Fast traffic, narrow sidewalks, and not a single pedestrian crossing in sight; some neighborhoods are not only unpleasant places to try to walk your dog — they’re downright dangerous. Without a huge back yard or a spacious dog park down the street, the act of taking your pup for a stroll could lead to injury or worse. (Here are the most common reasons people take their dog to the vet.)
24/7 Tempo has compiled a list of the worst cities to walk your dog, based on a report from LawnStarter. In the report, 174 of America’s largest cities were ranked based on their walkability, dog-friendly environment, safey, and services related to dog walking. Walkability is a score that takes into account pedestrian access and comfort. Can residents run errands without a car? Is there access to footpaths or sidewalks, and are these comfortable routes to businesses and parks?
In addition to a city’s walkability, are the sidewalks large enough to safely walk a dog past a group of people or another dog walker? LawnStarter’s environment metric takes into account the number of dog-friendly trails in a city, as well as the city’s ranking in their Best Dog Park Cities list. Here are large US cities with the most dog parks.
The dog walking services ranking includes the number of for-hire dog walkers per capita and their average cost, while the safety metric includes pedestrian deaths per capita. Of the 25 worst cities to walk your dog, nine were also ranked within the 25 most dangerous cities for pedestrians on the list.
Many of the worst cities for dog walking are in the South, and while multiple states have two cities on the list, only Texas surpassed that with seven of the worst cities to walk your dog. If you live in any of these cities, you may want to consider getting a cat.
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