pooch and provide water and treats for the pooches outside your business place.

Founder & CEO of Pet Insurance Quotes, Nick Braun –

  1. What factors go into making a dog-friendly city?

The secret is to have an infrastructure which is pet friendly. It includes many veterinary options, pet stores which are convenient, lakes and parks. The factors to be considered should also include how many hospitals for pets a city has. You will see the difference like small cities having 4/5 pet hospitals, whereas, the big city will have 1/2 hospitals.

  1. What do families need to take into account their city before making the decision to own a dog?

Before you go to select a dog, I recommend that you be aware of local laws and surroundings. For example, it will not be a good idea to have a Newfoundland or Great Dane, if you live in Manhattan. You will have to do an in-depth study before you own a pit bull terrier or a boxer, if you live in a city which has stringent laws on dogs as pit bull terrier or boxer are not allowed in some areas.

  1. What are the pros and cons of a lot of pet-friendly or pet-oriented businesses in an area?

I don’t find any cons for a lot of pet-friendly businesses in an area. and the pros are that there is a good choice and a rise in competition which will enhance the services and good quality.

  1. Do you have any tips for families owning or looking to own a dog that can make it more affordable?

Many dog owners should consider pet insurance. Vet care is a vital part of owning a dog and it is the only method to warrant that a pet gets complete care which they deserve.

  1. What can residents do to make their city more dog-friendly, whether dog owners themselves or not?

You can do one thing that is beginning a neighborhood and local level events for pooches. For instance, in Ohio, the suburb of Upper Arlington, all the parks which are local become an off-leash pet park which starts from 6 p.m. All the local dogs can play together and owners can also meet up which is a lot of fun and interesting.

Fulfillment manager for Carta Pet & Companion Animals, Wendy Plata –

  1. What factors go into making a dog-friendly city?

For my pet Smores, one of the most pivotal factors is the place and opportunity to play with other dogs. One of the best ways for the pooch to learn to socialize with other pets and also exercise is the dedicated parks for dogs. It will be much appreciated if space is provided where the pooch gets water and the waste can be disposed of.

  1. What do families need to take into account their city before making the decision to own a dog?

The families should take into account how much of workout does your pet needs and how it will be done for them. For small pooch, this is a very petty issue. But my chums have adopted medium-sized pooch and did not think earlier how they were going to accomplish their workouts in the between the city.

  1. What are the pros and cons of a lot of pet-friendly or pet-oriented businesses in an area?

The business in the area which is pet friendly tends to get a lot of responses from family and friends who love pets. When Smores is taken for a stroll near the neighborhood; any place that welcomes pooches that is on the list at the top. Plus, it is also vital to ensure that there are proper places where you can get rid of the pooch waste easily.

  1. Do you have any tips for families owning or looking to own a dog that can make it more affordable?

If possible try to create a budget for your pooch in your time. Any emergency or situation can come like a surprise for you if you own a pooch. If you are prepared then let me tell you might need extra preparation. Insurance for your cute pet is the best way if your pooch is prone to getting sick or injured.

  1. What can residents do to make their city more dog-friendly, whether dog owners themselves or not?

Make sure that there are waste repositories for pooch’s dumps. It’s always a relief to know that there is a better place to dispose of it.

Senior vice president of business development at Certa Pet and Companion Animals, Min S. Lee –

  1. What factors go into making a dog-friendly city?

It depends on how active physically the individuals are. For instance, a city that has a population which is healthy will have individuals that will be outdoors with their pooch. The more the active individuals the more the laws of the city will be obliging for having pooch in parks, trails, restaurants, and hiking.

  1. What do families need to take into account their city before making the decision to own a dog?

Geography and climate should be taken into account. In South California, all around the year, you will find sunshine which is the best time to have lunch with your pooch, hiking trails going to beaches and dog parks where your pooch can make a new chum and have some fun.

  1. What are the pros and cons of a lot of pet-friendly or pet-oriented businesses in an area?

You can spend your full day with pooch just like a family. Usually, the pet owner’s holidays will start off with a brunch at a restaurant which is dog friendly, or at a dog park, getting to know new individuals, etc. Then it’s also like going towards the beach and enjoying whereas your pooch also enjoys his treats and water which is provided by the business.

  1. Do you have any tips for families owning or looking to own a dog that can make it more affordable?

You should see that you are able to rescue and also embrace a pooch. There are many advantages apart from saving a dog’s life. Firstly, embracing a pet is much cheap than purchasing a costly pup. Secondly, the embraced pet will be vaccinated which will save your bucks. And the embraced pup will be the one who is already trained. This can also save your lot of bucks.

  1. What can residents do to make their city more dog-friendly, whether dog owners themselves or not?

One of the things which individuals can do to lead the councils of the city to make parks for dogs and talk with owners of the restaurants to keep space for the pooch in their premises. Also, the individuals can take part in the dog fest which will help them realize that dogs are a pivotal part of their life, etc.


A total of 16 factors were looked into from 6 sources, which helped in identifying the best cities for dogs. These factors comprises of the following – cost, amenities, and care, walking and going out. And these groups were balanced on an equal level in the rankings that are final.

Amenities and care comprise the supply of pet care and services for the pet which are available, regularized by population in each city. And it covers rescue organizations, pet stores, animal shelter, groomers, dog trainers, kennels, dog sitters and dog walkers. The more accessibility the pooch owner will have to these all, the better will they be able to take care of their pet.

Since there are many individuals who take their pets as a family, so there will be more chances for an increase in the business and amenities which are pet friendly. The next is aspect is going out i.e. of taking a dog out and moving freely and easily in the city, Some of these 4 aspects cover the number of pooch-friendly eateries and hotels, the number of beaches which are pooch-friendly and a number of parks for dogs.

In the walking aspects, it will be taken into account the accessibility to walk with the pooch around the city like the sideways or the trails, parkland. It is a plain but an important part of being the owner of the dog.

And the final aspect i.e. Cost which is a pivotal one. It includes the cost of pooch insurance which is average as well as the living cost. The cost of living will comprise of vet cost, food cost, medicine cost. Unluckily, the information for the items mentioned is not available.

Common dog ailments like rabies, fleas, etc. and certain health factors would have been a good match to the other aspects of this study, but it was not possible with the aspects of cost data, etc.

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