10 Best Cities for Dog Owners

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Dogs are the perfect addition to your pet-friendly apartment

If you rent an apartment, you may think that having a dog is out of the question – but that couldn’t be further from the truth. While not all apartment complexes allow pets, many do, so it’s often just a matter of narrowing your search.

Beyond finding a pet-friendly apartment, you may be concerned about whether you can provide the active lifestyle your dog needs. You might be concerned about how well a larger dog will acclimate to a smaller space, for instance. Chances are, as long as he has a comfy dog bed and your full attention, he’ll be happy as a lark. With no backyard to frolic in, your dog will need regular walks to get the exercise he needs, but regular trips to the dog park are a great solution to ensure he’s getting enough physical activity.

There are solutions for dog owners for just about every conceivable dog-owner challenge, but here’s the good news: there are several cities that cater to the needs of dog owners with local dog parks, walking paths, and other amenities that make apartment-dwelling with your pooch well within reach. Here’s a look at the 10 best cities for dog owners.

1. Austin, TX

Rover.com names Austin, TX the best city for dog owners due to its many dog-friendly restaurants, a list of which you can find on Statesman.com. Plus, this city even has a mobile food cart dedicated to dogs called Bow-Wow Bones. That means whether going for a morning walk or heading out for a bite to eat, your dog can always be by your side.

2. Portland, OR

If you’re interested in living in the Pacific Northwest, Portland, Oregon is one of the most dog-friendly cities in the U.S. According to Estately.com, the city boasts a whopping 33 dog parks, 19 pet massage therapists, and even a social network dedicated to our four-legged friends, PDXDog.com. Oh, and there are plenty of dog-friendly restaurants here, too.

3. Scottsdale, AZ

According to data compiled by WalletHub.com, Scottsdale, AZ earns the top rank among cities with the best amenities for pet health and wellness and lands in second place for outdoor pet-friendliness. There are three dog parks in the city (six if you consider nearby areas) offering ample open space, dog fountains, and shade to escape the sun on hot days.

4. San Francisco, CA

San Francisco, CA lands first on WalletHub’s list for outdoor pet-friendliness, taking a slightly lower position of 16 for pet health and wellness. San Francisco Recreation and Parks names 31 off-leash dog play areas on its website.

5. San Diego, CA

What dog lover doesn’t want to live in a city that holds an annual National Dog Party Day? But that’s not all San Diego offers for dog owners: take advantage of many restaurants with dog-friendly patios, an annual dog surfing competition (the Dog Surf-a-Thon), easy access to qualified pet sitters, and more.

These are the best cities for your pup

6. Seattle, WA

Another great city for dog lovers in the Pacific Northwest, Seattle, WA is home to more dogs than children, plus residents can attend more than 32 meet-up groups for dog lovers, which you can easily get to with your pup thanks to the city’s dog-friendly public transportation and myriad dog-friendly local businesses. Looking for something fun to do with your pup in Seattle? Look no further than SeattleDogSpot.com.

7. Boulder, CO

Outdoor enthusiasts who enjoy adventures with their four-legged best friend will love the lifestyle in Boulder, Colorado. With miles of hiking trails to explore with your dog, there’s no question that your dog can lead the active lifestyle he craves. When you’re making a visit to downtown Boulder, check out this list of dog-friendly establishments.

8. Charleston, SC

Don’t worry; we haven’t forgotten about you East Coast folks. Charleston, SC is the perfect city for dog owners, offering a Yappy Hour at the park several times throughout the year. Residents and visitors can take advantage of 17 dog parks and a variety of dog-friendly activities in the city.

9. Tampa, FL

While it doesn’t top any lists, Tampa, FL is pretty widely recognized for its dog-friendly nature, ranking 3rd overall in WalletHub’s list and 4th on BarkPost’s list of the most dog-friendly cities. With plenty of dog-friendly beaches and dog parks, you’ll never run out of fun adventures to experience with your pup in Tampa.

10. Chicago, IL

Chicago boasts 23 dog-friendly areas, including Montrose Dog Beach, where your pup can enjoy a swim in Lake Michigan, plus a whopping 60 dog-friendly restaurants and bars. You can even take your dog on an afternoon shopping trip thanks to a few dog-friendly department stores. Up for some sightseeing? Take your dog along to spend the day on the Navy Pier, which allows dogs in all outdoor common areas and even on some tours.

Who says dogs aren’t compatible with big-city living? The apartment lifestyle can be perfectly well-suited to dogs of all sizes. These certainly aren’t the only cities well-suited for dog owners; plenty of areas offer a variety of outdoor amenities and dog-friendly establishments. But before you decide to make a move to a new city, be sure that you know what options are available in the area to support your dog’s lifestyle needs.