One undebatable truth about living with pets is that the adorable creatures are an equal member of your family. A record 65 percent, or 79.7 million, of American households nowadays own one, according to an American Pet Products Association survey. The following list is based on WalletHub’s latest analysis of the 100 largest cities across 19 key metrics. Data set ranges from “minimum pet-care provider rate per visit” to “number of pet businesses per capita” to “pet-friendly restaurants per capita.”
Overall score: 55.18
Plano’s “pet budget” rank is 55. It includes veterinary care costs, minimum pet-care provider rate per visit and dog-insurance premium. What bumps the city higher is its “pet health and wellness” rank – 13. There are 200 restaurants that welcome dogs at their outdoor tables, according to Bring Fido, and nearly 60 attractions that welcome dogs as much as people. Few of them include the Jack Carter Dog Park, the Bluebonnet Trail and the Bob Woodruff Park Trail.
Overall score: 55.61
Atlanta ranks especially high in the “pet health and wellness” category. This is not a surprise considering the city has more than 250 pet-friendly restaurants and lots of parks and recreational areas where Fido can wander around free. Piedmont Dog Park, with nearly three-acre dog run and separate enclosures for different breeds, is a favorite both for the pets and their owners.
Overall score: 55.78
People in Henderson love pets. Most hotels offer nice accommodations to make your pooch happy. The city ranked No. 1 in the “outdoor pet-friendliness” category. There are several parks specifically designed for dogs. They feature separate dog runs, agility courses, walking trails, dog bone-themed benches, and drinking stations for pets. Some even host special classes and programs.
Overall score: 56.11
Boise offers five Dog Off-Leash Parks and designated foothills trails which are available every day from sunrise to sunset. They feature mulch, sand surface materials or green grass. The city also has 10 Dog Off-Leash Areas in developed multi-use parks with green grass, restrooms and irrigation. The Ridge to Rivers trail system is popular for pet owners – the majority of Foothills trails are off-leash and easily accessible, according to Visit Idaho.
Overall score: 56.86
Your dog will love to play in several of the city’s pet-friendly parks. They are so popular that people avoid them on the weekends due to enormous crowds (or people as well). The parks are off-leash and fenced; they include separate small dog areas, water, benches, and waste bags. Splashing in the pools appears to be a favorite activity.
Overall score: 56.97
Pet lovers who meticulously plan vacations so they can take their furry best friend will love St. Louis. Located in the heart of the country, the city warmly welcomes pets and those who love them at museums, wineries, dog parks, gardens, hotels, and outdoor restaurants, according to Explore St. Louis. The city’s long history as a pet-loving community began in 1870 with the founding of the Humane Society of Missouri, followed by the Animal Protective Association in 1922.
Overall score: 57.31
Las Vegas is not just for gambling, Spring Break and bachelor/ette parties. Your dog can have the time of its life as well. There are dozens of pet-friendly activities – visit the Desert Breeze Dog Park or the Red Rock Canyon; pets can play off-leash at Barkin’ Basin Dog Park or the Kellog-Zaher Sports Complex. Many eateries offer seating outside and let you stay with your furry friend. If for some reason you have to leave your dog behind, plenty of pet-sitting services are just a phone call away.
Overall score: 57.43
Cincinnati’s rank is significantly enhanced by its No. 1 position in the number of pet businesses per capita. The city also ranks 10th in the number of animal shelters per capita. Despite having the second-highest number of veterinarians per capita, Cincinnati ranked 42nd in veterinary care costs. Go on a walking tour along the color-coded routes; visit the dog-friendly Rowe Woods; and even go a bar – Neon’s – as long as Fido is leashed.
Overall score: 57.92
Colorado is one of the most outdoorsy states in the U.S., so it comes as no surprise that the Colorado Springs region has spectacular hikes that are pet-friendly, many of which have long segments where your furry friend can be unleashed. This is one contributing factor to the city’s ranking as the second best place in terms of “outdoor pet-friendliness.”
Overall score: 60.01
The city is located near Lake Tahoe, a rugged area that is perfect for adventurous people and their animals. Bring comfortable hiking shoes, plenty of water, and head out. You’ll both get a chance to swim along the way. Take a five-mile float down the Truckee River as Truckee River Raft Co. allows you to bring your pet along. Reno ranks fourth for “pet health and wellness” and 31st for pet budget.
Overall score: 60.31
Scottsdale topped the list in the “pet health and wellness” category. It also ranked very high in the “most pet businesses per capita” and “most animal shelters per capita” groups. The fact that the weather is nice year-round, which means long sunny walks every day of the year, also helps the ranking. There are 200 restaurants in that welcome dogs at their outdoor tables, according to Bring Fido.
Overall score: 60.94
Lexington ranked third in having the most veterinarians per capita, seventh in the “pet budget” ranking and third when it comes to “pet health and wellness.” The Masterson Station dog park, which is part of a huge city park, which very nice dog amenities such as shade trees, benches, and a water fountain is a locals’ favorite. Dog mitts are provided at the entrance. A lot of dog-related events are hosted there.
Overall score: 62.51
Tampa ranks very high in having the most dog parks per capita. Take Fido to Picnic Island Beach Dog Park, where it can play on the beach leash-free. Another favorite is the Logan Gate Dog Park with a play area that features five acres, separate access areas for small and large dogs, water fountains for people and dogs, picnic tables, shelters, dog washes, a hitching post, and doggie mitt receptacles. Tampa also ranks 10th on the pet budget list.
Overall score: 63.11
Birmingham is the city with the fourth highest number of veterinarians per capita in the country. It’s also fourth in the “pet budget” category, which means you’ll have plenty of money saved to spoil Fido. There are more than 80 parks and recreational areas in the city with obstacle courses, walking tracks, covered pavilions, and even a creek.
Overall score: 63.42
The City Beautiful is the overall winner. Orlando ranked No. 1 in “most veterinarians per capita,” and it also shares the top spot for “most pet businesses per capita” and “most animal shelter per capita. Overall, the city ranked No. 2 in “pet health and wellness.” Lots of pet-friendly restaurants and hotels are another perk.