When it comes to fun with man’s best friend, this list of Paw-friendly Cities in America will get your tail wagging for sure!
There’s no getting around it: we just love our dogs. There are millions of pet-owning households in the United States, and a vast number of them are home to a man’s best friend. In fact, according to the National Pet Owners Survey conducted by the American Pet Products Association, around 63.4 million households have at least one dog (APPA, n.d.). That’s a lot of shedding!
Of course, not every place in the US is as open and accommodating to our four-legged friends as others. That’s why we’ve curated this epic list. These curated entries will give you a heads-up on just which city near you is the most friendly and welcoming to our canine companions. When it comes to having fun with your dog, this list of paw-friendly cities in America will have you wagging your tail for sure!
Everything’s bigger in Texas, including the hearts of local dog lovers. The capital city of the Lone Star State has more than just a few amenities that will keep your dogs happy, including Red Bud Isle, an off-leash dog park on an island in the middle of the Colorado River (2020). This swimming hole is for dogs only! Another claim to fame is Bow-Wow Bones, the first food truck for dogs in Texas (Food Trucks Are Going to the Dogs, 2015). This innovative food truck makes the rounds at all the local off-leash dog parks, offering dog-friendly treats for pups big and small!
The Pacific Northwest is a great place to live and to visit, but did you know that it’s even better because it’s so pet-friendly? The number of amenities for your dog in this awesome Oregon city is almost inexhaustible. From pet-friendly hotels and on- and off-leash hiking trails to even brewpubs where you can enjoy a pint with your pup, Bend has everything you need to have a great time (Visit Bend, n.d.).
Want a few less mountains and more classic Pacific Northwest scenery? Bend’s sister city Portland, right on the coast, is also an incredibly dog-friendly city in its own right! There are plenty of meetups like the Pug Crawl and Pit Bull Parade for like-minded fans of specific breeds to gather and celebrate. The best place to get direct information about this wonderful city and all its wag-tastic dog events, check out the Oregon Humane Society website (n.d.). Its slogan might be “Keep Portland Weird”, but for a city with more dog parks per capita than any other in the US, you know “Paw-tlandians” are super proud of the pet-friendly status of their city!
There’s nothing most pups love more than a little fun in the sun, and that’s exactly what Jacksonville, Florida has to offer! If things are getting a little hot and heavy and your favorite fluffball is panting hot and heavy, don’t worry — there’s a way to beat the heat even in the Sun Belt. Kanine Social, a 7,000-square-foot indoor climate-controlled dog daycare facility has an additional 7,000-sq.ft. outside for when the weather’s nice and even an indoor taproom where you can enjoy a beer with your on-leash pup (Kanine Social, n.d.)!
San Diego has a little bit of everything for dogs and their owners. Whether you’re road-tripping it and passing through or you’re just a few minutes away, this West Coast city has so much to offer. First of all, the annual Surf Dog Surf-A-Thon charity event is a must-see event every year (Dog Surfing Competition San Diego, 2020). Not ready to compete but still want to enjoy a day in San Diego? Try one of the city’s many spa-style dog wash pup boutiques like Howlistic!
Albuquerque gets more than 270 days of sunshine on average every year. This means that just about every single restaurant and bar in the city has pet-friendly patio sections for patriots. One must-visit is El Patio De Albuquerque, an absolute New Mexico staple (2017). Other benefits of the city include some of the best dog parks you’ll ever find in a major metropolitan center, not to mention something upwards of 400 hiking and bike trails!
Hotlanta is a hopping town for pet parents! Atlanta’s got one of the biggest dog-owning cities in the US. Atlanta comes in at about 54 percent of residents being on the pup squad, while nationwide dog ownership statistics are around 47 percent. Dogs are so much a part of the city’s culture that the Atlanta Braves host an annual Bark At The Park event, welcoming dogs (and their owners) to the stadium every year (MLB, n.d.)
Located in the heart of the Blue Ridge Mountains, this city in North Carolina is a perfect playground for doggos, sure to lead to wagging tails. There are miles of mountain trails and watering holes to get nice and dirty in, not to mention no end of things to sniff. Dog-friendly hotels abound, as do restaurants and brewpub patios thanks to Asheville’s downtown region that was made for walking around with a dog in tow (Sammy Visits Asheville, n.d.)
Let’s get elevated! Colorado Springs is a great high-rise city, nestled in the Rocky Mountains that offers great all-around weather for pups. Cold-weather breeds like Huskies and Malamutes especially like romping through the city! Looking for some fun times to have with your dog without having to put on a parka yourself? In better weather, Pub Dog Colorado is an outdoor play park and dog-approved eatery in Colorado Springs - and it’s the only one of its kind in the entire state (Pub Dog Colorado | Dine Indoors with Your Dog, n.d.)!
Beantown is one heck of a city. One of the birthplaces of the American Revolution, it’s an old city indeed - and it’s been a dog-friendly joint from the jump back in the 1700s! World-famous Boston Common, the central city park that’s steeped in history and dates back to the 1630s, has 50 acres of space to roam, including designated off-leash areas (Friends of the Public Garden, 2021). Looking for some more sedate adventures? Many of the paddleboat rental kiosks around the Charles River are pet-friendly as well!
Midwesterners love their dogs, and Kansas City is about as Midwestern as it gets - a city so polite it won’t correct you when you think it’s located in Kansas. A great place to start pet-friendly adventures in KC is what’s been described as the local park system’s “crown jewel”: a dog park that winds through 1,805-acres of grassy meadows and lovely woodlands known as the Swope Park Off-Leash Dog Park (Kansas City MO Parks and Recreation, 2020).
The Windy City knows its hospitality for sure. A seriously dog-friendly city, people love pooches here and go out of their way to make them feel welcome! That’s why local restaurants and bars will leave big old bowls of ice water out on hot days. This way, pups walking by with their owners can stop and get a nice cool drink when they need one.
One of the smaller cities on our list, little Glens Falls might not be a big dot on your map, as it’s sometimes overshadowed by its more touristy neighbor, Lake George. Despite that, though, it’s a big deal when it comes to being dog-friendly! Every year, there’s a Pet Fest held at City Park in the heart of town, a local favorite for pet owners and their pups to get out and socialize (Glens Falls Collaborative, 2020). Downtown offers great opportunities for pet-friendly patio dining, nearby Crandall Park offers great fun for all-weather play, and, last but not least, Glens Falls hosts the 2021 Puppy Bowl (Barnes, 2021)!
Often considered Florida’s most dog-friendly destination, Tampa Bay is just stacked with pupperiffic places to play. From dog-friendly hiking on the Al Lopez Park Trail, dozens of dog parks across the city, hundreds of eateries that throw their doors open for furry friends, and nearly 100 locations across the city that are welcoming to guests traveling with dogs, Tampa’s got a great list of amenities to keep our dogs barking (Bay, 2020)
SLC is absolutely awash in opportunities for dogs and their owners to have a good time. The city’s collection of parks, paths, trails, and patios where doggos are welcome is voluminous, and especially good for all-weather pups who don’t mind a bit of a cool breeze in the colder months. Outdoor destinations abound, and the sheer grandeur and beauty of Utah’s many trails are enough to soothe even the most savage of beasts - not to mention their dogs as well (Top Ten Salt Lake Destinations for Dogs (and Their People), 2020)!
San Fran is serious about giving its dogs a great time. This coastal city boasts something like 52 off-leash dog parks and beaches where dogs are welcome to run free and get nice and soaking wet so that they can splash their owners with a combination of sand and seawater when they shake themselves off. The biggest draw to San Francisco has to be Corgi Con, though. This annual event attracts up to 27,000 people every year that just love those stumpy little adorable corgis who step into the limelight (Corgi Con, n.d.).
It’s a hot time in the old town tonight, and Phoenix is a great location for pups on patrol! Metro Phoenix has more than a dozen and a half dog-friendly restaurants, wine bars, and breweries that will let you enjoy a sip of your favorite beverage with your furry pal in tow (Cusimano, 2021). Keeping cool is easy too, thanks to all the fun to be had at local hiking trails that cross lakes or rivers, and you can even take in a Diamondbacks game thanks to the PetsMart Patio at Chase Field (Waken, 2016).
Yet another Pacific Northwest city on our list, Seattle is absolutely not letting down the team. There are, in fact, something like 15 dog-friendly hotels in the city alone if you’re looking for the ultimate five-star comfort for both you and your dog (Moore, 2020). Once you’ve got a roof over your heads, it’s time to explore - we recommend starting with any one of the 14 off-leash dog parks the city has set up for your pampered pup’s enjoyment (Dog Off-Leash Areas & Map - Parks | Seattle.Gov, n.d.). Is your buddy getting hungry? Flag down The Barkery, the Pacific Northwest’s first-ever food truck for dogs, as it goes on its daily rounds (LOCATIONS, n.d.)
Like just about every city in the arid regions of the US, Tucson pioneered the practice of leaving big bowls of ice water out on hot days so pups on walks can stop and hydrate along with their owners. Even better, though, Tucson is known as the home of Pitbulooza - a festival celebrating pitties every year for National Pit Bull Awareness Day (National Pit Bull Awareness Day, n.d.). No need to worry about breed-specific legislation here, pit bulls get a warm welcome every day of the week in this hip town!
Whether you’re looking for urban adventures, summer fun at the seashore, a winter wonderland, or long hikes in the outdoors, there’s something for everyone - and every dog - across this great country of ours. This is just the beginning, though - feel free to share this great resource and add to it for your own blog posts as well. The more cities in America that welcome dogs, the merrier!
Dogs are undeniably some of the best pets anyone could ever have the pleasure of raising. Their boundless curiosity, infectious energy, and propensity to give their humans all the love they have in their furry little bodies is nothing short of amazing, heart-melting, and inspiring. Dog ownership is a lot of fun, but it’s not all that. Whether you’re a new pup parent or an experienced one, check out these dog fun facts that everyone with a canine companion may want to know.
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Moore, B. (2021, February 25). Top 15 dog-friendly hotels in Seattle 2021. GlobalGrasshopper | Travel Tips, Reviews & Inspiration. https://globalgrasshopper.com/dog-friendly-travel/top-15-dog-friendly-hotels-in-seattle/
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Red Bud Isle. (2020, September 9). Austin Parks Foundation. https://austinparks.org/red-bud-isle/
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Visit Bend. (n.d.). Pet Travel to Bend Oregon - Pet Friendly Information. Retrieved February 28, 2021, from https://www.visitbend.com/plan-a-trip/pet-travel/
Waken, A. (2016, May 17). PetSmart Patio at Chase Field. All for the Boys. https://allfortheboys.com/petsmart-patio/