Special Report

The Most Dog-Friendly Cities in America

Source: OKRAD / Getty Images

21. Chesapeake, Virginia
> Dog parks per 100,000 residents: 2.0
> Total dog parks: 5
> City population: 246,615

While Chesapeake has five dog parks overall, there are actually two in Chesapeake City Park, each of which has separate areas for small and large dogs. Having two dog parks in the same place makes it easier to maintain the grounds. The city also shares its name with a dog breed — the Chesapeake Bay retriever.

Source: Courtesy of Tara M. via Yelp

20. Seattle, Washington
> Dog parks per 100,000 residents: 2.0
> Total dog parks: 14
> City population: 710,295

Seattle is proud of its status as a dog-friendly city. In fact, in a recent survey from dog care company Rover, it ranked No. 1 out of over 14,000 cities. Seattle has more dogs than children and lots of dog-friendly bars and restaurants. Some years ago, Seattle Magazine even had a feature titled Seattle’s Dog Obsession.

Source: 33671002@N00 / Flickr

19. Bakersfield, California
> Dog parks per 100,000 residents: 2.1
> Total dog parks: 8
> City population: 383,573

Bakersfield’s dog parks have fenced no-leash areas that are “large enough to tire out the most energetic dog,” according to the city’s site. The city is home to an annual Mega Adoption Event at the Kern County Fairgrounds. The goal is not just to find homes for dogs, but also to encourage people who already have dogs to engage with their pets as much as possible.

Source: bradleyhebdon / Getty Images

18. Long Beach, California
> Dog parks per 100,000 residents: 2.1
> Total dog parks: 10
> City population: 480,903

Long Beach doesn’t just have 10 dog parks, it boasts the only off-leash beach in Los Angeles County. Long Beach also has huge dog-themed events, including an annual Bulldog Beauty Contest and Rudd’s Haute Dog Howl’oween Parade, which features hundreds of costumed dogs.

Source: Courtesy of J.P. B. via Yelp

17. St. Petersburg, Florida
> Dog parks per 100,000 residents: 2.3
> Total dog parks: 6
> City population: 260,094

Tourism is hugely important to Florida, and the industry caters to dog owners as well. A study by RewardExpert ranked the Tampa-St. Petersburg-Clearwater region as the No. 1 region to travel with pets in the U.S. It can get pretty hot in St. Petersburg, but the city looks out for doggie residents and visitors with an annual dog swim day at Fossil Park Pool. There is even a commercial Dog Bar, a combination of an off-leash dog park and a full-service bar.

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