The 10 Best Cities to Own a Dog
By Lindsey Wojcik
April 4, 2013

I love living in New York. However, growing up having owned several dogs a suburban Midwestern city, I slightly resent my landlord’s strict no-pets policy that restricts me from currently owning a dog. Though New York is home to roughly 600,000 dogs, it missed the mark on NerdWallet’s list of 10 Best Cities to Have a Dog.


Based on walkability, off-leash dog parks per 100,000 residents and cost of a vet visit, NerdWallet—a website that helps consumers save money and make smarter decisions about personal finances, travel plans or higher education—analyzed 50 cities to find the metropolitan areas best suited for people and their canine counterparts.

 

The 10 Best Cities to Have a Dog are:

 

1. Portland, Ore.—Portland has 32 off-leash dog parks, which is more than any other city except New York. The average cost of a vet visit is $51.03.

 

2. San Francisco—The City by the Bay boasts 27 dog parks, with the average vet visit costing $56.06. 

 

3. Las Vegas—While Sin City ranked low on NerdWallet’s walkability score, its 4.4 off-leash dog parks per 1000,000 residents and low vet costs ($45.28 per visit, on average) landed it in the third spot. 

 

4. Miami—Miami’s well-priced veterinary care ($43.50 per visit, on average) and highly walkable layout makes it suitable for dog-loving city dwellers. 

 

5. Washington, D.C.—The nation’s capital also ranked high on walkability scores, with an average vet visit costing $49.93.

 

6. Seattle—According to NerdWallet, Seattle has it all—11 off-leash dog parks, somewhat affordable veterinary care and a walkable layout.

 

7. St. Louis—St. Louis has plenty of dog parks, with 1.4 off-leash parks per 100,000 residents and a moderately walkable layout.

 

8. Milwaukee—Though Milwaukee has little to offer in terms of off-leash dog parks, its low-cost veterinary care ($36 for a visit on average—the cheapest on the list!) and somewhat walkable layout, make it number eight on the list.

 

9. Minneapolis—According to NerdWallet, Minneapolis’ plethora of dog parks and affordable care make it a Mecca for dog owners. 

 

10. Oakland, Calif.—Like nearby San Francisco, Oakland offers affordable veterinary care, several off-leash dog parks and a great walkability score.

 

The list could be a boon for pet ownership in these cities, which will ultimately help pet specialty retailers with locations nearby.

 

However, since I don’t live in any of the ranked cities, I’m curious to hear from retailers and pet owners that do: Is this list a hit or miss?

 

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