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6 Best U.S. Cities for Dog Lovers

Have you heard about the best cities for dogs in the country?

When it comes to cities for dogs, we all just want the best from our town for our pups.

Sometimes referred to as our slightly furrier children, dogs, and any pets for that matter, are an integral part of our lives, and we want to make sure that where we live is not going to negatively impact them.

In a way, you want to make sure that both you and your pup are going to be able to thrive in the city you live in and share a harmonious life.

There are, however, some towns where animals are not exactly welcomed or the city is not made in such a way that your pup will be able to live its life to the fullest.

Out of the United States’s largest cities, there are only a couple that are regarded as being great for dog owners, and experts have shared them with us!

Part of the decision is seeing how many dog parks there are in the city, as in how many per 100,000 residents in the city. Another part of their consideration was the location and weather of the city.

While some cities end up getting really hot, the extreme cold of the northern states can be just as detrimental to the life quality of our furry children!

Other factors that the experts weighed in on include the number of pet-friendly apartment complexes, how many of them require renters to pay an additional pet rent, and how many of these apartments have pet play areas!

Many factors weighed in on the decision, but we have brought you the top towns considered the best cities for dogs!

Is your city on the list? Do you consider these criteria important? Would you consider moving to a more dog-friendly city, state, or area? Share your answers in the comments!

cities for dogs
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5. Norfolk, Virginia (tie)

Tied for number 5 on this list is Norfolk, Virginia. This is a city that is located on the water, so your pup will be able to see way more diverse animals around, and you can even take them with you to some water-based activities.

Norfolk is one of the cities with great weather, which allows you to take them out for longer walks without having to worry about the sweltering heat or freezing cold weather. This is part of what makes this city amazing for dogs.

There are also pros for owners since the city has a relatively low cost of living, and you would not have to worry too much about this. The city is also home to numerous activities and museums, so you will not have to worry about having things to do.

A big thing that made it lose points and score so low included the fact that only about 68% of the apartments listed for rent are going to allow you to move in with a pet.

This means time lost searching for the best apartment that also allows you to bring your pup with you!

5. Nashville, Tennessee (tie)

Nashville is the other city that ties in at number 5, and the biggest selling point for this city is the fact that around 86% of this city’s rental apartments allow you to come along with your pets.

There are times when even this city can get extremely hot, and while there are pockets of heatwaves, the weather here is pretty mild when compared with other parts of the city, which earns more brownie points for this capital city.

There are plenty of places and parks where you can go and walk your pup, and of course, there are many things to do in the capital of the Volunteer State!

One thing that may put you off is that you need to be careful whether or not the establishments you want to go into allow for pets to go inside, as there have been controversies around the city about which cafes and restaurants allow for pets and which do not.

cities for dogs
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4. Portland, Oregon

Portland may not have been on your radar as a pet-friendly city or even state, but when one takes a look at the over 30 dog parks where you can keep your dog off-leash, you may want to change your mind.

This city has a lot of open areas where you can walk your pup, and there are even many dog park areas in parks where your dog will be allowed to run around freely and mingle with other dogs.

Just make sure that your pup is open to making friends too, so that you can avoid any stressful or dangerous situations!

Another pro point about this city that experts have found is the weather! They state that it is not as hot, so your worries about the safety of your pup’s paws can be put to rest most of the time.

Much like Norfolk, however, the apartment situation in this city when it comes to pet-friendly spots is similar.

The percentage is down to 62%, so if you have your eyes on Portland, then you probably want to make sure you secure accommodations before you move into the city.

3. Las Vegas, Nevada

Coming in strong at number three is Las Vegas! Is a city known for its casino scene also dog-friendly?

We know it sounds a little bit out of left field, but the city is not only about all the fun, and the locals there are blessed if they have a pup.

This Nevada city has 11 dog parks, which equates to about one for every 15 casinos!

While this is just a fun tidbit, they are really nice dog parks, and the city is known to be friendly when it comes to renting with a pet. About 82% of the apartments here allow for pets.

There are two things to be careful of if you are thinking about this city for your retirement, one of which is the fact that you will have to be careful about the weather. After all, this is a city in the desert.

And make note that there are restrictions when it comes to dog breeds in apartment complexes.

So while your pooch may be welcomed in theory, their breed may not be a good fit for your dream apartment, so check beforehand so you are not disappointed!

cities for dogs
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2. Tampa, Florida

Florida is a well-known state for retirement and for the entertainment industry, but not everyone knows that it is also home to some cities that are very pet-friendly. One of them is Tampa, which ranked second according to experts but is still not that far behind our first place!

Tampa is a big city, but more than eight out of every 10 apartments are pet-friendly, and the temperature here will help you not have to worry about snow! The heat may pose an issue as well as the finicky rain, but overall it should not pose that much of an issue.

Not to mention, you can take your pup to the beach and have fun!

One thing to be careful of is that there are apartment complexes that will ban certain breeds, especially the larger ones, and they do not allow pit bulls specifically!

Another thing to be wary of is that Tampa is close to Disney World, and the roads and city can be a magnet for tourists.

1. Henderson, Nevada

The number-one place for the best cities for dogs is Henderson! A suburb of Las Vegas, this city has about 20 dog parks, and experts make a note to show how more than 90% of the apartments here are pet-friendly!

The city is quieter than the other Nevada city on the list, and it can be a great place for you and your pooch!

However, make sure that you are prepared for the heat that comes along with moving to this city. Much like Tampa, temperatures here can go as high as 100 degrees in July and August!

Honorable mentions and takeaways!

Some other cities that are known to be dog-friendly include the likes of Texan cities Austin and Irving, Scottsdale in Arizona, and Richmond, Virginia!

Another thing to keep in mind is that, despite these cities being known to be dog-friendly, that should not be the only factor that you keep an eye on.

You should strive to provide for your dog to the best of your ability, and as long as they are cared for, loved, and healthy, it does not matter where you live!

No matter where you live, make sure you have a trusty, sturdy leash for your pup! This one from Amazon has been our favorite for years!

If you are living in a big city or a metropolis, even if they are a great city for your pup, they could end up being too big and loud for an apartment! If you are curious about which dog breeds are perfect for apartment life and why, check out this article: 9 Quiet Dog Breeds: They’re Perfect for Apartments.


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