What makes a city a dog-friendly place to live or visit? Experts point out several characteristics to look for when seeking out dog-friendly destinations. Check out the city’s available pet services like vets, kennels, trainers, groomers, and pet supply stores. A dog-friendly city should also have plenty of outdoor restaurants that welcome dogs, and also pet-friendly hotels. There should also be lots of dog-friendly attractions like parks, beaches, and hiking trails, as well as dog-friendly events such as 5K runs, agility trials, and social gatherings for people and dogs.
So, what cities meet these criteria and make the list of top dog-friendly cities? Everyone has their own favorites, but here are a few places most dog lovers and their furry friends can agree on.
Austin, TX: Austin is known as an extremely dog-friendly city and ranks at the top of most lists. Not only do many restaurants and public outdoor spaces welcome dogs, Austin also prides itself on being a no-kill city, achieving an incredible 90% shelter live outcome rate for four years.
San Diego, CA: With its legendary beautiful weather, San Diego is an ideal place for people and their dogs to spend lots of time enjoying the outdoors. Many restaurants have outdoor seating, and there are also plenty of off-leash dog parks. San Diego is home to many dog beaches, including the famous Dog Beach in Ocean Beach, one of the first off-leash dog beaches in the country.
Portland, OR: A progressive and dog-friendly city, Portland has plenty of restaurants and hotels where dogs are welcome, and most parks have off-leash areas. Portland urban development plans often take dogs into consideration. City residents routinely bring their dogs nearly everywhere they go, even the supermarket.
Minneapolis, MN: Minneapolis prides itself on being a dog-friendly city. The city hosts lots of dog-themed events, there are dozens of off-leash dog parks, and when the weather’s not too cold, tons of restaurants and bars with dog-friendly patios.
Charleston, SC: This east coast city has plenty of dog-friendly beaches, off-leash parks, hotels, and restaurants. You can also bring your dog on many of the historic Charleston walking tours, and even some boat excursions as well.
- Aaron Seminoff