Our dogs are more than just our best friends, they’re part of the family. From joining us on hikes to riding along on road trips, we want our best friends to be included in almost all aspects of our lives. So, it’s no wonder that we find ourselves living in and travelling to dog-friendly destinations.
As the demand for dog-friendly businesses and cities increases, the competition gets more heated. While compiling our list, we considered each city’s vicinity to dog parks and walking trails and availability of unique dog activities like dog yoga, dog-friendly shopping, weather. We also didn’t ignore how much it costs to keep a dog in the city, so we looked at the availability of pet-friendly housing and pet deposits. We want you to know where to go with your big dogs or teacup pups.
From hiking to shopping, to discovering micro-breweries, our list of the best cities for dog lovers has taken into account that in 2019, dog parents want to do more, see more, and experience more with their best friends, now and into the future.
1. San Francisco, California
Does your dog love the freedom of not wearing a leash? Well, your dog would love San Fran, then. This pup paradise is off-leash Shangri-la for dogs. San Francisco boasts 52 off-leash dog parks and beaches where dogs can run free, splash to their hearts’ content, and feel the sand between their toes.
With this city housing more dogs than children, it’s no surprise that most City by the Bay employers attract the best talent by allowing employees to bring their pooches to work!
San Francisco also hosts Corgi Con, a corgi-palooza that 27,00 humans attend annually to watch the stumpy, but adorable corgis strut their stuff. It’s you’re visiting San Fran anytime soon, be sure to check out the breathtaking views from Corona Heights Park or Holly Water (formally Stray Bar) where you can enjoy a drink in the company of your favorite canine.
2. Austin, Texas
Hippy Haven, also known as Austin, Texas, has topped dog-friendly charts for years. And it’s for good reason! Austin offers an outdoor dog and their family almost unlimited activities.
You’ll find dog owners all over Austin keeping their dogs happy by exploring some of the best dog parks. These adventures include enjoying Emma Long Metropolitan Park, hiking Turkey Creek Trail off-leash, or cooling off with a swim at Barking Springs where dogs can roam free and fetch to their hearts’ content.
If you’re looking for some fresh greens and homemade dog treats, the local Barton Creek Farmers’ Market is a great way to get some fresh air with your canine companion in tow. You may even find Bow-Wow Bones, Texas’s first food truck for dogs!
3. Portland, Oregon
While Portland is known for everything organic, it is also famous for being one of the best cities in America for pooches! This city loves pups. You can find 389 dog-friendly restaurants and 44 dog parks and dog-friendly hiking trails, according to Bring Fido.
And if you’re a beer aficionado, you can find some of the best brews and bring your buddy. Portland is home to many dog-friendly bars and breweries like Lucky Labrador Brewery. If you’re a bit peckish, grab some comfort food at Country Cat Dinner House & Bar.
And if you’re visiting this wonderful city, check out the Oregon Humane Society website. They will keep you up to date on all the most wag-tastic dog events nearby like the Pug Crawl, a parade for Pugs that other dogs just love to watch.
4. Jacksonville, Florida
If you want it all for your dog, then Jacksonville is the place to be. This diverse city topped our charts for offering some of the most unique dog activities, while not being so packed that your dog won’t have room to run. The weather and cost of living also make this spot ideal for dog devotees.
Bridge City offers a field day for active dog owners. You can run on the beach, hike on the local equestrian trail or check out one of the best bars in the city, designed especially for dog owners. With an indoor/outdoor dog park and boarding to make happy hour a cinch, Kanine Social is a must-visit while in Jacksonville.
And you can’t miss the pristine Jacksonville beaches. Jacksonville Beach is open to dogs all day from October to March, and during the busy summer months, before 9:00 am and after 5:00 pm. But at surrounding beaches, like Atlantic Beach, they’re welcome any time!
The Riverside Arts Market or 42-acre Dog Wood Park are also great ways to get some fresh air with your pup. We consider Jacksonville to be one of the best-kept secret cities for dogs and their families.
5. San Diego, California
If you want to shop or just stroll down the street with a content canine, San Diego ranks top among cities with dog-friendly business, restaurants, and rentals. This pricey city has one of the lowest average pet deposits in the United States, at $132. If your dog digs excitement and water, Imperial Beach is just down the coast and offer pups a chance to catch a wave, hang 20, and show off their surfing skills. And if your dog just likes to dig, she can do that, too.
Even if your dog isn’t the next surf sensation, you can let your dog off-leash in one of San Diego’s many dog-friendly beaches or parks. Stop and shop for some art at Spanish Village Arts Center or window shop at Seaport Village.
There’s no doubt your dog will be tired after exploring all San Diego has to offer, so she may need a little pampering at one of the many pup-boutiques, like Howlistic, a spa-style dog wash.
6. Albuquerque, New Mexico
With blue skies and beautiful views, you’ll beg your dog to explore Albuquerque with you. This picturesque city has great views and excellent outdoor trails. This laid-back city is remarkably walkable and the streets are super dog-friendly.
With over 270 days of sunshine on average each year, most Albuquerque restaurants and bars have pet-friendly patios including a New Mexico staple, El Patio De Albuquerque, or Kelly’s Bew Pub. Downtown Albuquerque has one of the best dog parks you’ll find in a metro center.
But if you like to hike, this city might be your favorite on our list. This city has plenty of wilderness and adventure. Albuquerque has over 400 miles of hiking trail and bike trails and the Sandia Mountains and Paseo Del Bosque are just a stone’s throw away. With all these amazing outdoor activities, you’ll want to keep track of just how much fun and exercise your pup is getting with an activity tracking collar, like Fi. And if your pup is a water-dog, she can doggy paddle all day long in the Rio Grande.
7. Atlanta, Georgia
Atlanta is a peach of a city for dog parents and their fuzzy babies. While 47 percent of Americans own dogs, Atlanta breaks that with 54 percent of Atlantans owning doggos. And boy does this city offer plenty of fun for canines and their human companions!
The Atlanta Braves celebrate pups with their Bark in the Park event where dog owners can bring their dogs along to the stadium. We wouldn’t suggest you let your dog devour a hot dog, but they offer a Braves leash to help you remember the event.
You can even take in some culture and enjoy the Atlanta Symphony Orchestra’s outdoor summer concert with your puppy pal in Piedmont Park.
As a pet parent, there are plenty of options in some of America’s most happening cities for you and your pup. Don’t miss out on the fun. Whether your pup loves to be pampered or splash in the water, you’ll want to explore these cities to their fullest. So, pack the treats, the travel bowl, and have fun exploring the ins and outs of some of the most dog-friendly cities in America.