The Most Dog-Friendly Cities in America

What qualifies a place to be called one of the most dog-friendly cities in America? Well, it’s more than patches of green grass in a tiny backyard.

To appear more welcoming to dog owners, cities need dog accessibility and high quality of life for dog owners.

purebred pointer dog laying in front of Lincoln Memorial, Washington DC
Photo credit: Adobe Stock.

Most dog-friendly cities

Stacker used SmartAsset’s report to analyze six key factors that make an American city dog friendly. They are

  • Number of dogs parks
  • Easiness of walking dog outside
  • Number of dog-friendly stores or shopping centers
  • Number of dog-friendly restaurants
  • Has best weather for dog walking
  • Affordable housing for dog owners

The resulting list includes cities with thriving communities for dogs and their loving owners. It appeared originally on

Whenever possible, I’ve tried to group cities by state.

These locations might be a great place to plan a vacation with your dog.

Dog-loving cities in Nevada

According to SmartAsset research, there are two cities worth noting in Nevada. These are the two they determined were the most dog friendly.

  • Henderson
  • Las Vegas

Just based on dog-friendly restaurants alone, Las Vegas tops Henderson. That’s because Henders has just six dog-friendly restaurants. Las Vegas has 43.

Is Colorado dog friendly?

I was surprised to discover that only two Colorado cities made the dog-friendly list. Considering that Colorado gets 300 days of sunshine a year, I would have thought more places in Colorado would have made the cut.

Nonetheless, the two dog-friendly cities in Colorado are Colorado Springs and Denver. Again, I’m surprised Boulder didn’t make the list. Maybe it will in the future.

Florida’s most dog-friendly cities

Dog sitting in backseat of convertible car.
Photo credit: photravel_ru // Shutterstock

Dogs in these four Florida cities are living their best life:

  • Miami
  • Orlando
  • St. Petersburg
  • Tampa

These are the most dog-friendly places in the state. Of all of the cities, Miami is the most walkable. No wonder dog-lovers love it.

Dog-friendly places in Texas

These are the four most dog-friendly places in Texas.

  • Austin
  • Dallas
  • Houston
  • San Antonio
  • Tucson
Photo credit: MUTTS Canine Cantina.

Honestly, I’m not surprised. At least two of these Texas cities have a MUTTS Canine Cantina location. This is a place where dog owners can grab a bite to eat or a drink with friends and their dogs can have a playdate.

Canine-friendly cities in California

Given how big California is, it shouldn’t come as a surprise that there are a bunch of dog-friendly cities in California. However, I didn’t expect so many to appear on this list.

In fact, of all the states, California has the most cities on this dog-friendly list, with 11 metro areas. Here is the alphabetical list of them.

  • Bakersfield
  • Chula Vista
  • Fresno
  • Long Beach
  • Los Angeles
  • Oakland
  • Riverside
  • Sacramento
  • San Diego (it has a whopping 200 dog restaurants)
  • San Francisco
  • San Jose

Most dog-friendly places in Arizona

According to the list, there are five cities in Arizona where dog lovers will want to live or visit. Just maybe not during the summer, when the temperatures are soaring. Remember how important it is to keep your dog cool during hot weather.

Anyway, as far as those dog-friendly cities, they are:

  • Chandler
  • Glendale
  • Phoenix
  • Scottsdale

No wonder MUTTS Canine Cantina is expanding to two cities in Arizona.

Puppy places in Pennsylvania

Philadelphia and Pittsburgh are the most pup-friendly places in Pennsylvania. I’m not surprised.

Both are walkable cities, with plenty of parks. Plus, there are a plethora of stores that welcome dogs.

Finally, at least one college in these cities has a dog mascot — Carnegie Mellon University in Pittsburgh. Their mascot is the Scottish terrier.

Minnesota’s most dog-friendly cities

There are two Minnesota cities that rank as being dog friendly. Interestingly, they’re next door to each other — it’s the Twin Cities of Minneapolis and St. Paul.

Wisconsin cities

Both Milwaukee and Madison are considered to be dog-friendly cities. In fact, Milwaukee is considered to be one of the most walkable cities in Wisconsin.

That may be true during good weather. However, I wouldn’t want to take my dog out during lake-effect snow. In case you don’t know, Milwaukee sits on the shores of Lake Michigan.

Dog-friendly cities near the nation’s capital

In addition to Washington, DC being a dog-friendly city, one of its Virginia suburbs makes the list, too. It’s Arlington, Virginia, which has 110 dog-friendly restaurants.

The other Virginia city that makes the list: Norfolk.

Other dog-friendly cities of note

There are some states that have just one dog-friendly city. So, while that place may be the most dog-friendly city in the state, it doesn’t justify its own subsection in this article.

Here are the remaining cities and states on the list.

  • Albuquerque, NM
  • Atlanta, Georgia
  • Boise, Idaho
  • Boston, Massachusetts (they have a great Halloween event called the Doggone Halloween Costume Parade — good to know if you’re planning a Halloween vacation with your pup.)
  • Chicago, Illinois
  • Cincinnati, OH
  • Honolulu, HI
  • Jersey City, New Jersey
  • New Orleans, Louisiana
  • New York, New York (aka New York City)
  • Seattle, Washington
  • St. Louis, Missouri

This article has been re-published pursuant to a CC BY-NC 4.0 License.

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