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7 Most Pet-Friendly Cities in the US

by Jose Sierra The Insured Pet
July 7, 2022
smiling woman with her dog

Featured Image.
Alt-tag: Smiling woman with her dog.

7 Most Pet-Friendly Cities in the US

We dote on our pet companions – and how can we not? They’re always home, waiting for us to arrive, and bouncing off the walls when we do (well, perhaps not if you have a cat). They always have time for us, ask no questions, and pass no criticisms. Most importantly, they’re loyal, giving, and loving! Yes, we dote on our pet companions – and how can we not? That’s why we love it when our local communities ooze a pet-friendly vibe and support the bond between pets and their humans. After all, we want to give them the best life possible. So, if you’re planning to move, we set out to find the seven most pet-friendly cities in the U.S. Finally, we’ve conjured a list that’s bound to give you all the warm fuzzies!

orange cat beside a puppy

We only want what’s best for our fur friends.
Alt-tag: Orange cat beside a puppy.

What makes a city ‘pet-friendly’?

In a nutshell, pet-friendly cities are the ones that offer the most welcoming environment for pets and pet parents. Overall, America is a pet-appreciating country – but not every metropolis has earned the esteemed pet-friendly title. Cities that have this title are more pet-centric than others. This translates to their high ranking across:

  • Pet budget. This includes veterinary care, pet insurance, and pet sitting costs;
  • Pet health and wellness. This comprises the number per capita of animal shelters, vets, trainers, sitters, and public places such as bars, restaurants, shopping centers, stores, and hotels where our companions are welcome. It also includes animal protection laws and pet-friendliness of the real estate market;
  • Outdoor pet-friendliness. It includes weather, walkability, as well as all the places for your pet pal to enjoy off-leash play, on-leash walks, and various activities like boating or swimming.

Most Pet-Friendly Cities in the US

#1 Tucson, Arizona
Tucson has taken home the cake for two years in a row as arguably the country’s best city for dogs. And it still has dogs wagging their tails, given its high concentration of dog parks, vet offices, pet supply stores, dog-friendly dining, and shopping options. Your four-legged friend is welcome almost anywhere in this city. Stop for a bite to eat and give them a doggy treat in one of Tucson’s 254 dog-friendly restaurants. Hike with your pal at Mount Lemmon or Madera Canyon, or plan a fun day at the Tucson Botanical Gardens. Add to that affordable real estate and only 22 rainy days per year, and you’ll get why Tucson made it to our list.

#2 Tampa, Florida
Tampa is full of beautiful places to visit and fun things to do with your dog. It includes plenty of off-leash parks built explicitly for dogs, dog-friendly beaches, restaurants, pubs, cafes, and over 200 other dog-friendly establishments. Places like Pups Pub, a full-liquor dog bar that requires no leashes are perfect if you want to bring your furry best friend for the next get-together with the crew. You can even book your good boy or girl a birthday party here. If you’re looking to carve out your own slice of paradise and start a new life in Tampa, you should have no problem finding a perfectly lovely doggy home. Besides some apartment-specific dog breed restrictions, the good news is that over 80% of apartments welcome pets. Plus, slightly over 40% have pet rent. 

dog in a restaurant

Bring your pup with you to your next get-together.
Alt-tag: Dog in a restaurant.

#3 Portland, Oregon
This West Coast city stands out with its laid-back and outdoorsy vibe. However, it’s also home to one of the highest numbers of dog parks per capita in the US, woodsy hiking trails, dog-friendly restaurants, breweries, and fabulous cafes. If you’re stopping by, there are nearly 150 hotels and short-term rentals that welcome pets. And if you decide to make Portland your and your companion’s permanent residence, you won’t make a mistake. Its residents are proud to call themselves a pet-friendly city. However, you should know that roughly 60% of apartments allow pets. But, despite that, only about half will charge you pet rent. If you’re buying, start searching for your dream home and planning everything move-related, including how to keep your furry friend safe amid all chaos as soon as possible.

#4 San Francisco, California
The Golden City is widely known to people as a place where everybody is always welcome. But this courtesy extends to our fur pals as well. In fact, the city keeps ranking high in countless of the country’s most pet-friendly cities lists. That’s why, as you’ve probably already heard, there are more dogs there than children. It’s self-evident then that San Franciscan dog parents have more than the average city’s fair share of parks, amenities, establishments, and services at their disposal.

#5 Austin, Texas
Dog lovers can’t help but fall in love with this city. This is because of its dozens of gorgeous pet-friendly bars, restaurants, patios, parks, lakes, and ponds. And we shouldn’t forget about various activities such as hiking, biking, and picnicking you can enjoy with your best friend. Some outdoor adventure will keep your dog healthy and happy. Indeed, there’s no shortage of fun to be had with your canine pal outdoors. But that’s not all this delightfully “weird” Texas city has to offer its residents. Rather, it boasts a thriving employment market, endless entertainment options, alluring culture, and a low cost of living.

#6 Scottsdale, Arizona
Although in the lower third in pet budget, Scottsdale gets top-notch marks across two other dimensions: pet health and wellness and outdoor pet-friendliness. There’s no lack of vets, sitters, trainers, or adventurous things to do. Additional points go to this beautiful city for being ranked as the second-best in America for the number of pet businesses per capita in the States. While in town, check out OHSO Brewery and Distillery. It is a trendy brewpub where pups can enjoy homemade doggy treats and lots of attention while their humans imbibe. If you’re a proud parent of an extra fluffy bunny, guinea pig, gerbil, or hamster, don’t miss out on everything that Raintree Pet Resort has to offer.

brown and white cat lying on the floor

Our pets deserve the best health care there is.
Alt-tag: Brown and white cat lying on the floor.

#7 Colorado Springs, Colorado
Located at the base of the Rocky Mountains, Colorado Springs’ position makes it an incredibly alluring destination for outbound hounds. Don’t miss out on everything this city offers. This includes the fabled Garden of the Gods, which permits leashed dogs to walk the twenty-one-mile hiking trails around lively red rock formations. But don’t stop there. Prolong your adventure and let your pups off the leash and into the lake of Stratton Open Space for a nice swim. Finally, stop at the Pub Dog Colorado eatery and outdoor play park, where your furry friend can romp around and enjoy the specials from the canine menu. Then, it will become clear why Colorado Springs made the list of most pet-friendly cities in the US.

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