What are the best cities for dogs in America? Sure, there are good cities for dogs, and then there are great cities for dogs—but, what arethe best cities for dogs? Since we are good girls and boys, we decided to chew our way though a long list and come up with the top five.
Pet lovers know that when looking to relocate, our best friends’ comfort is paramount. Finding a community of fellow dog lovers is right up there with finding your favorite grocery store and/or coffee chain. If Fido doesn’t dig his surroundings, then we certainly won’t either.
So what’s needed to become a Blue Ribbon dog city? Well, free treats aside, ranking them is a very serious undertaking. Towns were combed through for several factors that included services and healthcare. Specifically, vets, animal hospitals, shelters, washing and grooming services, training, boarding and parks per capita were all scrutinized.
Our friends at Apartment Guide certainly know a thing or five about communities and the services those cities offer. Owning a pet in said community is no exception. Fortunately for us, they also dug around, asked for popular opinions at dog parks, and put together a list of the top 5 cities for dogs in America.
The results? Well, Florida makes the strongest showing in the top five. In fact, it dominates – paws down! There are just two non-Southern cities in our top five, and nary a mention of the West.
Needless to say the K-9’s in cities like Los Angeles or Portland were whining with disappointment for not scratching their way onto the list.
So, who did? Scroll down and find out.
Five Best Cities for Dogs in America
An hour or so drive south of Tampa is the sleeper of a town Sarasota. With the highest total score this town gets high pats on the head for their pristine beaches, artistic enclaves and plenty of everything for your beloved pets — including 74 vets/pet hospitals and 36 groomers (in case you don’t want to groom our pooch at home).
Lancaster is only one of two cities in the top five that are not from the Sunshine state. Though the city is far from the ocean waters, it does give you access to endless horizons of rolling farmland
Beyond the pastoral landscapes, Lancaster boasts a rich history and an impressive arts scene. From picturesque trails to Amish buggy rides and ample dog parks, your pups will find plenty to fill their days in Lancaster.
Just do not take them to nearby Hershey’s Chocolate headquarters. Chocolate you will remember is toxic to our favorite four-legged friends.
There’s a good reason why many consider Miami Florida’s crown jewel. But beyond all that high-profile glitz, glam and South Beach eye candy, this is a bonafide pet lover’s paradise.
People in these parts simply love their pets, which is probably why they live in Miami. How else would a whopping 152 vets/animal hospitals stay in business? Not to mention, 90 grooming facilities. Add to that 157 parks for your pups to play in, and it’s clear that this No. 3 spot has the substance to back the high ranking up.
If you live for seafood, sandy beaches and salty air, you could do a lot worse than the perma-vacation lifestyle this Gulf Coast gem provides. But living in Pensacola isn’t just about beach days at pet-friendly stretches of sand like Bayview and Pensacola Dog Beach. This popular vacation destination is also a cultural melting pot, with Spanish, French and Native American influences, among others.
If you can get past the influx of tourists and those sweltering summer temps, Pensacola will reward you and your fur baby with tons of parks, groomers and vets. Oh, and also? There’s no income tax in the state of Florida. Perhaps that’s why the Sunshine State all but swept our top 10.
5. Marietta, GA
Home of Alton Brown (Good Eats) and his Boston Terrier, Scabigail, and long-time stomping ground of Ty Pennington (Extreme Home Makeover) and his rescue dog, Marietta has been home to plenty of high profile personalities — and their pups. So if you’re considering a move to Atlanta and its environs, you’ll be in good company.