Whether you're looking to relocate your family or you're just taking a trip, one of these dog friendly cities would make a great place for you and your pup. Finding a landlord or hotel that will allow your furry friend is only half the battle. It takes a lot more than that to make a dog-friendly city.
The cities on this list offer dog parks, dog friendly restaurants and beaches that allow pups to swim and explore. They aren't just dog friendly either. You'll be able to take in a lot of great sites in these cities as well.
The most dog friendly cities have to be fun for pets and their owners. There needs to be plenty of things for the two of you to do together. If you've been to a dog friendly city that didn't make our list, be sure to leave some information about it in the comments below.
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14 Most Dog Friendly Cities in the United States
1. San Francisco, California
San Francisco is considered one of the world’s greatest dog cities. The city hosts nearly 200 dining choices for you and your four-legged friend, as well as plenty of off-leash parks and beaches for walkies. Golden Gate Park has 1,000 acres of green space to explore, including four off-leash areas for playing fetch.
Playing tourist with your pup is also easy in San Fracisco. Take a stroll across the Golden Gate Bridge and visit Fisherman’s Wharf, Coit Tower and the Embarcadero. You can even take a cable car ride with your buddy if you’re fed up of walking.
Also, San Francisco is home to the DogFest and Pet Pride Day Festival, which are celebrations of the city’s canine and furry residents. If you’re looking for a city that loves dogs, this is it!
2. Denver, Colorado
There are many dog parks in Denver, such as Railyard Dog Park. This is a fenced, off-leash park with separate areas for high-energy and low-energy dogs, making it a great choice for all dogs to come and play.
3. San Diego, California
San Diego is the city for you if you’re looking to grab lunch and browse the shops with your pooch. It has the most dog-friendly restaurants in the US, offering 187 restaurants where you and your dog can grab a bite together.
There are also seven dog-friendly shopping areas, so you and your pet can be the best-dressed kids in town.
Dog-friendly beaches and parks are everywhere in San Diego. You can even take your dog surfing! You can teach Fido yourself or enlist a pro. Go stand-up paddle-boarding, kayaking or canoeing or even get involved in an annual dog surf-a-thon.
4. Portland, Oregon
Featuring the most dog parks compared to other cities in the US, there are plenty of new and exciting places for pups to roam in Portland, Oregon. But that’s not all; there are lots of adventures within close proximity for you and your dogs, with the nearby Columbia River Gorge and the woods of Washington Park.
In the city, patios at restaurants allow you to chill with your pup as you guzzle down a beer. For a really doggy exclusive experience, the Tin Shed Garden Café asks how many people and dogs in your party and provides a special doggy menu and service in doggy dishes!
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5. New York, New York
If you’re thinking the crowded and congested streets of New York aren’t the best home or holiday destination for your pooch, then think again! New York City is an exciting city for four-legged visitors all year-round.
Hotels such as the London NYC, the W hotels and the Loews Regency all welcome furry visitors. For those who want to travel to New York for the shopping, Bergdorf Goodman, Bloomingdale’s and Saks Fifth Avenue are all pet-friendly department stores.
New York also has the massive Central Park for dogs that are tired off walking the concrete pavements and are looking for leafier adventures. The Guggenheim, the Met, the Boathouse and plenty of other cultural locations are also perfect for typical holiday pictures with your best friend!
6. Seattle, Washington
In Seattle there are twice as many dogs as there are children, making this city a Mecca for dog lovers. There are 14 off-leash parks inside the city and around ten in the surrounding areas, giving your pup numerous options for each day’s walkie.
Want to know the best dog park Seattle?
Magnuson Park with its nine acres of off-leash grounds is truly one of the most fun places to take your pet. With dogs in mind, the park is fully fenced, has a separate area for small dogs, and provides access to a portion of beach along Lake Washington.
For the dogs that love to hike, there are also mountain trails not far outside the city. This gives owners the perks of a more natural exploration environment, but not too far from a city housing numerous dog-friendly restaurants, hotels and shops.
7. Austin, Texas
In Austin, residents roll out the welcome mat to their canine friends. This city is home to more pet-friendly joints than any other city. Eateries in Austin go over the top in terms of dog friendliness. For example, Freddie’s Place is your pooch’s dream restaurant, with a menu that includes a dog bowl with a half-pound of burger meat.
Moontowner Saloon kicks it up a notch and has 11 acres for your pup to roam while you knock back a few beers. The Yard Bar also has 20,000 square feet of dog parks, agility equipment, mister fans and shade trees.
The Zilker Botanical Gardens also offer more than just walks. Water-loving dogs can join you in a kayak ride or swim alongside as you paddle. With 206 parks, 12 preserves and 26 greenbelts, Austin is home to plenty of outdoor fun for you and your pup.
8. Colorado Springs, Colorado
There are hiking trails aplenty and a panoramic view of Colorado Springs from Inspiration point, the perfect backdrop for a memory picture of you and your dog.
For another stunning adventure, the Garden of the Gods Park is a Registered National Natural Landmark in Colorado Springs. As long as your pup is on a leash, they’re welcome to join you as you hike the beautiful trails through the red rock formations.
For those verging on the less adventurous side, Bear Creek Dog Park is a fenced park with a play area for dogs under 25 lbs and a large play area for dogs of all sizes. With a creek and numerous trails, there’s tonnes for you and your pup to explore.
9. Boise, Idaho
This Northwestern city is essentially made for pups, especially in the summer months with rivers for you and your pup to explore. The Boise River Greenbelt is one of 1600 rail-trails supported by Rails-to-Trails Conservancy, a not-for-profit organisation that creates nature trails from former rail lines.
In Idaho, the unused railroad corridor is now a trail and a unique and amazing place to walk your pup. There are also numerous parks such as Morris Hill Park, Camel's Back Reserve and the Military Reserve for off-leash play time and walks through creeks and trees.
10. Chicago, Illinois
For pups that love the water, the Montrose Dog Beach is a popular fenced off-leash beach. Belmont Harbor Beach is Montrose’s smaller and quieter cousin with a small fenced beach for dogs.
For a different watery experience, Mercury Canine Cruise lets you enjoy quality time with your dog while cruising Chicago's waterways. Explore and learn about Chicago’s rich history with your dog right beside you, or on your lap.
Jackson Bark is for the pups that like to stay on solid ground. This dog park has an agility course located in Jackson Park, just south of the Museum of Science and Industry. A playground for dogs, your pooch can climb, run and play and will never be bored if there are no puppy friends to play with.
11. Las Vegas, Nevada
Sin City might not be your typical dog-friendly city but let me convince otherwise. While you will have to leave your dog at home when you hit the casino, you certainly will not be searching long for dog parks and activities for you and your pooch.
One of the best parks in Las Vegas is Desert Breeze Dog Park, which has fenced separate areas for small dogs and large dogs. There are plenty of areas for you to chill while your pup runs free and plays with the other canine city-dwellers. With less than 15 days of precipitation a year, the supplied hose is there for a refreshing cool down.
For a spot of sight-seeing, the Red Rock Canyon National Conservation Area is less than a half-hour drive from the Strip in Las Vegas and leashed dogs are allowed to explore the trails alongside you.
Head to Downtown Summerlin for a spot of shopping and to quench your thirst in the desert heat. Many of the shops welcome well-behaved dogs, and some restaurants have dog-friendly patios.
And for a typical Vegas experience, your canine can play the role of best pup in your wedding party at the Wedding Bells Chapel in the Alexis Park Resort Hotel. You can even host a doggy wedding and bring your pup’s fiancé so they can get hitched!
12. Albuquerque, New Mexico
With a host of outdoor trails, walkable streets, and several pet boutiques and daycares, the Duke City is the perfect destination to bring your four-legged friend. You definitely won’t be disappointed with the number of outdoor activities in Albuquerque, and neither will your dog.
Albuquerque has 13 designated dog parks throughout the city. For example, the spacious North Domingo Baca Dog Park with separate large and small dog areas, plus wood chip ground cover, trees, awnings, benches and lighting.
For a spot of tourism activities, the ABQ open-air trolley allows well-behaved, leashed pets to join their humans on this 85-minute narrated tour departing from the Historic Old Town. There are 64 restaurants in Albuquerque that welcome dogs at their outdoor tables and with less than 30 days of precipitation a year, eating outside is easy!
Local chain, the Flying Star Café is especially popular with dog owners. The restaurants have outdoor “petios” (pet-friendly patios) and offer water and treats for your dog. For the human diner, the restaurant offers all day breakfast, salads, burgers, sandwiches, enchiladas, and fish and chips.
13. Minneapolis, Minnesota
This Midwestern city is great for dogs that love to explore, the numerous parks here are more than just your average off-leash play area. Just be sure to bring a cozy jacket for you and your pup.
Bring your dog for a hike in Minnehaha Park and see the gorgeous waterfalls. This park has hiking trails through the woods and doggy access to the Mississippi River. An off-leash permit is required however to gain admittance. There’s also the Elm Creek Reserve dog park, offering 29 acres of fenced land, set in the middle of the gorgeous Elm Creek Reserve.
For shopping and restaurants, dogs are pretty welcome in this city. There are over 80 dog-friendly restaurants, one of which is Pyscho Suzi’s Motor Lounge, with tasty food, wonderful drinks, attentive staff and a spacious dog-friendly patio overlooking the water. It’s the perfect place to chill with your pup after exploring the parks.
14. Sacramento, California
If you’re having difficulty narrowing down the options, The Shack offers the ultimate comfort foods such as cajun bacon blue burgers, fish and chips and roasted turkey sandwiches for the humans and a doggy bowl, doggy cookie and tonnes of affection for your pooch.
Also, be sure to check out Paws and the Palette Dog Bakery, a dog friendly store full of healthy treats for your pooch along with jackets, beds, collars and more. For letting off steam, there are numerous parks in the city. Phoenix Dog Park goes the extra mile in offering not just two dog areas for small and large dogs, but an extra one for elderly dogs, dogs recovering from injury, and less-socialized dogs.