Taking our pets to the park for a daily romp is about as American as apple pie. And the American way increasingly includes taking your pets on the road during vacation. Depending upon where you live in the good ole USA, some cities are simply more pet-friendly than others. The pet-friendly locales described below won their inclusion on our list based on how many dog parks, dog-friendly businesses, and special animal events they host, along with the local cost of pet care, and the area’s “walkability” rankings. Since exercising with our dogs bestows so many health benefits
to both man and beast, we hope you'll check out our list of eight of the friendliest cities when it comes to accommodating our four-legged friends:
San Diego is home to a therapy dog named Ricochet, who helps people big and small enjoy the surf. See more about her story here
#1 - San Diego, California
There’s plenty of sand and surf for people and their pups to enjoy in San Diego. The city is home to 16 off-leash dog parks where Rover can run and stretch his legs. With pleasant temperatures year-round, you and your dog can enjoy the beach, hit the hiking trails, go shopping in tandem, and dine out at many dog-friendly locations.
#2 - Portland, Oregon
This eclectic city has the most dog parks per capita of any town, for a whopping 33 of these green areas
. While most are fenced, others may not be, but they’re all off-leash places for your dog to roam free. There are also a number of different licensed dog massage therapists and social networks specifically designed for pet lovers. D
oggy pals playing at Warren G. Magnuson Park, in Seattle, Washington. Photo Credit: CC by Wonderland on Flickr
#3 - Seattle, Washington
Home of the iconic Space Needle
, Seattle is also host to eleven off-leash dog parks, outdoor shopping venues that allow pets, and other dog-friendly environments disperse throughout the city. There are even a couple of ferry services that allow well-behaved, leashed dogs on board.
#4 - Chicago, Illinois
The Windy City has an enviable 18 dog parks that don’t require pets to wear a leash. Dogs also are permitted without a lead at Montrose Beach. At the Navy Pier, one of the city’s biggest attractions, leashed dogs are allowed to wander about the outdoor common areas with their humans in tow.
#5 - Austin, Texas
This capital city also has 18 parks for dogs where pooches don’t need to be confined to their leash. If you’re from out of town and want to see the sights, you can also take your leashed dog along on a tour of the city. Or try “Austin Doga
,” yoga for dogs for a relaxing exercise routine to enjoy with your pet in Texas.
#6 - Las Vegas, Nevada
Who would have thought that Sin City is also crawling with off-leash dog parks? With 25 of them located around the famous Las Vegas strip, there are also Dock Dogs competitions, Learn the basics of DockDogs®
competitions by reviewing the DockDogs®
101! If your dog loves to run, jump and swim then DockDogs is definitely the right place for you!where your pet can beat the heat of this desert oasis.
If you're lucky, you might happen on something like Nelson, the skateboarding dog, in San Francisco. Photo credit: CC by CarbonNYC on Flickr
#7 - San Francisco, California
The City by the Bay and home of the Golden Gate Bridge is also privy to a plethora of pet pleasures. With over 50 parks and dozens of hiking trails, like Seattle, several San Francisco ferry services will allow leashed dogs on deck.
#8 - Orlando, Florida
While dogs aren’t allowed at the many theme parks located in this sunny city, they’re welcome at seven different off-leash dog parks. At the downtown farmer’s market, they’re welcome to shop with their owners while leashed. With plenty of parks and other pet perks, these towns have really gone out of their way to offer the best environment for our dogs. Did your city make the list?
Vet Organics would like to thank Amber Kingsley for sharing this post with our readers. Amber is a freelance writer who writes on pet topics, health, and personal training. When she's not writing or traveling, she volunteers at local shelters in Santa Monica.