City living with a dog brings an entirely extra set of challenges: where to live, where to safely walk your pals, and more. Many cities are still not properly equipped to handle those challenges. The cities that are really built for dog families are being recognized, however.
Mars Petcare created the Better Cities For Pets™ program in 2017 with the goal of making cities more pet-friendly. A city’s certification is based on many factors, including availability of pet-friendly housing, green space, and partnerships to end animal homelessness.
In 2019, 31 cities were awarded BCFP certification for instituting pet-friendly programs and policies. And the trailblazing cities are…
Arlington has 71 dog-friendly restaurants and you and your pup will love the nice weather year-round.
Enjoy the Ozarks trails with your dog and end the day on a dog-friendly patio in Bentonville.
This gorgeous college town offers plenty of dog-friendly lodging and forest parks in addition to the obvious bars where pups can hang.
Calumet City, IL
Even though it’s relatively small, Calumet City really cares about its commitment to animal welfare. Even the Mayor herself supervises the well-being of homeless animals in partnership with animal welfare, police, fire, and public works departments. Calumet City partners with pet hospitals, non-profits, and pet stores to ensure the city’s homeless animals are taken care of.
Cle Dog Magazine‘s list of dog-friendly restaurants in the city was three full pages long!
Dog people love Dallas’ Katy Trail, a 3.5-mile running and biking path that leads you right past a series of establishments with dog-friendly patios.
Residents can find plenty of housing that welcomes both them and their four-legged family members in Downey.
Fort Wayne, IN
Fort Wayne’s animal-friendly events are numerous, including dog-friendly 5k races, pet costume contests, wiener dog races and grooming events. Fort Wayne even hosts a swim for dogs before the public pools close for the summer.
Franklin’s “Pets Welcome” program for pet-friendly businesses created a large, community-wide slate of animal-friendly business practices. Nearly 100 businesses in Downtown Franklin agreed to participate, with a shared pet code of conduct including signage and in-store education.
The city also installed pet waste stations throughout the downtown area which makes walking with your dog easy.
You can bring a dog to virtually any casual restaurant in town and Gresham green space is abundant.
Hallandale Beach, FL
There are several dog parks and beaches in Hallandale, plus a year-round walking climate.
Plenty of parks, trails, and outdoor spaces await you and your pup in Henderson. Low rain equals more time outside!
Key West, FL
Visitors can enjoy an abundance of lodging for themselves and their dogs, and residents appreciate the outdoor spaces and specialty dog stores in Key West.
Laguna Niguel, CA
Laguna Niguel crushes it in the parks area of certification, with a third of the city preserved as open spaces and 80 miles of trails.
Memphis has a great handle on dog-friendly parks and breweries according to Mars Petcare.
What dog doesn’t love to frolic on the beach? Miami makes it so dogs can easily take long sunny walks with their people.
Miami Lakes, FL
Miami Lakes received high marks in shelters and pet-friendly businesses this year. The city also boasts “K-9 Cove” dog park containing both a passive recreational area and two fenced-in areas for both smaller and larger dogs.
Most of the hotels and vacation rentals in Nashville are pet-friendly and offer special amenities and services for animal guests. The city’s mission of supporting public health created plenty of “hydration stations” with a water bottle fill-up for people and a ground-level fountain for their pups.
Plano works hard to make dogs and their people happy with free waste bags and plenty of available housing.
In addition to the many restaurants, bars, hiking trails, and hotels, Oakland is part of the East Bay Regional Park District, where dogs are allowed off-leash in almost all open spaces and undeveloped areas of parklands.
Reno is a well-known vacation spot, but the city works to make it so your dog can enjoy a vacation too with plenty of lodging and activities.
Port St. Lucie, FL
62 convenient pet waste stations are scattered throughout Port St. Lucie. Port St. Lucie also has two leash-free dog parks and is even opening a third and fourth in 2020.
Rochester is an extremely pet-friendly city with a large trail-way system. The trail begins in the downtown district, chock full of pet-friendly businesses including a dog bakery, and continues to both the Clinton River Trail and the Paint Creek Trail. Overall there are around 34 miles of walking trails here.
There are so many options to choose from when it comes to dog-friendly walking trails in Royalton!
St. Petersburg, FL
St. Petersburg’s PAWS program puts heavy emphasis on making the city a place where all pets and their families are welcome and happy. The mayor’s Pet Friendly Business Program incentivizes and encourages businesses to allow animals inside.
Santa Clarita, CA
This gorgeous dog-friendly city is home to Lazy Dog Cafe which has a special dog menu!
From Southport you can take your dog on the ferry to Bald Head Island.
Topeka has almost 60 miles of pet-friendly trails as well as a dog park with both a large dog and small dog area.
At least 100, Tucson hotels and resorts that welcome dogs with a few even offering special services and activities for animal guests. There are also around 150 businesses that welcome in furry friends.
So next time you travel the country, there will be no need to leave your pup at home!
Featured Image: @malcolm garret via Pixabay
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