pet-friendly cities

Many dog owners live in big cities and have to find creative ways to ensure that their dogs get enough exercise, freedom and socialization. So what are the most pet-friendly cities in the US?

But, not all cities make it so easy. However, many metropolises go out of their way to enable dog owners to give their pups a great life.

Here we profile the 7 best cities for dog owners and what makes these urban centers so special.

1. Portland, Oregon

If you’re a fan of the sketch comedy show Portlandia, you might recall a funny skit that poked fun at just how dog-friendly Portland is by showing the characters continually mistaking dog businesses for human ones. While that may be a bit of an exaggeration, the city is super welcoming to canines. With 33 dog parks, hundreds of business that cater exclusively to pups, and a wealth of wilderness spots that allow dogs, it’s an ideal home for dog lovers.

2. Boston, Massachusetts

Unfortunately, the East Coast doesn’t boast nearly as many dog-friendly cities as the West Coast does. But for New Englanders loyal to their furry friends, Boston is probably the best bet. For one, Beantown allows dogs to accompany their people on the subway during off-peak hours, a major convenience for owners who like to bring their pets with them everywhere they go. The Liberty Hotel even hosts a weekly happy hour (“Yappier Hour”) that offers food and drinks for canines and their humans.

3. Boulder, Colorado

The Rocky Mountain town is commonly known to be progressive and health-conscious, and these attitudes definitely extend to the city’s four-legged residents. First off, when you adopt a pet in Boulder, you officially become its “guardian” instead of its “owner” – this should give you an idea of the high esteem in which the city holds its canines. And if the many dog parks in the city and surrounding towns aren’t enough, you have 144 miles of pristine dog-friendly wilderness trails in the nearby parks Open Space and Mountain.

4. San Diego, California

This SoCal city is a pretty great place to live – perfect weather, gorgeous beaches and a very friendly attitude towards dogs. The city has even taken steps to ban the sale of dogs that are bred for commercial breeding, so you can be sure that they have your pet’s best interest in mind. Additionally, they have 16 off-the-leash dog parks and several beaches where dogs can run free. When you factor in the many restaurants that allow pups on their patios, the annual Dog Party Day festival and the dog surfing competition, it becomes very clear that this lovely city is a paradise for pooches and their owners.

5. Austin, Texas

If you love live music as much as you love your four-legged friend, Austin could be the city for you. Its dog scene is just as thriving as its art scene. The capital of Texas has 11 dog parks, a food truck just for dogs (Bow-Wow Chow) and no less than 35 designated pet photographers. It’s obvious that the residents of this southern city are serious about giving their pups priority treatment. If you’d like to visit to check it out, time your stay with the annual Easter pet parade and costume contest or the yearly Austin Dog Fair – these dog-centric events will give you a great intro to the booming dog community there.

6. Las Vegas, Nevada

You might be surprised to learn that the nation’s capital of casinos is also so great for dog owners. In fact, Sin City rates 3rd in the nation for number of dog parks and, because of its reliably sunny weather, almost every day is a perfect day for a long walk. Though living in Vegas may not be your thing, the city’s 8 dog-friendly hotels may make it a good option for the next vacation that you bring your pooch along for.

7. Miami, Florida

Miami is known for its spicy Cuban culture and sizzling night life, but it may be less commonly known that this hot town makes dog owners feel right at home. Because so much of the culture involves being outdoors, it’s a good thing that so many of the fashionable cafes and restaurants let their customers’ furry friends hang out in the outdoor dining areas; some even offer special menu items that are cooked up just for dogs. And to cater to the uber-stylish residents, there are many upscale dog-centric businesses that make pet care a cinch.

Life for urban dog owners can sometimes be a challenge, but it’s much easier if you live in a city that considers quality of life for canines as well as humans. We tip our hats to these seven cities that clearly show just how much they care about having healthy, happy pet residents.